Skip to main content

About Targa Classica

Targa Classica is Australia’s premier classic car event, a thrilling journey that mirrors Italy’s Grand Eventi. This event is a unique blend of adventure, culture, and competition, inspired by Italy’s iconic classic car events but with a distinct local flavour.

The Event

Targa Classica offers a four-day festival that excites and delights all the senses. The event draws deep inspiration from the classic regularity events of Italy and brings the style, culture, and spectacle to Australia with an authentic touch. Victoria’s great driving roads provide the pathway to adventure, where competitors can unleash their passion, take in the sights of our Victorian regional tourist destinations, enjoy good food and wine unique to each of the regions and feel part of an event that is built on over 100 years of European classic driving history.

For Competitors

Targa Classica is a unique platform for competitors to showcase their classic cars and driving skills. Over the four-day event, competitors will navigate through some of Victoria’s most scenic routes, engaging in a contest that emphasises precision and consistency. It’s not about speed; it’s about strategy, teamwork, and the joy of driving. Whether you’re aiming for the podium or just want to enjoy the ride, Targa Classica promises an exhilarating and rewarding experience.

For Spectators

Targa Classica is not just for participants, it’s a spectacle for all. Over the four-day event, spectators will have numerous opportunities to view the classic cars from various vantage points along the route. It’s more than just a car rally; it’s a celebration of automotive history that brings people together. Whether you’re a classic car aficionado or just enjoy a good show, Targa Classica promises an unforgettable experience. Come, be a part of this journey, and witness the magic of Targa Classica in action.

Join Us

There is something for everyone to enjoy at Targa Classica. We invite you to join us in this celebration of automotive history, passion, and camaraderie. Establishing long-lasting friendships along the way. Experience the thrill, the adventure, and the joy of Targa Classica. Because at Targa Classica, we believe that ‘Passion has no Boundaries’.

Categories

History

Targa Classica

After over 100 years of events in Sicily, the Palermo Car Club agreed to add a sister event in Australia and the Targa Florio Australian Tribute was born. Victoria with its large Italian community and its strong history of racing and roads that provide the perfect backdrop for the regularity motorsport event, convinced the club that it was time to let their historic event be experienced elsewhere in the world too.

Australia has added its flavour to the passion inspired by the worlds oldest race the Targa Florio. The iconic Targa Florio has been a much-loved tradition and motor event in Sicily since 1906.  In 2017 the Australian event became the first event outside Italy to run under the Targa Florio’s historic marque.  Today the Targa Florio is considered one of the world’s most historic, traditional and unique events for classic car enthusiasts.  And because passion has no boundaries, that experience has grown in Australia over the last 5 years!

The Targa Florio Australia event has been transformed into the event we hoped it would be. With a capacity field we feel its time for the event to create a new chapter and take its place as an import part of the motorsport calendar.

With COVID forcing a break in 2020 and 2021 the event emerged as an event partner of the Australian Grand Prix (AGP).  The event began at Point Leo Estate and travelled through regional Victoria on its way to lapping the AGP track.  The week proving an amazing drive and an exciting finish at the sold out Australian Grand Prix.  It is hard to imagine a better finish so we will continue the association with AGP and build a tradition where there is a link with Regional Victoria with the Australian Grand Prix.

TARGA CLASSICA has arrived!!

Italian “Grandi Eventi” Championship

| ALPI | SANREMO | MILLE MIGLIA | NUVOLARI | TARGA FLORIO|

March April May September October

COPPA DELLE ALPI

1960 –

COPPA MILANO SANREMO

1906 – 1976

MILLE MIGLIA

1906 – 1956

GRAN PREMIO NUVOLARI

1954 to 1957

TARGA FLORIO

1906 – 1976

The early 20th century saw the birth of the motor car and the emergence of car clubs through Italy and Europe, all keen to demonstrate their cars ability to cover distance and do it quickly. At opposite ends of Italy the Palermo and Brescia Car Clubs established events that would become legendary in motor racing.  Competitors from around the world would come to test their cars and skills racing at ever increasing speed through the amazing network of roads and towns through Italy.

It was an exciting time with rapid development and competition amongst car manufacturers who saw the Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia event as the perfect demonstration of their cars.  They were established as speed events and manufacturers set aside large budgets and developed cars to win. The world’s best drivers pushed the cars faster and faster.

Winding its way through narrow Sicilian mountains roads the Targa Florio quickly established itself as one of the most difficult and challenging races for cars, attracting the great racing car drivers and important international car makers, such as Alfa Romeo,  Bugatti, Lancia, Maserati, BMW, and in later years Mercedes Ferrari and Porsche. For over 100 years it has stood as a symbol of passion for cars enthusiasts.

