1951 Piero Taruffi Speed-Record Car news, pictures, and information
|Chassis Num: 2|
|Sold for $115,755 (€89,600) at 2012 RM Auctions.|
Taruffi was a very talented and accomplished driver who's resume included 'Works' drives for Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Cisitalia, Ferrari, Maserati and Mercedes-Benz.
This unusual and futuristic looking vehicle was designed by Taruffi and followed the 'Tarf I', which set six 500cc and two 1,500cc speed records. This vehicle, alternatively known as 'Italcorsa' and 'Tarf II' features 'bisiluro', or twin-boom, design and was built in 1951 for the 2,000cc class. Power was from a 1720cc Maserati four-cylinder engine with two-stage supercharging and produced 290 horsepower. There is a chain driven rear axle and the steering was controlled via simple control sticks. Adjustable rudders compensated for prevailing winds.
Piero Taruffi drove this vehicle on March 20th of 1951 to a pair of speed records for the 'flying mile' and the 'flying kilometre' at 298.507 kph (185.49 mph) and 290.552 km/h (180.55 mph), respectively. On 15 January 1952, Taruffi broke the 50-mile record at 231.744 km/h (144.00 mph). On 3 April 1952, four more records were achieved: 50 km at 226.700 km/h (140.87 mph), 100 km at 224.747 km/h (139.66 mph), 200 km at 219.833 km/h (136.60 mph) and a one-hour record at 217.414 km/h (135.10) mph.
After its record setting career came to a close in the early 1950s, the car remained in the collection of Dott. Ing. Taruffi, followed by a museum display at Monza. Years later, it spent time in Australia, and then in 1986, it was acquired without engine by Mr. T. Valmorbida of Victoria, for display at the York Motor Museum.
Mike Rodsted of the Museum gave the vehicle a restoration and fitted it with the present Ferrari 246 Dino V-6 engine (three twin-choke carburetors offering nearly 200 horsepower). After the work was completed, the car was once again put through its paces in demonstration runs in March of 1987 at the Vintage Sports Car Club's Speed Classic Event in Fremantle. Between 2002 and 2008, 'Tarf II' was displayed at the Fremantle Motor Museum. The car was recommissioned for racing, in anticipation of the 2007 Lake Gardiner Speed Week, and whilst the event was rained out, 'Tarf II' has been maintained in running order ever since.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at RM Auctions in Monaco where it was estimated to sell for €160.000-€200.000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of €89.600, inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2012
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