Examples of this trend were the absence of Ford, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mini and Volvo from the prestigious
Geneva Motor Show, and Ferrari giving the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show a miss, instead staging their own
“Universo Ferrari” exhibition in Maranello. In Padova, Porsche had their impressive double sided mirrored
stand once again, featuring a mix of classic and modern road models, including a 912 and a 911 S, together
with a Gulf liveried example of the iconic 917 sports racing car. Pagani had an impressive four car display,
Cupra showed their Tavascan electric SUV concept car which had made its debut at the Frankfurt show,
whilst both Bentley and McLaren were represented by dealers, and Citroen Heritage had an attractive display
including a Traction Avant with model in period costume. Amongst the offerings on Mercedes-Benz Italia’s
stand were the unique Pinin Farina designed 1955 300 S Cabriolet A and a 1958 220 S Cabriolet, along with
the latest CLA 35 AMG, so like Porsche providing a pastiche of old and new.
Each year the ACI (Automobile Club Italia) has a feature display in hall 3, which this year was sponsored by
the Sara insurance company, and comprised of an array of eight (what were loosely described as) Ferrari
Barchettas. These ranged from an example of the original model for which the name was adopted, the 166
MM Touring Barchetta, through what were more commonly known as spiders during the fifties, to a 550
Barchetta and an examples of the new limited edition Monza SP1. There was also a good selection of
Ferraris around the show, mainly in the vendor areas, with a splendid “Giallo Fly” original US specification 365
GTS4 “Daytona Spider”, chassis # 14403, within the Girardo & Co. display, which also featured a splendid
blue and yellow Olio Fiat liveried Lancia 037 rally car, with a matching Fiat 131 station wagon support vehicle
alongside it. Across the aisle, the historic division of the Polizia di Stato had a varied display which included
the Ferrari 250 GTE patrol car, chassis # 3999 GT, very apt if it were a police car in the UK. A further Ferrari
rarity could be found on the La Leggenda de Bassano stand, this being a 625 TF Vignale Spider, chassis #
0304 TF, the first Ferrari sports racing/road car to be fitted with a 4 cylinder engine, and believed to be the
only remaining example of the three constructed.
The show always provides a wide variety of cars rarely seen elsewhere, whether they be on dealer stands, in
the private vendor areas, in the Finarte auction, or in the various club or museum displays. There is of course
a strong emphasis on Italian marques, but with such a wide international presence, there were plenty of other
examples from almost everywhere imaginable spread around the exhibition halls and in the outside areas.
With the organisers quoting a figure of some 5000 vehicles, prospective purchasers were spoiled for choice.
The show is not only about vehicles, but also virtually every facet of anything connected with them, as two
halls are devoted entirely to parts, accessories, and all forms of automobilia and memorabilia, from scale
models, through brochures, books and art in many forms, to period clothing and other ephemera.
Amongst the rarities on display was a pair of LMX (Linea Moderna Executive) 2300 hcs Coupés, one of which
was turbocharged. These had bodies designed by Franco Scaglione, famous for his Alfa Romeo BAT designs
whilst with Bertone, and later for the beautiful Alfa Romeo T33 Stradale, widely viewed as one of the most
beautiful cars in the world. The company was short-lived, only producing some 50 examples between 1968
and 1973. Another rarity was an Opel GT based Conrero 2000 GT, looking splendid in orange with bulbous
wheel arches. This was the model developed by Autotecnica Conrero that beat Porsche to a class win in the
1971 Targa Florio. Classic Car Charter had a fine array of small Fiat and Fiat based models on display,
including a 1954 Fiat 1100 105 Zagato Coupé and a 1940 Siata Fiat 508C Coupé. The Registro Nazionale Fiat
124 Sport Spider stand featured the elegant Tom Tjaarda designed Fiat 124 Tjaarda Targa, whilst on the
adjacent Club 500 Eugeneo Padova stand, there were a trio of Abarths, a formula car, a pristine 850 TC
fronted by a baby version and a 595 SS. On the subject of Fiats the Registro Fiat Italiano stand had a 1968
Abarth 2000 sports racing car and a Cisitalia-Abarth D46/48 monoposto from 1948, both having Fiat heritage,
together with a 1934 Fiat 518 S spider Coppa Del “Duce” resplendent in red over blue Bertone coachwork. The
Veteran Car Club Padova had a sextet of Zagato bodied cars in their display, which included a Fiat 8V Spider
and an Alfa Romeo TZ.
To emphasise that it wasn’t only Italian marques, the MG Car Club d’Italia had a nice selection of early MGs,
including a splendid duotone 1938 WA Saloon with complimenting whitewall tyres. There were also Italian
clubs for other British marques, including Land Rover, Jaguar and Triumph, whilst the French front included
Peugeot, SM (Citroen) and C.R.A.G.I. (Club Renault Alpine Gordini Italia), whose stand featured a yellow, red
and black Calberson liveried A310 V6, plus old and new versions of the A110 model. In addition to these and
other clubs like Saabway, and the NSU Club Italia, there were numerous examples of non Italian cars in the
expansive vendor areas, ranging from micro cars to American leviathans like Cadillac. As always, a truly
expansive show with something for all ages, tastes and wallets, made even more enjoyable by fine warm
weather for the duration, making wandering the outdoor displays much more pleasurable.