18 Aug 2016
Weird and quirky -the Giocattolo
Now this one really is weird and quirky and was also seen at last weekend's Shannon's Classic at SMSP. It is a Giocattolo -a really odd car built by in Brisbane, Qld ,Australia by Paul Hansen between 1986 and 1989. Building your own car is always a fraught exercise but his guy really did things the hard way. Firstly he imported Alfasud Sprints from Italy. He removed the engine and fwd drivetrain and put a 2.5 litre V6 Alfa engine in the rear driving the rear wheels. Now at the time there were very high duties on imported cars and components so it was never going to be attractive pricewise. And there was not a market for new Alfasud Sprint engines and drivetrains so that was a sunk cost.
After building 4 cars he found that obtaining the V6 Alfa engines was too difficult and probably exorbitantly costly so he installed a 4.5 litre V8 Holden (Australian GM) in the rear. With the very light body and all that power and torque the car went like the proverbial off a shovel. He managed to build 15 cars in total before the company inevitably went under. Thirteen are known to survive and this is one of them. the fate of one car is not known and one was destroyed in an horrific accident at a drag race meeting on the main straight of what is now Sydney MotorSport Park - then called Eastern Creek Raceway. Sadly the driver was killed in the accident caused by the throttle jamming open and the car running at a very high speed into the tyre wall at the end of the runoff area.
Giocattolo is Italian for toy. Some toy.