Vic Elford is a legendary figure of motorsport, celebrated for his outright speed as well as his mastery of the world’s longest and most challenging racecourses such as the Nürburgring and the Targa Florio. His name is inextricably linked with the Porsche marque, as he won many significant races for Porsche throughout the 1960s. He was the first man to campaign the 911 in rally events, eventually winning the Monte Carlo rally for Porsche. He was also at the wheel of a Porsche when he crossed the finish line first at the Daytona 24 hours, winning Porsche’s first ever 24-hour race. In the 908, he won the Nurburgring 1000km race a total of 3 times. Elford won the Targa Florio and Sebring for Porsche as well. In the fearsome 917 Langhek, Elford dominated the 1970 Le Mans for 18 hours until his car broke. Elford’s extraordinary versatility led to a rich and diverse career, encompassing Rally, Endurance Racing, Road Racing, Formula 1, Trans Am, Can-Am, NASCAR, and even the Paris Dakar Rally.
Autodromo has collaborated with Vic Elford a second time to create this limited-edition timepiece to commemorate Vic’s epic, yet un-sung drive to finish 2nd at the 1969 Targa Florio race in Sicily. After a stunning win against all odds the previous year, Elford nearly repeated the feat in 1969. After setting the fastest time in practice (35m 54.7s) Elford looked to be the favorite for back-to-back victory. However, soon after the start of the race, a failed alternator belt forced Elford to limp back to the pits losing 6 minutes to his teammate Gerhard Mitter in an identical Porsche 908/02.
Elford chased Mitter, shaving an entire minute off his lead each lap, setting new lap records each successive lap, ultimately taking 46.5 seconds off his own qualifying record. After a small incident with Alfa Romeo’s Nanni Galli, Elford knew his charge would fall short of victory, but continued driving as fast as possible. In the end, he finished 2 mins and 49 seconds behind his teammate, having yet again set the fastest laps ever driven on the Sicilian mountain circuit. We always remember those epic drives that end in victory. With this watch, we celebrate the story of Elford’s determination, guts, and sheer driving brilliance, even when he knew it was unlikely he could win.
With a dial inspired by the colorful paintwork on Elford’s Porsche 908/02, this special edition is limited to 350 numbered pieces. The case back features a map of the Targa Florio circuit, which wound through the villages and mountain passes of Sicily, as well as Elford’s practice lap record and race lap record. The Vic Elford Prototipo comes in special edition packaging along with an illustrated booklet, and signature card hand-signed by Elford himself before his passing in 2022. Original artwork commissioned by Autodromo from renowned automotive illustrator Dwight Knowlton graces the cover of the booklet and signature card.