Auto Italia Italian Car Day at Brooklands

Keith Bluemel Words by Keith Bluemel
“In Plane Sight”—Special treats for any Abarth fans

The annual Auto Italia magazine Italian Car Day at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey was held on Saturday 05 May. The museum complex refurbishment, that has created a building site environment at recent events on the site, is now virtually complete, so provides a much more congenial atmosphere. Cloudless clear blue skies and high ambient temperatures brought the crowds in their droves, for what is always an interesting day with a relaxed atmosphere. In fact, it was so popular that demand overwhelmed supply, as by lunchtime they had run out of entry wristbands, and the queues for food, drink and ice cream were rather lengthy.

Can't be an Italian Car Day without Ferraris, from the 458 Speciale Aperta circling the Brooklands track... the pretty 250GT Lusso

The event followed its regular well established format of static 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. The gathering always attracts a wide selection of Italian machinery of both the two and four wheel types, from high end supercars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Maseratis, to the originally utilitarian Fiat 500, which are now super chic.

Maserati A6G-54 by Zagato was a delight
“Orange Squash”—A pair of Huracán Performantes wowed the crowd

The ages ranged from a pair of pre-war Lancias to the limited edition Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta, resplendent in metallic red with blue and white stripes, which attracted much admiring attention, plus at least two Ferrari 488 Spiders and a pair of lurid orange Lamborghini Huracán Performantes.

Nothing better than an Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti DTM cloaked with Martini Racing stripes...
...except maybe a Giulietta SZ in French Bleu that once race in the Tour de France

Apart from all the individual and various club car and motorcycle displays, there were also a number of specialist dealers and workshops with feature displays, like Barkaways, GVE London and Rardley Motors, together with a number of vendors with a wide array of offerings. Part of the Barkaways display was the owner’s Ferrari 308 GTS bare shell, which is an ongoing restoration feature on their website, explaining just what goes into a full bare metal restoration.

De Tomaso Pantera GT5 was always up there as one of the Eighties' Poster Child
“Bare Necessities”—A Ferrari 308 GTS body shell in process of ground-up restoration

If you wanted something non-Italian then within the general entry fee one could also visit the various museum buildings, which house a varied selection of cars, motorcycles and aircraft, or the London Bus Museum, the outside aircraft exhibits, including the Concorde Experience for a supplement, or the 4D Theatre, also at a small supplement to the entrance fee.

All Photos by Keith Bluemel

The Fiat Abarth SS Scorpione 1000 GT derived from the Lombardi Grand Prix looked very cool