Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tuscany Vintage Car Hill Climb

Admittedly our Italian is almost non-existent, but we think that this was the 27th annual Camucia to Cortona Vintage Car Hill Climb. 

Every April a gathering of vintage race car owners compete in a variety of classes in a race up the winding hill to the finish line at Piazza Garibaldi in Cortona.  The two day event includes time trials on Saturday afternoon and a race on Sunday morning. We couldn't pass up the chance to see it, especially since the starting line was a five minute walk from the house we're sitting.

We began with a walk through the staging area smelling the rich fuel mixture and watching the mechanics testing the engines, working from semi trucks fully outfitted as portable shops.  We estimated that over a hundred cars would be in the event with none being newer than about the early 1970's.  Alfa Romeo, Porsche, BMW, Lotus, Fiat, Ferrari, Lancia and many custom Formula 1 cars were being prepared - there wasn't a single American or Asian vehicle in the bunch.

After checking out all the cars we walked about a half mile up the hill and found a relatively safe vantage point along the course.  The time trials kicked off the event with the slower cars coming up the course first followed by the big boys - the F1's.  It was a site to see as the cars sped past us, some sliding around the switchback corners, engines roaring.  The drivers who qualified would race the next day.

The weather report predicted rain but Sunday morning was beautiful and there were more people watching than the day before.  Everyone stood along the sides of the road and it was a thrill to be so close as the cars raced by.  We'd like to tell you who won the race but honestly we couldn't understand a word that the commentator said so we haven't a clue!  Not that it mattered to us.  We had a great time, enjoyed the race, and took lots of photos to share with you.

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