Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fiesta Italiana Car Show. That's amore!

The smell of fried ravioli was in the air during the Fiesta Italiana at the Zona Rosa shopping area. And although most people were there for the live music, the street vendors, and the cannoli eating contest, there was, in fact, an Italian car show tucked quietly in one of the side streets.

I actually didn’t even know about this one until I saw a poster hanging in an Italian restaurant the night before. That’s why it wasn’t in my weekly calendar. And I didn’t really know what to expect.

I sort of had visions of Ferraris and Lamborghinis lining the streets. As it turned out, neither one of those were there. The cloudy, spitting skies might have had something to do with that, though.

The closest thing to either of those was a new Maserati Gran Turismo roadster that Aristocrat Motors brought in. The rest of the small display mostly consisted of Fiat 500s and Alfa Romeos. Rumor has it that there was a chase van hiding in the background with a full-time mechanic to ensure that everyone was able to actually start their cars and make it home.

I kid, I kid. Some of them were pretty interesting in a curious sort of way. Back when I was a youngster and a few people actually tried to drive those Alfa Romeo Spyders around as everyday vehicles, I remember a few of them coming into the car wash that I worked at, and thought the way the gear shift emerged from the vertical plane of the dash board was fascinating. I hadn’t seen one for a long while, so that brought back some memories.

An old Fiat 500 Giardiniere was an adorable little rear-engine station wagon, and the one here always seemed to have a crowd around it. I wouldn’t want to drive it in a car race, but if it was a cuteness competition, the little Baby Blue Fiat would have a better than average chance.

Several of the new Fiat 500s were also on hand, and they really had a different look in this context. Normally when you see one, you think it’s the smallest thing on the road. But if you park one near an original Fiat 500, the new one looks downright bulbous. One of them had Gucci trim. Oh la la.

By the way, there were a few interlopers spotted around the festival. Among the cars of interest that did not originate from a country shaped like a boot, there were two Porsches, a new Camaro SS convertible, a new Corvette Grand Sport coupe, a ’57 Ford Fairlane four-door sedan, and a ’66 Chevy Impala four-door sedan. Of course, there’s nothing that says you need to own an Italian car to enjoy a $5.00 lasagna deal out of a Roach Coach.

As you may have guessed, I snapped a few pictures from the car show portion of the Fiesta Italiana. You can see them in the slideshow below, or click this link for a little nicer version of the slideshow.


  1. Bella...que bella.
    Arent those Alfa GTVs one of the loveliest shapes out there? The greenhouse and slim c pillars are just perfect - very 'Bubbletop Impala-ish'. Kansas city has a very active and decent sized Alfa club - surprised there werent more cars there. Maybe they all went to the Fiat/Lancia Underground thing down at Grand Lake? which is where the Fiats should have been... Anyway, thanx for the pix as always.

  2. Just ran across this posting. Yes, unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate (including the weatherman forecasting hail as late as that morning), which kept attendance down. Otherwise we would have had the Ferrari club's participation as well as a Lamborghini Countach. We'll try again next year.

    Gino Serra