Last Saturday I was privileged to find my self at Brooklands for the Auto Italia Italian Car Day where a substantial group of enthusiasts gathered to celebrate all things Italian except perhaps the weather and the food.
Focused under the new Chairmanship of former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Europe General Sir Jeremy Mackenzie, GCB, OBE, DL, AC Cars launched the AC Zagato 378 GT at Geneva in March with plans to build the car in factory where Noble cars used to be built and for them to be sold initially in Europe. After the 1950’s AC Ace Bristol Zagato and 1960’s AC Fura the 434 hp Chevy powered 378 GT, seen above, becomes AC’s third collaboration with Zagato.
Despite having first been seen in Frankfurt a decade ago the ALFA Romeo 8C Competizione looks as fresh to day as it did then, this is only the second of the 500 Coupés built I have ever seen.
I featured a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso a couple weeks ago seeing one in red on Saturday convinced me this is the colour to go for.
There were many interesting FIAT’s on display the first of two to really grab my attention was this FIAT 128 Rallye, my first very first car was a slightly lesser FIAT 128 1100.
The second FIAT to really grab my attention was this FIAT Coupé Pickup, which the lads sitting in the back had spent all week converting just in time for the show ! While not the absolute fastest Pickup on the planet the 20V Turbo motor powering it should easily make this a 150 mph vehicle.
Smoking it’s tyres, courtesy of it’s Chevy V8, all the way to the 1 in 4 gradient of the famous Brooklands Hill was this 1960’s Bertone designed Iso Rivolta IR 300. First time I recall seeing such a car.
Cool as cucumber I’d never seen a Lamborghini Jarama S before either given that only 152 of them had ever been built perhaps this was not surprising, what was surprising is that the covers that partially conceal the headlights do not pop up but fold down to reveal the head lights when required, the proud owner has just finished fixing the electric motors that make this possible.
During the course of the morning many of the cars present were driven at a moderate pace for demonstration laps on the adjacent Mercedes Benz world test track which was lined four or more deep along the accessible half of the circuit. Above a 40 year old Lancia Beta is put through it’s paces.
A ‘you could have knocked me down with a feather’ moment came when I saw the badge on this 50cc mottoette, Maserati who the expletive puts Maserati badges on the petrol / gas tank of a moped I asked myself, Wiki informs me that the heir to part of the Orsi family fortune Ida Orsi who inherited the electrical components manufacturing division of Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati S.p.A. and promptly bought the Italmoto company of Bologna and moved it lock stock and barrel and began manufacturing motorcylces in 1956 the company which sold it’s motorcycles with the Maserati brand name and trident trade mark developed a 50 cc / 3 cui range of mopeds which included one aimed at the male market another at the female market and a third like the 1959 50/T2/SS seen above for sports enthusiasts. These 2.3 hp trident branded novelties sell for UK £ 5,000 at auction.
Above is probably only the second Montiverdi I have ever seen this 1972 High Speed 375L is powered by a 7.2 litre 440 cui 400 hp Chrysler Magnum motor much like the contemporary Jenson Interceptor and Bristol 412. The 375L was originally designed and the body manufactured by Fura but after a dispute in 1969 design and production of the bodies moved to Carozzeria Fissore in Italy with the chassis construction and final assembly taking place in Basel, Switzerland.
I’d never heard of a Nissan Zagato Autech Stelvio much less the Nissan F31 Leopard upon which it is based, power comes from a twin turbo V6 which was found in the ZX300, this hand made car, the bulges in the bonnet / hood house the rear view mirrors. By all accounts 200 of these ¥ 18,000,000 (Japanese ¥en Eighteen Million) / £ 139,0000 / US$ 225,000 machines were built in 1989.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Bella Bella’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow, when I’ll be reviewing last Sundays racing at Castle Combe. Don’t forget to come back now !