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Padova, 21 - 24 October 2010

The annual Auto e Moto d’Epoca show was held a Padova’s Fiera exhibition centre over the weekend of 21 - 24 October. For 2010, Thursday 21 October was added as a preview day for invited guests, and those wishing to avoid the crowds by paying a premium entry fee. The show is almost certainly the premier classic car show in Italy, with easy access for international visitors as it is within easy reach of Bologna, Venice and Verona airports. The show has built up a strong following over the years, and attracts around 60,000 visitors, coming from most European countries and even from across the Atlantic. The format of the show is similar to those at most classic shows, with one make car clubs, car vendor stands, booksellers, accessory companies, together with an extensive hall dedicated to automobilia, spare parts and peripheral accessories. Another hall is devoted to scale models, whilst another is primarily for motorcycles and relative spare parts and accessories, then there is the Coys auction, and current and classic models vie for attention on the Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia stands. On the outside aprons between the halls there are also numerous cars, motorcycles and spare parts for sale. As with the types of cars and motorcycles on display, these areas provide a wide and varied selection of items, not usually found at shows outside of Italy.

The one make car club displays always provide an interesting selection of models, and some go to great lengths in the decoration of their stands to create a pleasant ambience, or backdrop, to their favourite models. With Alfa Romeo celebrating their centenary, no Italian show would be complete without a tribute to the marque, and the official Alfa Romeo stand had a small but select array of historic models, including , a number of Giulietta variants to celebrate the launch of the new Giulietta saloon, examples of which were also on display. Nearby, sister marque Lancia celebrated the 55th birthday of the B24 Spider, regarded by many as the ultimate model in the B24 series, with a fine red example on display, along with other rare classic models like a B50 Pinin Farina Cabriolet and an Aurelia Giardinetta by Motto, plus the latest Delta model offering called “Hard Black”, featuring a menacing satin black paint finish. Being Italy, there were Fiats in an enormous variety of guises and ages, from well preserved Topolinos to Cinquecentos, both old and new, including the latest variation the Twin Air. The Fiat stand also featured some rarities from their long heritage, like Type 509 Delfino, the “Mefistofele” 1924 World Land Speed Record car with an aero engine, and the type 501 Super Sport Spider derived from the 1919 “Torpedo” model, whilst they also displayed the latest 500 variant the “Twin Air”. Amongst the nearby stands, Carrozzeria Touring exhibited a 1951 Alfa Romeo 2500 Sport Cabriolet, their Maserati Quattroporte based Bellagio and a bare Aston Martin DB5 chassis/body assembly. The Zagato Car Club stand featured an Alfa Romeo TZ, together with the latest offering from the carrozzeria the Alfa Romeo 8C based TZ3.

The Coys Auction had an eclectic mix of offerings, ranging from an immaculate duotone Fiat 500, through a pair of Abarth “Servizio Corsa” Giardinera and Multipla models, a lurid yellow and green Fiat 126 by renowned tuner Giannini, a ripe for restoration Maserati 3500 GTi, to a pair of De Tomaso Panteras, a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona”, and an incomplete Cizeta Moroder with Ferrari power, apparently originally destined for the Sultan of Brunei, amongst their offerings. Around the halls there were also some “supercars”, with Lamborghini well represented with examples of Miura, Countach, Diablo GT, a Gallardo race car and a Reventon. There was also a Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari F40 and Enzo, Pagani Zonda and Porsche Carrera GT amongst the exotica on disploriginally destined for the Sultan of Bruneii Quattropoirte baseay. Add in a fine selection of classic rally cars, including the iconic Alpine A110, a Renault 5 Turbo, Lancia Fulvia and Stratos, and a Ferrari 308 GTB Michelotto, and it can be seen that the show provides plenty of variety for the visitor. A bonus for visitors on the Sunday was a display of Ferraris from Ferrari Club Italia in the morning, before rain determined an early departure for lunch.

David O’Neill