Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Viva Italia Car Show - Woodinville, WA

Hit a local Italian car show a few weekends back in nearby Woodinville.  Sunny day, 15 minute drive from the house, pal of mine showing his '74 Alfa Romeo Spider, good excuse to crank up the Nikon.  I'm also a bit of the Italian car fan and dig the vintage stuff.  

Enough reasons/excuses to go, let's look at some resulting photo proof...

Okay, not Italian - but how often do you see a McLaren on the road - in blinding bright orange?  Not part of the show, but parked nearby and certainly interesting to gawk at.  Not sure of the exact era and model - a bit out of my price range - so I'm not worried about the details.  Fantastic looking anyway.

Okay, more in my price range - '70s era Fiat 124 Spider.  Fiat's best selling car for the era, by far.  Quite a few of these still exist and the easiest vintage Fiat to find and own today, if you're so inclined.  During the early '80s, I owned a succession of used Fiats:  '75 128 sedan, '75 128 Sport, '74 124 wagon, '77 X 1/9, and finally a '77 131.  On top of that, friends of mine owned various 128s, 124 and 850 Spiders.  I've been in a quite a few old school Fiats.

At the time, they were cheap and fun to drive.  Cheap to fix also, which came in handy since problems ranging from electrical issues to slipping cam belts - complete with bent exhaust valves - were part of the "fun" along with rust problems.  Joke back then was Fiat stood for Fix It Again Tony, and there was some truth to that.  I spent some time wrenching on 'em as well.

In Fiat's defense, let's face it, most cars of the '70s were built like crap.  The Fiat made up for it while driving - handled well, rev happy motors, with a light mechanical feel.  I'd like to own a vintage Fiat today for those very reasons.

New Fiat Abarth looking retro, yet modern.  The Abarth model being the hopped up edition of the standard 500.  Being the old school Fiat fan, glad to see 'em reintroduced to the U.S. market.  I've stopped at the local dealership a few times to poke around, though yet to actually drive one.  I'd go for the Abarth model, but for $25,000 or so, not going to happen anytime soon.

Thanks to globalization, the Abarth motors built by Chrysler in Michigan, then shipped to Mexico where the cars are manufactured - though all under Italian design.  Momma mia, I'm confused...

A few modern Ferraris on display, including this 360 in blue - very nice.  I'd dig the chance to drive something like this, just for the experience of it all.

'70s era Ferrari BB 512.  Fantastic looking, I really like this era of Ferrari.  Having something like this in the garage to play with would be huge fun and of course, huge bucks.

Alfa GTV, probably the best looking body style ever designed for a road car.

My favorite car of the show, race prepped '80s Alfa Milano, plated for street use.  I talked to the owner for a bit, car was originally built for race duty - though never raced and street driven instead.  Insane and cool, I'd take something this in a second.

Impeccably restored Alfa Romeo - better then new condition.

My pal John's '74 Alfa Spider.  Clean example of a driver - not daily - but certainly used for nice days, rallies, and car events.  Early smaller bumpers and headlight covers look great on this model.

Serious race prepped '80s Milano, trailered in for the show.  Fantastic looking race sedan.

The second Ferrari 512 spotted at the event.

The Dino model, Ferrari's attempt at affordable cars for the era.  Affordable now debatable.

Fiat X 1/9 escapes from the show.  After Fiat pulled out the U.S. market in the '80s, the X 1/9 and 124 Spider were sold under the Bertone name for a few more years, before completely disappearing from out shores.

Alfa Zagato Junior, something you don't see every day.

Very red later model Alfa GTV, stares down the McLaren and Miata.

The small informal nature of this show made for a relaxed afternoon.  Plenty of time to snap pics and chat with folks about their cars and other vintage items of interest.  Not a bad way to spend a summer day in my book.  Not bad at all...

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