Bit of a gear head post today, as in motor powered gear, verses pedal powered gear. Years ago, I owned many cars in a short period of time. Motorcycles are tossed in there as well, but we'll save that for other blog fodder. On the car front, I really dug Fiats at the time. Yes, Fiat - the famous, or infamous, car manufacturer from Italy.
Back in the early '80s, you could pick up '70s model Fiats for little dough. They were small, handled well, and fun to drive. Cheap to fix also - and that aspect was used often. The joke was Fiat stood for Fix It Again Tony. For a 19 year old sports car nut, just what the doctor ordered. Cheap enough to own and easy to fix.
During my "Fiat Years" I owned a 128 Sedan, 128 Sport, X 1/9, 131 Sedan and a 124 Wagon - all various '70s vintage. My old pal Kevin also owned a 128 Sport, 124 Spider, 850 Spider and 124 Wagon (I bought the ratty wagon from him). My brother also owned a 128 Sport as well. An all around neighborhood Fiat Fest.
Along with Fiat, I've always been a fan of many Italian wheels. Italy has made some cool stuff over the years - Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Ducati, Abarth - and don't forget Bianchi and Campagnolo. The Italians know how to put out some soulful wheels - agree?
With all that, we noticed an Italian car show advertised for today, so we checked it out. Sunny spring day, something different for a family outing, not a bad day out.
A few pictures from the afternoon......
Local Fiat club hosted the show at the Triple XXX Drive In, located in nearby Issaquah. I've driven by this place many times, but today was our first visit ever. The Triple XXX hosts many car shows throughout the year. By the size of the crowd today - smart move.
Retro '50s look inside with tons of moto head memorabilia hanging everywhere. Giant mugs of root beer and usual hamburger type menu.
Late '60s Fiat 500. Yeah, people think modern Mini-Coopers or even the Smart car is small? This makes those cars look huge.
I don't know what the displacement of this motor is, but it's pretty damn small. The race modified Abarth versions of this car are really cool. None to be found today.
Some modern Ferraris. I think these are 430 models. Don't quote me, I'm not up on the latest from Ferrari. And with the chances of me ever affording one, a moot point.
Fiat X 1/9 - mid-engined, fun car. I owned a '77 X 1/9 for a short time. Mine turned out to be a nightmare project car with various calamities, including a slipped cam belt and four bent exhaust valves. Getting at anything with the engine wedged behind the seats was tough. They should have used velcro engine mounts for easy removal - for things like slipping cam belts. Even so, I'd still like to have a clean X 1/9 even today. Please slap me whenever I mutter those words.
'70s era Ferrari 308. I've always liked these and now they've depreciated to almost affordable levels. Not exactly the daily driver though.
Late '60s Dino Ferrari. Awesome looking little car. I don't have my history down, but this car was supposed to badged as a Fiat - or it might have been at the time. Badged as a Fiat or Ferrari, I'll take it.
1986 Alfa Romeo Milano sedan - complete with Bianchi wedged in back seat. Actually ridden or just a prop? You be the judge. I really wanted one of these cars in '86 - expensive at the time.
Modern Alfa Romeo, not sold in the U.S., but somehow shows up here. I don't remember the model name, but have seen this model in car magazines. Helpful, ain't I?
My favorite car of the show and my favorite Alfa model - '70s era GTV - with Panasport wheels. Nice, nice, nice. I'd take one of these in a second. Please send money.
Fiat Brava sedan. I owned a similar '77 131 Sedan, before they used the Brava name. Really nice car for the era.
Super clean and very green Fiat 850 Spider. 850 stands for the displacement - as in 850cc of power. Later models were something like 908cc. My old pal Kevin owned one of these in the early '80s. I remember driving it a few times myself. Fun little car, emphasis on little.
'70s Fiat 124 Sport. Fiat sold tons of the 124 Spider convertibles, but not many hardtop Sport models. I'd take the Sport over the Spider model, but that's just me.
Quite a few Fiat 124 Spiders on display. A lot of Spiders survive to this day and the most popular Fiat in the U.S. for sure.
I ran into my old Mackie pal, John, displaying his '74 Alfa Romeo Spider. Nice guy and nice car.
Orange Countach allegedly owned by Sir Mix-A-Lot, who lives outside of Seattle.
Not part of the show, but seen outside - pretty cool Bug. I dig the old VWs as well.
All in all, a fun afternoon out. Even though my gear head interest has plummeted over the years, still cool to look at these old cars. Gets you thinking about picking one up, but in reality, I have no interest or time to be wrenching on old cars - I'd rather ride my bike.
And I did just that later in the day. A quick solo singletrack cruise before dinner. No noise, no gas, no rust, no slipping cam belts. Much nicer.