Jump to content


Photo

Ciao Nino...


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,944 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 23 September 2021 - 12:17

I have just learned that Nino Vaccarella passed away last night, in Palermo.

 

A mutual friend from Sicily tells me, simply:  "Sad news and endless memories/tales. From the old Sicilian gang only Prince Starrabba is surviving....".

 

Nino was a very good man, and as a Le Mans and multiple Targa Florio winner a great asset to such marques as Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.  He was 88.

 

DCN



Advertisement

#2 FLB

FLB
  • Member

  • 21,885 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 23 September 2021 - 12:23

I was surprised not to see anything on TNF. I had posted on Mentioned in passing. It's on a few websites now:.

 

 

 

https://www.formulap...ari-585914.html

 

https://www.siciliam...eta-di-88-anni/

 

https://www.autohebd...s-sicilien.html (en francais)


Edited by FLB, 23 September 2021 - 12:27.


#3 sstiel

sstiel
  • New Member

  • 363 posts
  • Joined: June 08

Posted 23 September 2021 - 12:37

A shame. What a career and life.



#4 Jahn1234567890

Jahn1234567890
  • Member

  • 117 posts
  • Joined: January 19

Posted 23 September 2021 - 12:53

Sad news. A propper endurance racer. Besides the wins Doug mentioned, Nino also won the 12 hours of Sebring in 1970. A racing resume to be jealous of. Ciao Nino..



#5 68targa

68targa
  • Member

  • 738 posts
  • Joined: October 19

Posted 23 September 2021 - 13:13

Very sad news.  He came to Goodwood FoS c2003.  He was extremely polite and genuinely interested in all of he photos he was signing.



#6 Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins
  • Member

  • 7,072 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 23 September 2021 - 13:15

Very sad but not unexpected news. A quite fabulously quick driver with great mechanical sympathy.

#7 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 56,661 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 23 September 2021 - 13:16

Surely one of the great atmospheres must have been Sicily when Vaccarella won a Targa.  RIP avvocato.



#8 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,921 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 23 September 2021 - 15:30

Very sad to hear this



#9 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,944 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 23 September 2021 - 16:59

A mutual friend has just told me what fun it was to go out in Palermo with Nino...  Everbody was, or wanted to be, his friend.  Doors opened.  He was respected, welcomed and celebrated everywhere.

 

Yet he kept his feet firmly on the ground.  When he came to the Goodwood Festival he was genuinely astonished by his reception from the crowd and spectators milling around the paddock.  He turned to one of his travelling companions and asked in genuine puzzlement "How do they know who I am????".

 

Jason Wright, who accompanied him on that trip recalls how he told his drivers, Merzario, Munari and Vaccarella, that they must be ready in the hotel car park promptly at 7am next morning.  A measure of the men is that little Art was there early, wearing his stetson, eager to go, as required.  Sandro Munari appeared as a good rally superstar should, precisely at 06:59;59, also ready to go but requesting total detail on the day's schedule.

 

And relaxed Nino Vaccarella?

 

Still comfortably ensconced, in bed.

 

A lovely man.

 

DCN



#10 cpbell

cpbell
  • Member

  • 5,945 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 23 September 2021 - 18:02

Sad to hear indeed.



#11 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 74,844 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 23 September 2021 - 20:10

A great little sidelight, Doug...

 

My visit to the hallowed circuit was very much with memories of reading about this man, the local who did endless laps and simply owned the Short Madonie. My admiration of the drivers who'd raced there was greatest for those who'd done so in the big V12s of the late sixties.

 

Of them he was clearly a standout and signs of the honour to him were abundant.

 

0518-14-vaccarellaalfaromeo1972.jpg

 

A schoolteacher?



#12 wolf sun

wolf sun
  • Member

  • 842 posts
  • Joined: September 05

Posted 23 September 2021 - 20:22

Nooooooo!!!  :cry: 

 

It was inevitable this day would come, but how very, very sad.

 

Anyone who‘s ever visited the Madonie, Cerda, Collesano will have felt his presence in people‘s hearts there. 

What a career and life indeed, and what a man.

 

Addio, preside volante!



#13 DeKnyff

DeKnyff
  • Member

  • 4,187 posts
  • Joined: November 13

Posted 23 September 2021 - 21:03

A great driver and a great character, very sad news.

