Ride with Derek Bell in a Porsche 718 RS60 on the Targa Florio

Three legends, one video

Remember that awesome Petrolicious feature that involved Derek Bell, a Porsche 718 RS60, and the Targa Florio route? Well, spurred on by the popularity of the original video, the team released five extra minutes of sublime footage of Bell charging through the Sicilian countryside.

As before, there are three legends in this video. First, let’s look at the setting. The Targa Florio is a picturesque road circuit winding through the hills of Sicily, used for high-level road racing between 1906 and 1977. The course snakes through tight towns, so as cars became exponentially faster toward the end of the 1970s, a few catastrophic crashes caused a permanent discontinuation of the event in 1977. Still, the Targa Florio spawned more than a few champions, including racing behemoths like Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Wolfgang von Trips, and Vic Elford.

Such a fabled road needs an appropriately iconic car, and Porsche delivered. The 718 RS60 embodied the very definition of a “giant-killer,” with a relatively small powerplant and diminutive size. The 718’s secret was in the featherlight construction, weighing in at just 1,260 pounds. The engine only displaced 1.6-liters, but it was a variant of the four-cam flat-four from the dominant 550 Spyder of the 1950s. With such a tested and validated powertrain, this 718 roared to a 1960 victory at the Targa Florio.

Finally, there’s the driver. Derek Bell remains a powerhouse in the history of motorsports, but especially in Porsche’s history. He was instrumental in establishing the German automaker’s Le Mans dominance in the 1970s and 1980s, when he claimed victory five separate times in legends like the Porsche 935, 956, and 962. Aside from his indomitable Le Mans record, he won the 24-Hours of Daytona three times, the Nurburgring 1000-km, and the World Sportscar Championship twice.

Take a look at the video below to watch these three meet in pure, uncut on-board footage.

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