A Historical Celebration of Road Sports Cars That Took To The Tracks...
PAGANI ZONDA GR
ALFA ROMEO MONTREAL
( Raced in World Championship for Makes 1973, IMSA
events 1974 )
ENGINE : V8 Cylinders 2498 CC
POWER : 230 BHP ( Road )
TOP SPEED : 139 MPH ( Road )
WEIGHT : 1270 KGS ( Road )
PRICE : 5550 ( UK ) 1972
PRODUCTION : 3917 ( 1970-77 ) not sold in US
Styled by Bertones Marcello Gandini the aggressive
looking 2+2 coupe took its name after the concept cars debut at the 1967 Montreal Expo. Production started
in 1970 and by 1973 at a time when every GT race team owners seemed to be buying the Porsche RSR two such bucked the
trend and ran Alfa`s new sports car , the Montreal.
Dieter Gleich under the Alfa Romeo Deutschland
banner gave the car its world championship debut at
the 1973 Nurburgring 1000 kms. The Green car
loked great with its wheel arches and black air-scoop
but only qualified 44th out of 52. Autosport reported
`the Alfa effort was a very professional one and
although the car looked rather frightening on the road
its two drivers Dieter Gleich and Dieter Weizinger did
a good job, but after various engine problems the car
just failed to qualify...however it did eventually make
the start like everyone else`. The car retired as it
did later in the Euro GT race at Hockenheim but a
Across the Atlantic Bert Everett`s Bobcor team had
aquired one aswell and recriuted Alfa veteran
Theodoro Zeccolli for the Watkins Glen 6-hour race.
Everett himself a 5-time Daytona 24 hour vet with
various Porsches and had ran Alfa GTAs in 2-litre Trans Am. No qualifying time was set but the car started only to
be the first retirement thanks to its gearbox after
10 laps. The yellow car did race 4 times in 1974 including a return to the Glen with John Morton assisting Everett. Again setting no time but starting and sadly lasting only 6 laps this time before engine failure. Disapointing having placed 27th at the opening IMSA round the Road Atlanta 6-hours for Everett and Nichter.
So a refreshingly different but unsuccesfull effort.
GLEICH car photo...
EVERETT car photo...
FIAT X1-9 Silhouette by DALLARA
( Raced in World Championship of Makes
ENGINE : 4 Cylinder 1290cc/1498cc
POWER : 61/ 85 BHP ( road )
192/ 200+ BHP ( Dallara cars )
WEIGHT : 937/ 912 KGS ( road )
approx 650 KGS ( Dallara )
TOP SPEED : 90/ 112 MPH ( road )
PRODUCTION : 140,500 by Fiat ( 1972 )
+ further 19,500 by Bertone ( 1983-89 )
When the Bertone-designed X1-9 was launched in
1972 the mid-engined layout ,`wedge`body with
pop-up headlights was state of the art design.20
years later of course it looked dreadfully dated
but it sold well. Walter Dona debuted the first
race version in April 1973 and Scuderia Citta Dei
Mille ran one in the Monza Euro GT round in both
1973+74 plus giving its debut in the German DRM
GT series in August 1974. Rally duo Bacchelli +
Sodano finished 8th ,from 3 cars entered on the
`74 Tour-de-France , 2 cars retiring on the Giro
D`Italia , one driven by Cley Regazzoni.
Then in 1977 the Dallara Company started a
small batch of race-versions which kick-started
the cars race career back into life. With only a
1300 cc engine the cars were tuned to the
edge of reliability in an attempt to be competitive
The little car made only 5 finishes from the 17
starts in the World Championship of Makes. Even
when the cars got the 1600cc engine for 1978 it
was still up against a gaggle of 2000cc BMW 320s
in that smaller Group 5 silhouette class.
Robert Curatolo`s white Dallara version ran with
a large rear spoiler and having debuted the car in
the series at Mugello in 1977 gained the first of
its 2 class wins with an 8th overall at Vallelunga.
The other class win was at the same , equally
poorly supported Vallelunga round in 1979 when
the class opposition was absent.
Giuseppe Piazzi ran another ( yellow ) Dallara car
at 14 WCM races with the help of Renzo Zorzi who
had dropped from racing a F1 Shadow in 1977.
Along with that 2nd Vallelunga class win the team
only made the finish 3 times in those gruelling 6
hours events but to their credit kept coming back
Piazzi running 6 rounds in 1980 including Brands.
That season saw a class win on the Giro d`Italia
when Cerutti + Pardini finished a fine 4th and
by then at least 6 X1-9s were contesting in
Italian G4 or G5 events. International events
wound down but as many as 15 appeared at the
Enna National race in September 1981.
In the UK Modsports series Steve Soper burst
on to the scene in 1980 with a X1-9 run by
Radbourne racing setting new fastest laps at
nearly every circiut on his way to a class win in the
STP series and outright in the Donington GT in
1981. Soper would go on to become the best
Touring car driver of his generation and the car
was at home in the shorter sprint races on more
twisty tracks where the cars fine handling could
be expolited in the right hands. According to the
Sporting Fiats Club ( UK ) the Soper car used a
stroked 1500cc engine with Cosworth pistons ,
16-valve Dallara heads + twin weber carbs to get
some 184 bhp out ,over twice the standard figure
and that the car weighed just 600 KGS giving an
impressive 306 bhp per tonne figure.
FIAT X1-9 record in World Championship of Makes ( Group 5 )