A Sicilian lawyer, Vaccarella was almost deified by the local fans after some superb drives in the Targa Florio, a race which he won three times and it could have been more. His first victory came in 1965 in a works Ferrari 275 P2 shared with Bandini, the next in 1971, this time driving an Alfa Romeo T33/3 with Toine Hezemans. He came out of retirement in 1975 to record his third triumph, though this time the Alfa T33 T12 he shared with Merzario was pitted against poor opposition. A top sports car driver from 1962 to 1975, Nino also won Le Mans in 1964 for Ferrari with Guichet, the Nürburgring 1000 Km (again in 1964) with Scarfiotti, and the 1970 Sebring 12 Hours with Andretti and Giunti. He also scored many other placings, and was a very reliable practitioner, rarely damaging the car and enjoying a remarkable ratio of finishes in this punishing category. His Formula 1 career started brightly with Scuderia Serenissima in 1961, when he took a third in the Coppa Italia at Vallelunga. In 1962 he finished sixth in the Pau GP and ninth in the 1962 Italian Grand Prix at the wheel of a Lotus-Climax 24 entered by Scuderia SSS Republica di Venezia. But that was as far as it went and his one-off Ferrari drive at Monza in 1965 was literally just that.