Vincenzo Florio, member of a prominent Sicilian family. He brought the first motorised vehicle to Sicily and organized the first Sicilian motor race, consisting of his motorcycle, an automobile and a horse... the horse won. After obtaining a race car, he wanted to enter into international auto racing but was prevented by his older brother. When he reached an age that he could race without permission of his brother, he entered every race he could.
In 1903 he raced in and won the "Targa Rignano" which ran from Padua to Bovolenta. He won in a Panard at a speed of 100 km/h. The next year was racing at Brescia when race director, Mr. Mercanti, persuaded Vincenzo to organize an international race called the Targa Florio running through the city of Brescia.
In 1905 Vincenzo Florio went to France to show his Targa Florio project to the organisors of the Gordon Bennet Cup and the participants.
Along with Gordon Bennet were a number of other important people such as Kniff, the Baronet De Zylen, the Count of Recupe , the Marquis De Dion , the Michelin brothers and drivers: Baronet Pierre De Caters, Nazzaro, Thery, Cagno, Lancia, Duray, Jenatzy and others. Also Sir Charles Rolls was also present.
Mr. Charles Faroux, a friend of Vincenzo Florio introduced him to Mr. Desgrange who was an organiser of sporting events.
Seeing Vincenzo's enthusiasm for the sport, Henri Desgrange, editor of l'Auto, persuaded Vincenzo that he should go ahead with an international race in Sicily and in 1906 the Targa Florio was born.