Re-enacting The Victory Of Costantino Magistri At The 1936 Targa Florio

Images: Alessandro Coco, Eugenio Livolsi, Romana Zambon

The re-enactment of the victory of Costantino Magistri at the 1936 Targa Florio, which was run over the smaller Madonie circuit of 72km twice over, by Italian collector Corrado Lopresto, from the 16th to the 19th of December in Sicily was a huge success.

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The winning Lancia Augusta from 1936, Elena and Corrado Lopresto, along with family and friends 

The event had the car, the specific Lancia Augusta with which Costantino Magistri had won in that historic race in 1936, as the ‘protagonist’ of the run.

The car—recently brought back to its original livery—retraced the route of the Targa Florio, and was throughout welcomed by local enthusiasts and by friends of Corrado Lopresto and his family.

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Lopresto posing with the Augusta of Costantino Magistri

The tour started at Palermo, then moved to Cefalù, reaching the museum dedicated to the Targa: the Museo del Motorismo Siciliano e della Targa Florio at Termini Imerese, and then onwards to the original grandstands at Floriopoli, the Museo Vincenzo Florio in Cerda, and finally the Museo della Targa Florio at Collesano.

Going with tradition, Corrado Lopresto wanted to support this historic motoring event with the cultural aspect too, as he dedicated a part of the run to visit several works by master painter Antonello da Messina.

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Elena and Corrado Lopresto in their Augusta

After the Annunciata in Palermo and the Ritratto di Ignoto Marinaio in Cefalù, the cars reached Messina, following a drive through the panoramic route within the Tindari sanctuary.

In Messina, the Museo Interdisciplinare Regionale (which hosts the Polittico of San Gregorio and other works of the painter) was visited by Lopresto and his family.

This second day ended with a concours d’elegance, won by an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750, with bodywork by Aprile, one of the most famous cars in the Lopresto Collection, a car which has also won at Villa d'Este and Pebble Beach.

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The Lancia Augusta alongside several Alfa Romeos 

The high point of the re-enactment was the arrival in Nicosia on Sunday. At Nicosia, the entire town dressed up for the occasion, recreating the look at the time of the race, with vintage costumes and installations.

Posters and historic signs were hanging all over town, and more than 150 people (all dressed in the costumes from the 1930s) were lined up along the streets to welcome the cars.

All the historic cars in a historic town in the right mood, took everyone back almost a century in time. Italy had never witnessed such a spectacularly large participation from the local people.

During the day, participants also were involved in a conference dedicated to the victory of Costantino Magistri, with his nephew making a presentation.

The event was made possible thanks to the support of Ma-Fra, who sponsored the re-enactment, as well as partners Allemano and Vitale Barberis Canonico. But the most important aspect was the support of the Sicilian enthusiasts and the most impressive work done by the local historic vehicle clubs, Associazione Veicoli Storici Nicosia, ACI Palermo and the Veteran Car Club Panormus.

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Elena and Corrado Lopresto, along with friends 

Given the enormous success of the event in Nicosia, the Lopresto Collection plans to organize an international meeting in 2022, with guests and participants from all over the world, all in strictly period clothing, to relive for three days the spirit and the atmosphere that reigned in the Sicily of the 1930s, all set in a magnificent town which will surely take time back by a century.

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Recreating the atmosphere of a seedy bar in Sicily from the 1930s

If you would like to participate in your historic vehicle through the time-warp streets of Nicosia later this year, get in touch with the Lopresto Collection via [email protected].


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