Steane Klose | Apr 18, 2007

This will test the age and memory of Australian performance car fans. Yesterday, an Australian built Giocattolo was the fastest car in the Classic division at the Tempco Prologue in George Town. The Giocattolo powered past the Porsches to finish the 4.82km course in 3min 21.21seconds.The silence is deafening as the younger readers think to themselves...A Gio...what?

Thanks to donor Alfa body the Giocattolo has a stunning 'Alfa on steroids look'...which is basically what it is

Giocattolo is Italian for 'toy' and if you can remember back to the late 80’s you will recall that this car was quite a sensation. Based on a new (at the time) Alfa Romeo Sprint body it was transformed by Paul Halstead and FI engineer Barry Lock into a mid engined maniac.

Originally the project was to create a mid-engined Alfa using an Alfa V6 engine. When the Alfa engines proved difficult to obtain Halstead and Lock thought the next best thing would be a Holden 5.0-litre V8…true Petrolheads.

The 5.0-litre V8 Holden motor was the same engine that was available in the now famous Walkinshaw VL Group-A ‘Batmobile’ and included fuel injection, 220Kw and 500Nm. Drive was via a ZF transaxle. The Giocattolo could sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.4 seconds and complete the standing 400m in 13.5 seconds. Top speed was an electronically limited 250km/h.

giacattolo-transaxle.jpg

5-speed ZF transaxle mated to Walkinshaw Grp A 5.0-litre

To give you some idea of the twisted minds behind the Giocattolo, the cars tool kit included a bottle of Rum and some crystal glasses, for use in the event of a break-down only...

You needed $80k to get behind the wheel back in 1988 and sales were unfortunately not as solid as expected. Only 15 cars were made and the remaining cars today command well in excess of their original sticker price.

An absolute Australian classic supercar and its great to see one of them still be used in anger.

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