Rally Legends on Lake Garda

Photography by Federico Bajetti for Petrolicious

It's a warm Friday afternoon in early July when the chaotic Salò shoreline is invaded by a flock of bellowing cars in race trim. Steel & Motors is an annual event that's been held since 2009 on the shores of Lake Garda, in Northern Italy. It brings famous rally cars from the late 1960s and onwards together. And into Salò and the steep Vallesabbia streets they charge, led by champions from generations past.

Many are present including Porsche 911SCs, Opel Asconas, even vaunted Lancias such as the Stratos, 037, and the insane Lancia Delta S4 Group B have gathered. But at this early stage, it’s just a pleasant stroll to loosen up the pistons and gears before the weekend’s Special Stage, which will take the classics to the city circuit of Odolo, one of Brescia’s most important industrial centers, hence the name, Steel & Motors. It’s an event designed to show off some of the local enthusiasts’ jewels kept locked away for much of the year.

So it is a great opportunity to see these glorious old racers, many from the golden years of rallying, those of uncontrollable crowds, breathtaking leaps, and heroic drivers who, without fear, pushed through special stages around the world, in action.

Leading the racers, there is the ‘Dragon,’ 1977 World Champion Sandro Munari in a Lancia Stratos. Following in an Abarth 131 is Mr. Markku Alen, the ’78 World Champ, and behind him is the great Mr. Miki Biaison, double World Champ, winning in ’88 and ’89 at the wheel of a Lancia Delta. It was certainly an exciting event and we’re equally excited to honor these magnificent machines and the drivers who, between smoking the tires and revving the engines, made them dance as back in the day.