Tony Bianchi, 69, bought the Farrallac Mk 2, a 1958 British-built sports racing car, with a 6.4-litre Cadillac engine, in 1978. Named after its creator, Don Farrall, it has made its mark in competitions all over the UK and Europe.
Tony said: “I saw it when I was young and thought it was a fabulous car. I ended up buying it a few years later.”
By this time, the car had spent 10 years in the wilderness, owned by a number of people who had failed to care for and maintain it.
Tony restored the car to its former glory and has raced it, along with his wife, Pia, 47, in historic races nationally and internationally ever since. Both Tony and Pia have won a string of trophies in the multi-purpose car, which is as well suited to endurance races as it is to hill climbs and sprints.
Tony, who will be taking the wheel at this year’s Hill Climb, said: “It’s a huge pleasure to drive. It’s a powerful car and takes a lot of hard work and spares to keep it in one piece. But once you’re on top of it, it’s very quick and a great drive.”
Tony himself holds a number of records, in a 1976 March Formula 1 car, including the British flying mile record, the standing kilometre and flying kilometre records, with the car reaching speeds of 217mph – however, the records were never claimed as it would have entailed stripping down the car.
Tony believes the Farrallac may have competed in the original Chateau Impney sprints between 1958 and 1967. And Tony and Pia have more in common with Don Farrall than just owning the same car – like Pia, Don’s wife also competed in the Farrallac.
When they’re not driving, Tony and Pia are usually flying. Tony has been a pilot for 50 years and his company, Bianchi Aviation Film Services, restores antique aircraft, as well as testing and flying planes for the film and TV industry.
We hope to see the Farallac fly at the Hill Climb and we wish Tony and Pia the very best of luck.