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June 5 2006

Concorso Italiano logoConcorso Italiano, the celebration of Italian style that opens the traditional Monterey/Pebble Beach Weekend, will this year honor iconic Italian designer Giorgio Giugiaro and pay homage to the Targa Florio, one of the world’s most venerated motoring events. Concorso Italiano will also celebrate 100 years of automobiles from Lancia and the 35th anniversary of the Pantera.

Our Event Magazine will feature designs created by noted Italian industrial designer Giorgio Giugiaro over the course of his half-century career. Named "Designer of the Century" in 1999, the talented Giugiaro is responsible for some of the most stellar automotive creations ever penned.

In 1967 Giugiaro created his own design firm – ItalDesign – and implemented a succession of notable vehicles that include the VW Golf and Passat, the Fiat Panda, the Lotus Esprit and BMW M1 sports cars, the DeLorean DMC-12, the Lancia Delta, the Bugatti EB112 supercar and the Subaru SVX. Giugiaro also designed the Nikon F3 camera and even created special pasta, with a revolutionary shape designed to hold more sauce effectively.

"Giugiaro’s unparalleled success across a wide range of industrial design is still evident today," says Wadsworth. "Recently, with his son Fabrizio, he created the new Maserati Spyder in a joint father-son effort. We are really excited to give Concorso visitors a first-hand look at some of his amazing creations."

Another icon to be honored at Concorso Italiano in 2006 is the Targa Florio – the open-road endurance race run around the island of Sicily. Founded in 1906 by wealthy pioneering racer Vincenzo Florio, it was one of the world’s oldest sports car races – pre-dating both the LeMans 24 Hours and Italy’s famed Mille Miglia. Discontinued as a through-the-streets sports car race in 1977 for safety reasons, it continues even today as a rally event.

Over the years the event showcased the talents of the elite racers of the world, including Juan Manual Fangio, Stirling Moss, Tazio Nuvolari, Alfieri Maserati and local Sicilian hero Nino Vaccarella. After wining the race several times, including the final international competition through the small mountain villages on narrow roads, in 1973 German manufacturer Porsche named the convertible version of its 911 model, which sported a large roll bar, after the Targa.

"Winning this race was a badge of honor," says Wadsworth. "The roads were treacherous, with hundreds of hairpin turns and spectators lining the route at the road’s edge. The terrain also included driving through several climate zones, which could produce dense fog and unforeseen slippery conditions. For the 2006 Concorso, we’re attempting to secure a number of vehicles that actually participated in and survived this historic race over the years."

Concorso Italiano 2006 will feature a retrospective of the 100th anniversary of Lancia, the car company founded in 1906 by technical genius and racing driver Vincenzo Lancia, with displays of signature models. Concorso Italiano will attract one of the greater displays of Lancia’s in the United States. It was the first company to produce a V6 engine and a V4 engine. In the United States, Lancias were sold from 1977 to 1984.

The event will also showcase a special exhibit of DeTomaso Panteras, to honor the 35th year of the launch of the Italian-built supercar. Even though the last Pantera was built about 10 years ago, today it is still the symbol of De Tomaso. 7,260 vehicles were built between 1970 and 1991. The mid-mounted engine together with a very improved weight distribution and a pure and aggressive design that had never been seen before made it a dream car.

Now in its 21st year, Concorso Italiano has evolved into a must-attend convergence of sophistication, taste, and affluence, all amid the grand setting of the Bayonet Black Horse Country Club in Monterey. Founded in 1986, Concorso Italiano is a celebration of Italian style centered on hundreds of Italian exotic automobiles, with annual showcases of one or more legendary Italian marques and designers. The 2006 Concorso Italiano is scheduled for Friday, August 18 at the Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course at Monterey Bay, Seaside, Calif.

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