As with the Mille Miglia the route changes annually, starting and finishing in Mantova. The route includes historic racetracks including Imola, as well as the cities of Rimini, Siena, and Ferrara. The event is open to cars built before 1969 and has taken its place alongside the other Italian “Grandi Eventi” Championship as one of the world’s great motorsport events.

Following several serious crashes at speed, the races needed a new challenge.

Timed tests were introduced which required the drivers to average speed and meet exact times over set stages.  The single day races became 3 – 4 day events and developed into the form it is today.  The “Grandi Eventi” Championship remain loved and cherished by millions of adoring fans who line the roads and cheer and competitors who come back year after year to compete. The “Grandi Eventi”  events provide the opportunity for drivers and navigators to test their skills against the best in the world.

Today, the Italian “Grandi Eventi” events remain a tribute to classic cars and beautiful scenery. They are both a race for classics that participated in the original races and now also includes, the ever popular Legend category for modern day classics to compete.

The “Grandi Eventi” events bring together the beauty of classic cars and the history of the great races to a passionate audience.

Targa Classica – passion has no boundaries.

COPPA DELLE ALPI

A famous event that has been bought back to life by the team at the Mille Miglia.  The Coppa Delle Alpi was first run as a competition with cars from the Italian and Swiss car clubs.   Popular from inception the event expanded to add German and French teams all competing fiercely for their club to win the prized Coppa!

The event is the first leg of the “Grandi Eventi” takes place at the start of March each year and covers 1,000 km through the Dolomites and the Alpine locations in Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

Cars built between 1906 and 1990 with F.I.V.A. passport are eligible for the event.

COPPA MILANO SANREMO

Like the Targa Florio the Milan-Sanremo was first run in 1906 sponsored by a group of pioneering “gentlemen drivers” of the time who wanted to test the new cars of the day.  The event ran from 1906 to 1973 as a race.  Then as a European regularity from 2003 to today.  A feature of early racing was the high participation of female drivers who through from the 20’s onwards applied their skills with great success in the events.

As leg 2 of the “Grandi Eventi” teams compete on the same route each year.

Cars built between 1906 and 1990 with F.I.V.A. passport are eligible for the event.

Mille Miglia

One of the most famous of all rallies in the world.  The race was established by the young Counts Aymo Maggi and Franco Mazzotti, sports manager Renzo Castagneto and motoring journalist Giovanni Canestrini, apparently in response to the Italian Grand Prix being moved from their home town of Brescia to Monza they chose a race from Brescia to Rome and back, a figure-eight shaped course of roughly 1500 km — or a thousand Roman miles.

A special moment in Mille Miglia history saw Tazio Nuvolari winning the 1930 Mille Miglia in an Alfa Romeo 6C. Having started after his teammate and rival Achille Varzi, Nuvolari was leading the race but was still behind Varzi (holder of provisional second position) on the road. In the dim half-light of early dawn, Nuvolari tailed Varzi with his headlights off, thereby not being visible in the latter’s rear-view mirrors. He then overtook Varzi on the straight roads approaching the finish at Brescia, by pulling alongside and flicking his headlights on.

In 1955, Mercedes made another attempt at winning the MM, this time with careful preparation and a more powerful car, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR which was based on the Formula One car (Mercedes-Benz W196), entirely different from their sports cars carrying the 300 SL name.

After 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds, Moss/Jenkinson arrived in Brescia in their Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR with the now famous #722, setting the event record at an average of 157.650 km/h (97.96 mph) which was fastest ever on this 1,597 km (992 mi) variant of the course, not to be beaten in the remaining two years. Fangio arrived a few minutes later in the #658 car, but having started 24 min earlier, it actually took him about 30 minutes longer, having engine problems at Pescara, through Rome and by the time Fangio reached Florence, a fuel injection pipe had broken, and he was running on 7 cylinders.

GRAN PREMIO NUVOLARI

To pay tribute to its greatest racer – Mantova created the Gran Premio Nuvolari in commemoration of racing pilot Tazio Nuvolari, who died on 11 August 1953.  Nuvolari was successful in all forms of racing including the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio and it was fitting that one of Italy’s great events was created to honour him.  The race ran from 1954 to 1957.

It took 35 years to see the event re-emerge as a serious “European Regularity” event when it was restarted in 1991.

Subscribe to our newsletter below.

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.