Second run at the Gran Premio Nuvolari

This year we got an early start from Munich because the car was serviced there waiting for us to be picked.up. So we arrived in Mantova already on Monday before the registration which would take place on Thursday. Instead of sitting at the hotel or wandering around town we decided to go to Torino and look up the old Lancia facilities with the hope to find someone to get us information about the past history of the company. We found the Street address and found two blocks of abandoned buildings!! We made a picture of what looked like the old service department as the background of our car.

We stayed overnight in a small village on our way back and took our time to get back to Mantova on Wednesday afternoon to meet some of the people from last year. One of last years participants replaced their Corvette with a Lancia Fulvia HF this year. After seeing our car last year, they fell in love with the Lancia. Vive la Lancia!!!

The registration and tech inspection was easy enough after that, we went to enjoy the town center were cars were lining up in preparation for the start the next morning.

Before leaving for Europe we contacted a firm in Haarlem, The Netherlands to get some parts and were told that they were just completing a Lancia Fulvia Zagato Competizione for a client. The car was being transported to Mantova for the Gran Premio Nuvolari rally!

We were curious to see the car and when looking in the program we found out that the crew were from the U.S.!

It turned out it was a couple from San Diego and we spent some time between the drives with them. When it came to driving they were hooking up with a couple of guys in a special Jaguar and raced like maniacs through the country roads.

We were a bit better at timing ourselves this year but at a break during the second day we threw out all thinking of competition when we met a man and his family walking around our car taking pictures and commenting about it. It turned out that the man used to own an identical car when they were in their younger years and when they expected twins he had to let go of the car to buy a more fitting vehicle. When he saw our car, he remembered the good old times. We took some pictures of him and when we told him to sit behind the wheel, he was beaming for joy. When he wanted to sit down with us for a cup of coffee we could not resist. Needles to say that we were the last car to leave and very late. We had tp make up time and raced with smiles on our face.

After dark we were caching up with a Jaguar XK 120! This was a surprise because the previous encounters we were being passed in high speed. We found an opening and got around them to find out why they were so slow, they were driving with only the position lights on ( we later found out that the generator was not able to handle the headlights) I knew we could have the same problem so I had the flood lights wired so I could have them on together with the parking lights and not run the other lights. The crew in the Jaguar was then following us right on the tail the rest of the evening using us a guiding light.

The third day was just like last year, easy driving with less hills but nice roads. The two things etched in my memory was the Imola race track and later on a section of a levee road were we could see for miles and going in speeds of 110-120 km/h around the turns with flaggers warning where the sharp turns were coming up, the engine sound and feeling was giving us a thrill that is hard to explain......

There were a lot of Lancia cars participating and her follow some :

After the event we got back on the road and stopped in the Stuttgart area and spent a day visiting different sites including the Porsche museum.

We went on to visit friends in The Netherlands were we are leaving the car to be transported to Sweden for service and re-tested( the car is registered in Sweden) for the next event. If all goes as planned we will be back again next year.

Leif and Barbara Neuman

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