Motorsport.com's Christopher DeHarde looks at McKlein Publishing's book Targa Florio, 1955-1973.
Before reading this book, my knowledge of the Targa Florio was limited at best. I knew it was a race in Italy that was big a long time ago, but beyond that, I didn’t know much else, at least until I read this book.
The book is split into two halves. The first half is an A-Z encyclopedia with more pictures than you can imagine. By having short passages about each item, more space is dedicated to pictures, allowing for the reader to have a more visual experience. I loved the amount of photos that were in this book and I was able to gain a greater appreciation of the event.
The next best thing about the A-Z format of the first half of the book was that each topic had a dedicated portion of the book that spoke only about how it related to the Targa Florio. Having such a narrow focus on each item makes the reader more knowledgeable about how important each item was to the race.
The second half of the book is a year-by-year look at the Targa Florio from 1955 to the last year it was a part of the World Sportscar Championship in 1973. This was a great idea, because a year-by-year recount of the race helps those of us who didn’t know about the history of the race. It also briefly mentioned what else happened that year in the WSC so people could find out who won Le Mans and other races that year.
Tons of cars and drivers to remember
The only downside of this book was when the results in the back of the book were displayed. Only the top ten was shown, which didn’t do the rest of the field justice for each year they ran, especially with multiple classes of cars. In many years, over 60-70 cars ran the race, and it would have been nice to see a full classification.
Another positive about this book is that it was written in three languages for multiple nationalities. The left (or top if the text is arranged horizontally) is in German, the center text is English and the right (or bottom) text is Italian, so the book has a larger audience.
The book is a fantastic read for any vintage motorsports enthusiast or anyone interested in learning about an interesting piece of motorsports history.