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Cernobbio, 23rd - 25th of May
The last of the historic car classes was the race car class.

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Two Jaguars were entered, the XK120 that set some speed records in the hands of Jaguar Test driver Norman Dewis who was driving the car in front of the Jury at the Award Ceremony at the Villa D´Este. With some modifications including a plexiglass bubble over the cockpit and streamlined headlamps Dewis set a new land speed record for production cars in 1953 at Jabbeke (Belgium) achieving about 277.5 km/h.

The other Jaguar in the line-up was the first D-Type works car completed (XKC402) and driven by Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt to a second place at Le Mans in the D-Type debuted 1954. This was the last time Ferrari could hold off the D-Type at La Sarthe before the successor of the C-Type won the three following editions both entered by Jaguar itself and later by the Ecurie Ecosse.

Ferrari itself was present with two cars, the 500 TRC and the 250 GTO. The first car is a very common sight at the Mille Miglia as its owner entered the 2-litre racer in many previous editions. For many the design of the TRC are the best looking lines of any Ferrari sports cars as the proportions are more balanced because of the smaller engine making possible a lower front.

The Ferrari 250 GTO today is one of the most valuable cars in the world and the car in Como changed hands several times during the last years, Malcolm Welford entered the car on behalf of the new owner. Chassis 4675GT started life as a 62-design before being rebodied late in 1963 to the 64-design after a crash at the Tour de France in September. The car was restored since by Ferrari Classiche as shown at the Unique Special Ones Concours in 2012 but there are different opinions whether the front really looks corrects according to period pictures. It seems that the Jury shared these doubts as the GTO was not awarded with an award.

The Class victory went to the opponent from Modena, the Maserati 450 S. The 450S was built to win the 1957 World Sports Car Championship, the last year of the big bore engines before the restriction to 3 litres. This car (4502) was built for Tony Parravano who apparently never took delivery of the car as he disappeared when the US Finance Department was looking for him for tax reasons. When the car was finally sold by the authorities in 1959 the heydays of the model were gone and the car was used in minor club races. In the 1970s the car finally came to Germany were it stayed for the next decades before being sold just recently to Switzerland. The car is more than a handful to drive as Egon ZweimĂĽller demonstrated during the award ceremony. With a lot of power and a racing clutch this is certainly not a car to parade and when ZweimĂĽller set off and the revs dropped he hit the throttle to prevent the car from stalling, this was not a problem until the car left the paved place to loose grip on the gravel covering the entire mosaic behind him with stones.

The last two cars of the class could not be more different, on one side the nimble Porsche 904 with his lightweight body and a small engine and the Shelby Cobra with the big 427 cubic inch Ford engine. The Porsche was driven at some German Hillclimbs, the Shelby Cobra won the 500 miles from Brands Hatch in 1966 although the big bore Cobra was much less successful than the smaller 289 ci version.

Report & Images ... Peter&Wolfgang Singhof

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