The 48th running of the annual Targa Florio road race was a notable fixture in this, one of the greatest of all road races, illustrious history. The 1964 edition saw a powerful onslaught from the 4 car strong AC Cobra works team. Led by Dan Gurney in the number 146 car, with a red stripe, the quartet of Cobras had eyes on continuing the Shelby teams stranglehold on the GT category of the international championship for GT & Prototype cars. But the Targa Florio was quite a different proposition, even to the bumpy surface of the previous event at Sebring.
A rough, arduous and brutal road race of 720 Kilometers the Targa was one of the toughest events of the era. And an event for which the brutal V8 powered Cobra was hardly suited. The four Cobras entered had differing fortunes. Of the cars in this set the 148 car of Masten Gregory and Innes Ireland retired after an accident on the winding Sicilian roads. But the other Cobra of the legendary Dan Gurney, sharing with Jerry Grant had better fortunes, the pair wrestled the brutish Cobra to an impressive 8th place. Behind an assortment of Porsche's, Alfa Romeos and a single Ferrari.
For this race the mighty Cobra was defeated in the GT category by the beautiful Ferrari 250GTO, the Cobra was victorious in the over 3.0 GT category. For the other Cobras, the 142 car of 1962 Formula One World Champion Phil Hill, sharing with Bob Bondurant retired with suspension issues, while the 150 car driven by the Italian pairing of Vito Coco and Vincenzo Arena also retired, due to a broken oil pipe in their case. While the Cobra was a tough beast to drive around the narrow streets the loud grumble of its V8 and the enthusiastic style of Gurney made it a winner in the eyes of the adoring public. The legend of the Cobra was continuing to build.