 

If I'm not mistaken, he was the only Ferrari 512 driver to ever lead the 24 hours of Le Mans (a couple of night hours in 1971).

 

Ferrari-512-S.jpg



#14 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 56,661 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 23 September 2021 - 21:26

That's one of the great images of the glamour of early seventies motor sport.  Simple helmet design, sunflower colour scheme, and sheer brute force of a machine.



#15 JacnGille

JacnGille
  • Member

  • 2,696 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 23 September 2021 - 23:23

Sad news



#16 ellrosso

ellrosso
  • Member

  • 1,481 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 24 September 2021 - 02:16

RIP Nino. One of my favourites and an inspiration to many I'm sure. Sad news.



#17 raceannouncer2003

raceannouncer2003
  • Member

  • 2,943 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 24 September 2021 - 05:40

Very sad news.  He came to Goodwood FoS c2003.  He was extremely polite and genuinely interested in all of he photos he was signing.

 

I was privileged to get his autograph at that event.

 

Vince H.



#18 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 2,288 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 24 September 2021 - 06:09

If I had the choice of one event to witness , it would be the Targa Florio , some time between 1965 and 1972 , and the highlight would have been seeing the driver with the perfect name driving a Ferrari , preferably in a dusty village  past old men , kids , donkeys and nuns.    



#19 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,523 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 24 September 2021 - 07:13

"He was a born racer. On the outside he appeared calm and reserved, but you could sense his native Sicilian passion. He was consistently fast, an outstanding racer in the Sport models." Enzo Ferrari



Advertisement

#20 William Hunt

William Hunt
  • Member

  • 8,231 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 24 September 2021 - 08:45

I would have love to have had a school teacher like him when I was a kid. He was such a talented driver.



#21 wolf sun

wolf sun
  • Member

  • 842 posts
  • Joined: September 05

Posted 24 September 2021 - 08:56

Ferrari obituary:

 

Italian

 

https://www.ferrari....preside-volante

 

English

 

https://www.ferrari....ying-headmaster



#22 Lola5000

Lola5000
  • Member

  • 1,599 posts
  • Joined: August 08

Posted 24 September 2021 - 10:14

One of the great road racers RIP.



#23 FastReader

FastReader
  • Member

  • 83 posts
  • Joined: May 21

Posted 24 September 2021 - 10:59

Very sad news.  He came to Goodwood FoS c2003.  He was extremely polite and genuinely interested in all of he photos he was signing.

Sad news indeed. I was also privileged to get his autograph in two or three books at that event. His signature on Geoff Goddard's famous photo of him entering Campofelice during the 1970 Targa in David Owen's Targa Florio book is a particularly treasured possession. And into the bargain as you say, he was genuinely interested in the items he was signing. What a hero he was.



#24 Jack-the-Lad

Jack-the-Lad
  • Member

  • 2,368 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 24 September 2021 - 14:37

A mutual friend has just told me what fun it was to go out in Palermo with Nino...  Everbody was, or wanted to be, his friend.  Doors opened.  He was respected, welcomed and celebrated everywhere.
 
Yet he kept his feet firmly on the ground.  When he came to the Goodwood Festival he was genuinely astonished by his reception from the crowd and spectators milling around the paddock.  He turned to one of his travelling companions and asked in genuine puzzlement "How do they know who I am????".
 

 
A lovely man.
 
DCN


Modesty and humility are increasingly rare human traits. It’s always especially sad to lose someone who possessed them.

R.I.P.

#25 d j fox

d j fox
  • Member

  • 251 posts
  • Joined: November 05

Posted 24 September 2021 - 20:49

Very very sad news Indeed one the last great road racers

#26 d j fox

d j fox
  • Member

  • 251 posts
  • Joined: November 05

Posted 24 September 2021 - 21:28

A great driver and a great character, very sad news.

If I'm not mistaken, he was the only Ferrari 512 driver to ever lead the 24 hours of Le Mans (a couple of night hours in 1971).

Ferrari-512-S.jpg


Indeed my first visit 1971 Le Mans Nino co drove with Jose Juncadella in the Escuderia Montjuïch 512M and I still remember JC Laurens announcing that at “mi-course” (half distance 04.00 ) they were leading...

#27 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 74,844 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 24 September 2021 - 23:36

Originally posted by john aston
If I had the choice of one event to witness it would be the Targa Florio, some time between 1965 and 1972, and the highlight would have been seeing the driver with the perfect name driving a Ferrari, preferably in a dusty village  past old men , kids , donkeys and nuns.


