Racing Demons Porsche and the Targa Florio


Michael Keyser


“Forever hailed as the world’s last true road race, the legendary Targa Florio in Sicily was first held in 1906 on a 148 km (92 mile) circuit that twisted and turned though the Madonie mountains east of Palermo, passing through a number of small, picturesque villages before running along the Mediterranean coast and back to the start/finish line. Each year, for one spectacular spring day, this tortuous course, laid out on the island at the toe of the boot of Italy, was the focus of the entire racing world.

There was simply nothing quite like racing exotic sports cars around narrow island roads lined with over half a million race crazy Italians who, together with Sicily’s spectacular backdrop and the circuit’s challenging characteristics, created the magical ambiance that made the Targa one of the most famous races in the sport’s history. And no other car won this grueling event more times than Porsche.

Racing Demons – Porsche and the Targa Florio for the first time brings together the many Porsches that raced in the Targa Florio, from the lone privately entered 356 Cabriolet that started the race in 1953, to the works Martini 911 RSR, which won the last ever Targa twenty years later, marking Porsche’s eleventh victory in Sicily.

At the wheel of the many legendary Porsches that were raced in the Targa during the span of two decades, were some of the top drivers of the 50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, such as Umberto Maglioli, Edgar Barth, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jo Bonnier, Gerhard Mitter, Rolf Stommelen, Vic Elford, Brian Redman, Jo Siffert, Herbert Müller, and Gijs van Lennep.

This unique book contains more than 500 black and white and color photographs, many never published before, including a number of images unearthed from the Porsche factory’s archive in Stuttgart, and a broad selection taken by photographers living in Sicily during the years the race was held. Each tells its own fascinating story.

Racing Demons – Porsche and the Targa Florio is the definitive story of one of the world’s greatest marques taking on one of the most challenging circuits of the twentieth century, and crossing its finish line first more times than any other manufacturer. Fasten your seat belts and hang on. You’ll enjoy the ride.