Tour Auto Optic 2000: Italian Renaissance!
At every event, a new consecration! After vanished French makes in 2017, vanished Italian makes such as Autobianchi, De Tomaso, Osca, Siata, Cisitalia, Lombardi and Moretti were highlighted in the 2018 staging of the Tour Auto Optic 2000. All these makes, which have contributed to the legend of the original Tour de France Automobile, were the focus of attention at the 27th rally that finished in Nice last weekend.
Peter Auto attaches particular importance to the commemoration of these vanished makes that have made the Tour Auto such a success. It is both an opportunity for the spectators to see exceptional cars with a glorious past and for the crews to live unique moments in their historic machines on the most beautiful roads in France.
DIVERSITY IS THE KEYNOTE
These small manufacturers that no longer exist contributed to the diversity of the fields in the Tour Auto as Patrick Peter, the event’s organiser, points out: “Achieving diversity isn’t easy. We’re particularly attached to that as it’s all part of the Tour’s history. There were very popular touring cars there this year as well as top-quality GTs. So we do our best to fill the ranges between these two extremes.”
Among the vanished Italian makes entered for the 2018 event were some very rare models like the 1953 Siata 208 S driven by Robert Davis-Micah Davis powered by a V8 engine of Fiat origin developing 140 bhp. The 1958 Osca 750 Sport in the hands of Franco-French duo François Cointreau-Patrice Cousseau was another of the exceptional cars in this year’s Tour Auto Optic 2000.
According to Cousseau, co-driver in no. 72, the Osca make founded by the Maserati brothers after they had been obliged to sell the eponymous make due to financial difficulties produced “very well-made cars identical to the Maseratis as it’s from their technical design. They’re very light, well built with small engines, but maybe a bit fragile. In fact, when you look at the competition history of Osca these little cars won quite a few events and did a lot of racing in the USA.”
The De Tomaso make, founded by Argentinean Alejandro de Tomaso in 1959, was also well represented in the Tour Auto Optic 2000 with third place in the G/H/I period H1 and H2 classification going to Didier Sirgue-Jean-Michel Carrière in their fabulous Group 4 Pantera.