Sorry it's not a dusty village, John, but I picked this picture up via Google and Pinterest a while back...

0520frPintargasiffertvaccarella.jpg

...and to me it really described those years of the Targa.

Big wide cars on a winding skinny road, bridges and retaining walls. And heroic drivers doing their best to win the Europe's oldest race.

What better tribute to the local schoolteacher than to see him challenging such a great driver as Siffert on those mountain roads?

#28 FLB

FLB
  • Member

  • 21,885 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 25 September 2021 - 00:39

In a Ferrai special magazine from 1987 (from the French Sport Auto), there is an article about the Targa Florio Storica. Vaccarella tells the story of the pre-race atmosphere of the race. He says that  one particular year, a nicely-dressed gentleman came up to him to wish him luck. He also asked him what he thought would be his biggest challenge. Paraphrasing (I don't have the article with me at this moment) :

 

'Well, it's hard to avoid the animals. They're all over the road!'

 

Vaccarella goes on to say that, on that particular year, there were none... because he later learned the nicely-dressed gentleman who had wished him well had been in fact one of the capi di capi of the Sicilian mafia agricola...  :lol:  :o


Edited by FLB, 25 September 2021 - 00:40.


#29 FastReader

FastReader
  • Member

  • 83 posts
  • Joined: May 21

Posted 25 September 2021 - 10:59

b0d23c24cf1ac5c836d6b8778b2a4fa7.jpg



#30 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,944 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 25 September 2021 - 15:07

Fine choice FR... If Geoff Goddard's great 1970 Targa pic is going to be used, it might as well be used larger...

GPL-1970-TARGA-FERRARI-512-S-Vaccarella-

Strictly Copyright: The GPL Library

PS - This is one of the very rare photographs our old friend Geoff planned. Watching the Targa in Campofelice di Roccella's Via Cesare Civello - now much narrowed and one-way in the opposite direction - he saw how energetically the local tifosi greeted any Italian competitor. Thinking "Blimey - they'll go mad when Vaccarella appears" - he positioned himself for this shot, capturing the Palermese's greeting from his adoring friends and fans.

DCN

#31 MartLgn

MartLgn
  • Member

  • 144 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 25 September 2021 - 17:09

I have just learned that Nino Vaccarella passed away last night, in Palermo.

 

A mutual friend from Sicily tells me, simply:  "Sad news and endless memories/tales. From the old Sicilian gang only Prince Starrabba is surviving....".

 

Nino was a very good man, and as a Le Mans and multiple Targa Florio winner a great asset to such marques as Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.  He was 88.

 

DCN

RIP Nino, when I see his name I imediately counjour up a mental image of him steering a Ferrari 512/s at great speed through the streets of Sicily



#32 opplock

opplock
  • Member

  • 832 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 25 September 2021 - 19:01

Fine choice FR... If Geoff Goddard's great 1970 Targa pic is going to be used, it might as well be used larger...



PS - This is one of the very rare photographs our old friend Geoff planned. Watching the Targa in Campofelice di Roccella's Via Cesare Civello - now much narrowed and one-way in the opposite direction - he saw how energetically the local tifosi greeted any Italian competitor. Thinking "Blimey - they'll go mad when Vaccarella appears" - he positioned himself for this shot, capturing the Palermese's greeting from his adoring friends and fans.

DCN

 

That photo proves that any attempt to compare current drivers to those of previous generations is futile. A man who won the Targa, Le Mans and Sebring deserves to be ranked among the great figures of our sport. RIP Nino.  



#33 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,944 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 25 September 2021 - 21:07

It does seem rather sad that creeping 'civilisation' and modern levels of public acceptance - or otherwise - have denied the Sennas, Prosts, Hakkinens, Raikkonens, Vettels and Hamiltons the chance to demonstrate just how good they might have been in a variety of cars on such 'natural' venues.

 

Diminution, indeed...  Though few seem to recognise it.

 

DCN



#34 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 5,756 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 26 September 2021 - 03:08

A life well lived. As a schoolboy in England, Nino Vaccarella's exploits in the Targa Florio were vividly brought to life through DSJ's wonderful reports. Did I sneak a look at my on-way-to school-purchased June Motor Sport during the morning's maths, history or geography lessons each year? Of course! 

