Welcome to the 18° Vernasca Silver Flag
The fiftes: the racing years
Italy emerged from a war that had devastated the country's social and economic structure. In the automotive field, as in all others, there was a strong desire to start again, notwithstanding the shortages of supplies and limited means.
This might explain why many of the cars known as "le piccole Sport" (a special kind of small sport cars) were built at this time. These small hand-built cars, with engine displacement between 700cc and 1000cc, are considered by many to be the symbol of Italian genius and passion for motorsport. From the end of the forties to the beginning of the sixties they formed the backbone of motor racing in Italy and beyond. For reasons of economy, car builders had to be very inventive and ended up using and adapting road car parts. Many of the parts came from Fiat 1100 and Topolinos. The combination of these adapted parts and the genius of the builders produced many thrilling performances.
The bodywork was hand made from aluminium, while the engine and chassis were either custom made or, as previously mentioned, obtained from modified road car parts.
These cars ran in all the races that were organized in Italy at the time, from the most unlikely street circuits to the legendary Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and Le Mans, with great success.
In a short time, race results showed the soundness of these engineering wizards' ideas. The cars became not only a sporting, but also an economic phenomenon. Small firms developed that hand-made their products and were known the world over, creating working opportunities for hundreds of craftsmen.
Stanguellini, Taraschi, Bandini, Ermini are a few of the firms that came into existence as a result of their their founders' fierce passion for racing and mechanics. These men can be placed beside Enzo Ferrari, Vincenzo Lancia or the Maserati brothers as far as far as brilliance and skill are concerned. They were among the many who contributed to the legend of Italian motor racing.
The Vernasca Silver Flag has decided to honour these enthusiastic inventors by dedicating the 18th edition of the event to them. It will take place from 28-30 June 2013.