IN SEARCH OF THE HOLY RAIL

50 Years and Count­ing

Drag Racer - - Contents - Text by Tony Thacker Pho­tos by Tony Thacker, Archivo Fo­tografica, La Tri­en­nale di Mi­lano and cour­tesy of Roland Leong

IN 2004, I READ A STORY ON OLDRACE.COM BY BILL PITTS ABOUT HIS TRIP TO ITALY IN SEARCH OF THE HAWAI­IAN FED. Through the ’70s and ’80s I made nu­mer­ous trips to Italy to the Turin Auto Show, which was one of the world’s im­por­tant auto shows be­cause of the city’s coach-build­ing her­itage: Ber­tone, Pin­in­fa­rina, Za­gato, etc. For some time the show was held in the old Lin­gotto Fiat fac­tory, the one with the test track on the roof im­mor­tal­ized in the first “The Ital­ian Job” movie.

I’d seen the Hawai­ian in what was then the Carlo Bis­caretti di Ruf­fia mu­seum. At that time, the late-’70s, the drag­ster was not that old—20 years—so I didn’t give much thought as to why it sat there, for­lorn and slightly out of place. Only when Pitts’ story ap­peared did I ques­tion its lo­ca­tion, as had Pitts.

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