 

I hope I can be forgiven for this passage from DSJ's report of the 1965 event: "...but now everyone crowded round the police radio car to hear when Vaccarella arrived safely at the finishing line. Suddenly there was a great shout from the Mayor and his chums and for Cerda the 49th Targa Florio was over. Vaccarella/Bandini (Ferrari) had won.

"It was nearly three hours later that the stream of traffic allowed us to get down to the pits and cast around among the tired and weary pit crews and drivers. With Pucci finishing first on the road and Vaccarella driving the winning car over the finishing line, the crowds were beside themselves with joy, and it was a happy, milling throng that fought and jostled its way back to Palermo that evening.

"No-one enjoys an Italian winning an Italian race more than the Italians, but when a Sicilian wins a Sicilian race there is a riot."

 

Then...

 

"It was after 8 p.m. before we got back to our hotel, tired, dusty and sun-burnt, but we felt we had enjoyed the 49th Targa Florio to the full and looked forward to 1966, the fiftieth anniversary of this great, and now unique, motor race.—D. S. J.

 

Yes... Nino was, to me, a wonderful, romantic figure. RIP.



#35 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 74,844 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:29

Forgiven, Gary?

 

I applaud you!

 

Wonderful Jenks stuff, the very reason so many of us more fully understand what these things were all about.



#36 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,944 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 26 September 2021 - 14:21

Sadly, Nino Vaccarella's later life was tragically marred in the early 1990s when his only son Giovanni crashed the road car in which he was reconnoitring the course before the Targa Florio Rally, down near the bridge at Scillato. Giovanni was gravely injured but he survived as a tetraplegic - requiring care for the rest of his life, much of it provided personally by Nino, who blamed himself for the boy's early competitive interest and driving ambition which had come to this.  Friends and connections with Porsche secured a series of surgical interventions at Heidelberg, but the injuries proved to be beyond repair. 

 

DCN



#37 Jahn1234567890

Jahn1234567890
  • Member

  • 117 posts
  • Joined: January 19

Posted 26 September 2021 - 15:08

I have had a look through my files. And the Targa always had some of the best racing pictures. This is one of my favorite shots of Nino Vaccarella taken at the Targa Florio of 1970.

 

Nino-Vaccarella-Ferrari-512-S-1004-Targa

 

 

Strictly Copyright: Rainer W.  Schlegelmilch



#38 cpbell

cpbell
  • Member

  • 5,945 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 26 September 2021 - 21:05

Sadly, Nino Vaccarella's later life was tragically marred in the early 1990s when his only son Giovanni crashed the road car in which he was reconnoitring the course before the Targa Florio Rally, down near the bridge at Scillato. Giovanni was gravely injured but he survived as a tetraplegic - requiring care for the rest of his life, much of it provided personally by Nino, who blamed himself for the boy's early competitive interest and driving ambition which had come to this.  Friends and connections with Porsche secured a series of surgical interventions at Heidelberg, but the injuries proved to be beyond repair. 

 

DCN

That is sad, I wasn't aware. :(



#39 FastReader

FastReader
  • Member

  • 83 posts
  • Joined: May 21

Posted 27 September 2021 - 12:12

Fine choice FR... If Geoff Goddard's great 1970 Targa pic is going to be used, it might as well be used larger...

GPL-1970-TARGA-FERRARI-512-S-Vaccarella-

Strictly Copyright: The GPL Library

PS - This is one of the very rare photographs our old friend Geoff planned. Watching the Targa in Campofelice di Roccella's Via Cesare Civello - now much narrowed and one-way in the opposite direction - he saw how energetically the local tifosi greeted any Italian competitor. Thinking "Blimey - they'll go mad when Vaccarella appears" - he positioned himself for this shot, capturing the Palermese's greeting from his adoring friends and fans.

DCN

I never understood how that photo didn't make it into the magnificent Ferrari In Camera. Perhaps because it was monochrome when the photography in the book was all colour by the time it reached the 1970's? Nonetheless, it certainly wouldn't have been out of place.


Edited by FastReader, 27 September 2021 - 12:13.


Advertisement

#40 68targa

68targa
  • Member

  • 738 posts
  • Joined: October 19

Posted 27 September 2021 - 15:51

That is one of the great motor racing photographs IMHO. I have seen it several times and I don't think it would be any more powerful if it was in colour. How can anyone not be involved with the emotion just to look at it.,