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While the original Targa Florio may have closer resembled an early version of a Fast and the Furious street race, the concept of no-holds-barred racing on public roads has been all but banned and the modern Targa events are simply a great way to enjoy vintage machines and meet fellow gear heads. A number of Targa vintage events have popped up in the last 20 years, including Targa Newfoundland & Targa Tasmania, the latter of which was the subject of Eric Bana's fantastic documentary "Love the Beast" -- do yourself a favor and rent or stream it today if you haven't seen it. We caught up with Targa California founder Dave Bouzaglou and he shared his thoughts with us on Targa California car selection for the Daily Turismo cheapskate! His comments below:
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A few cars that fit into the DT price range:
AMC Javelin and AMX 67-73
Alfa Romeo Berlina- mechanically the same as the GTV, these four door sedans pack a lot of performance and handling from that period
Alfa Romeo Spider- same as above
BMW 1600 and 2002
Chevrolet Camaros 67-73 - Though SS and Z 28's are out of sight, there are some great deals to be had on the simpler models
Chevrolet Corvair 65-68
Ford Mustang notchback 65-69 (there are some good deals left in fastbacks too)
Ford Falcon 60-69 (esp Sprint)
Datsun 240 and 260 Z
Datsun 1600 and 2000 Roadster
Datsun 510 (some have newer larger motor swaps, and upgraded suspensions/ brakes. These are lil terrors in the hills)
Lotus Super Seven like replicas- for the very brave that enjoy driving a four wheeled motorcycle ;-)
MG MGB roadster and GT coupe
Plymouth Barracuda 65-74 - the Early Formula S has some attitude with its 273 ci four barrel V8 and handles well
Pontiac Tempest and Le Mans- there were some High Output models in both 6 and V 8 versions that are still hiding out there.
Porsche 914 2 liter
Toyota Celica - first generation
Triumph TR 6
Volkswagen Type 1, Type 3, Type 4 aka: Bug, Notchback, Ghia
DT: In truth, the list started as a few...but then like a cowboy trying to take one small sip from a
(DT: or a 1975 Ford Thunderbird 429 Brougham) ; their drivers have big satisfied smiles on their faces at the end of the day. Sanctioned by National Auto Sport Association, the Targa California accepts classic cars from 1975 and older, with a slight twist. If you own a continuation model of that era , it will be considered for entry into the event. These exceptions are special, but its not unusual to see a later model 260Z or 78 Corvette joining in.
Now in its fifth year, the TaCa likes to surprise its entrants with special visits to car collections, a race track tour, and more. The entry fee is kept modest due to low overhead and the generosity of its sponsors. Being non competitive in nature, you might see an Alfa Giulietta outpacing a 383 powered Barracuda. Central California has some of the best kept secrets when it comes to sports car friendly roads. The event is limited to 125 total entry and its already over half full as of this issue. This event is not one to be missed. Check out www.targacalifornia.com for more information and pics of last year's event.
So quite a field to choose from. Once the car is selected, a thorough inspection is needed to identify any chassis, body, electrical, and drive train problems. Though fun to talk about around the dinner table, getting stuck in driving rain miles from no where, because your ignition wires got wet is not an experience to be repeated. Tires should be a maximum of 5 years old or newer, wheels inspected for damage/ cracks inside and out, brake hoses inspected and replaced if hard, sweating, or spongy. Master cylinders, lines, brake linings, hardware, parking brake, all lighting, turn signals, horn, wipers.
Fuel hoses are a very important thing to take care of. Ethanol laced gasoline will break down older hoses from the inside out, and leak. Make sure you replace these with hoses made from alcohol/gasoline proof materials.
Gear box and rear end oils should be fresh, oil and filter change for the motor, new fuel filter and carefully open the old one to check for rust inside. If you have rust, better get that gas tank looked at. We had a friend drive his Volvo on a rally, where he ended up changing TWENTY fuel filter over the course of three days. It was comical seeing him by the side of the road , changing filters again and again and again. We got a good laugh and he smelled like Chanel Octane 91 at the dinner table each night.
Safety: Check out the condition and age of the seat belts. The fabric breaks down over time with exposure to the sun and dirt. There are companies selling new retractable kits , that come with instructions. A basic first aid kit, knowledge of how and where to attach towing bits to your car will help too. Fire extinguishers ABC rated are a good piece of security
Leave plenty of time in advance of an event , so you can get all your repairs and preparation done with time to spare. Take a few hour drive a couple weeks ahead of the event, so if some repairs need taking care of, you will get it done.
We plan to be there for the kickoff of the event and to snap some pictures. If you've run the Targa California event or are planning to join, send us an email or post in the comments below. email@example.com
Also published on jalopnik.com via the daily turismo kinja account, direct link here.
Photo credits: TargaCalifornia.com