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Auto Italia Italian Car Day

Alfa Romeo Montreal over Montreal

Alfa Romeo Montreal over Montreal


Brooklands, 29 April, 2017 

The annual Auto Italia magazine Italian Car Day at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey was held under rather grey skies, that brightened up as the day progressed, on Saturday 29 April. The museum complex is currently undergoing a major refurbishment, with the relocation of the main hangar and other building works, so it wasn’t looking at its best with a number of areas fenced off due to this, thus not providing the most elegant of backdrops to many of the car displays. However, that did not detract the large number of entrants, and also visitors from attending, and in fact the number of cars and motorcycles on display was as large and eclectic as ever, and the crowds were the largest that I have ever seen at the event.

The event followed its tried and tested format of displays, predominantly by marque, around the museum buildings and on the old circuit banking, with test runs on the adjacent Mercedes-Benz World track in the morning, and runs up the old test hill during the afternoon, both of which attracted large crowds of spectators. There were not only plenty of Italian supercars from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, but also fine selections of most other Italian marques, including a number of rarities and one –offs, including a Fiat 600 with a twin cam Lotus engine, an Abarth 1000 Grand Prix, an Alitalia liveried Lancia Beta Rally re-creation and an Abarth OT 2000 replica. Without doubt, the rarest car in attendance was the 1951 Maserati-OSCA V12 F1 car, resplendent in pale blue and yellow, which gave a demonstration run on the test track. 

The ages ranged from a pre-war Fiat Ballila to one of the first RHD Ferrari GTC4 Lusso models to be delivered in the UK, chassis # 226306, with a couple of “star” cars also on display, the cream ex-John Lennon Iso Fidia, and the silver ex-Eric Clapton Ferrari 365 GTC, chassis # 12739. Apart from the individual and club car and motorcycle displays, there were also a number of Ferrari specialists with attractive displays, like Barkaways, DK Engineering and Rardley Motors, together with a wide selection of vendors with a variety of offerings. If one tired of all things Italian, then there was also the opportunity to visit all the museum buildings, the London Bus Museum, the aircraft exhibits, including the Concorde Experience for a supplement, or the 4D Theatre, also at a small supplement to the entrance fee.


Keith Bluemel