What was the purpose of the "Prova" Plate on the back of the vintage racers?

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by RXMR7, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. RXMR7

    RXMR7 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 4, 2003
    New Jersey
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    Can anyone explain why? I have always wondered about this.
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  3. Anteriore

    Anteriore Formula Junior

    Jan 4, 2004
    Full Name:
    I don't know that much about the actual reasons, but "prova" means something like "try out" or "test drive". Cars were given those plates (or painted on the body) so the Italian police would not pay attention to what speed they were travelling on public roads. When the cars were entered in races, the "prova" plates were often still on them...
  4. DeSoto

    DeSoto F1 Veteran

    Nov 26, 2003
    That´s right. The PROVA plates were used by any prototype car, and therefore, by racers. In present days, prototypes of road cars still use a plate with a small red P instead of the word PROVA.
  5. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Honorary Owner

    Oct 23, 2002
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    It a mfg. plate,
    Prova (test)
    MO (Modena)
    53 (Plate #)
  6. Old Guy

    Old Guy Formula Junior

    Dec 1, 2003
    No longer here
    Jim's right. The "P" seen on modern prototype racers is a class designation from the sanctioning body.
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  8. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
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    On the prototypes they painted it.

    To test a street car, it was a tag they put on temporarily, with tie wire!

    Napolis has a detail on his thread as to correct application, if painted.

    You should read more, in the evenings!
  9. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    Milton, Wash.
    Full Name:
    Jeff B.
    They were still painting the PROVA markings onto the Formula One cars up until at least 1967, so one must assume that they were testing them on the road. Only in Italy, right? Picture is Amon at Monaco, 1967. Can't quite read the PROVA number, but it seems like the numbers were reused on different cars at different times.
  10. RXMR7

    RXMR7 Karting
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    Nov 4, 2003
    New Jersey
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    OK i see. Thanks for the info everyone. I find the history and learning about the older/vintage cars more interesting then the newer cars.
  11. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    Real meaning is a little different...

    In Italy insurance is linked to the car (not to the driver) and for a car to be driven on public road insurance is mandatory. If you are a dealer who has a number of cars to sell, it is impossible to ensure them all while in process of being sold, while sometimes cars must be driven for let customers test drive them or deliver to the Customer.
    So, as an exception to the general rule, if you are a recognized dealer (or a Manufacturer...) you are given a "Targa Prova" (test plate) that you can ensure as plate and move among different vehicles.
    Targa prova letters represent the location where the dealer is located (MO stays for Modena on Ferrari) and the numbers are sequential indicating the specific license.
    In this case the insurance is linked to the plate itself and is limited to the persons who are listed on the document that goes along with the plate. As Ferrari had to have the prototype cars legally circulating on open road, insurance was required so Prova plates were applied to the cars. Clearly for practicality reasons they were painted.

    That is the story.


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  13. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
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    Stupid answer to very smart question

    it is Italian for "I Gotta go Prova this thing worka"
  14. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
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    I do not belive the answer is stupid... just correct. Being italian and having had a "TARGA PROVA" myself, I do guess I know it a little bit better than you...
    Next time think twice before posting stupid replies...


  15. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
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    Oops confusion amoungst the ranks ... :D

  16. rodsky

    rodsky Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2003
    Los Angeles
    It was a joke - not a stupid reply. Don't take life that seriously, you'll live longer.. Assuming you want to

    I actually thought it was pretty funny and I am half Italian :)
  17. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    WRITEGUY, sorry for my previous reaction. I misunderstood your reply. My poor english knowledge hits every now and then...

    Sorry again.


  18. joopjoldersma

    joopjoldersma Formula Junior

    Dec 6, 2003
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    Joop Joldersma
    #15 joopjoldersma, Feb 21, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017

    I think it says PROVA-MO 53.

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  19. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2001
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    Joe Mansion
    Not only racecars have the Prova letters.. I think the road cars have them as well when they are taken for the first shake down.
  20. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Sometimes, it's nothing short of amazing what i learn from this site... Thanks, everyone... :)

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