Monday, November 27, 2006

Bandini Article in Autoweek

Nick Kurczewski has written about the history of Bandini production and described Marc Richelsoph's featured 1957 Bandini Sport International “Saponetta”. The car now sports a 750-cc dohc four-cylinder Crosley engine with Bandini aluminum heads and red cam covers.

Excerpts include ...

“Interest in America surged when Bandini Siluros—with their screaming 750-cc engines and wildly flared front fenders—won SCCA class championships in 1955 and 1957.”

“The car’s doors barely reach knee-level, the tops of the rear fenders are only 27 inches from the ground. Once in, nothing is far from reach—including the street below! Nonetheless, the vintage wood-rimmed steering wheel, exposed chassis tubes and painted-metal dash look and feel sublime. Under the hood is a 750-cc (45.8-cubic inch) dohc four-cylinder Crosley engine. Red cam covers, Bandini aluminum heads and lots of polished alloy give the American engine a mini-Ferrari look. Output is only 68 hp, but with a rev limit of 8500 rpm and the Saponetta’s scant 900-pound curb weight, performance is pretty spicy.”

“A four-speed transmission (from a Fiat Topolino) sends horsepower to the rear wheels. Mounted on a sparkling set of 15-inch Borrani wire wheels, the tires themselves are only 2.75 inches wide. The sum of all these parts equals a rare race car that its owner loves to use. 'You point it and it just goes,' Richelsoph says. 'It’s simply an amazing little car to drive.'”

[ 1957 Bandini Sport International, Autoweek article ]