Milano AutoClassica 2017

Keith Bluemel Words by Keith Bluemel
Acrobatic moves from the Fiat Abarth 124 Rally

In 2016 the Milano AutoClassica show hosted the RM Sotheby’s DueMila Ruote auction, but for the 7th running of the show this year during the 24th to 26th November,  there was no auction, so there was a smaller overall show area, which occupied halls 18 and 22 of the Milano Rho Fiera exhibition complex. On the external apron between the halls there were numerous private vendor cars for sale, whilst adjacent to hall 18 was the classic circuit arena, a 1.4kms track, which saw activity from a wide variety of classes of cars throughout the weekend. Despite a decidedly damp Saturday, and a dry but chilly Sunday there were still enthusiastic crowds lining the track to enjoy the action

Ferrari's first turbocharged Grand Prix car, the ex-Gilles Villeneuve 126C
Rare Dino 206GT in bare shell

The show featured a diverse array of both modern and classic offerings from a number of manufacturers, including Bentley, Caterham, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, McLaren, Morgan and Tesla, either directly or through their dealer networks. Ferrari also had a strong presence courtesy of their Classiche division, who also loaned cars for general show display just inside the main entrance, and in further displays adjacent to their stand. The Musei Ferrari also had a stand, featuring a 126C F1 car, and an array of driving simulators for visitors to try and emulate Sebastian Vettel!

GTO Motors' F40 re-painted in green that has been causing a commotion on social media recently
1968 Ferrari Dino 246 built for the Tasman Series, Down Under

The Ferrari models ranged through the various displays included a 166 Inter Touring Berlinetta, through 250 GT TdF, 250 GT “Interim”, 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO Berlinettas, a 250 GT S2 PF Cabriolet, a Dino 246 Tasman monoposto, a bare Dino 206 GT body/chassis unit and a 512 M sports racing car.  The independent Ferrari dealer GTO Motors also had an impressive display, comprising of a 275 GTB4, and 365 GTB4 in mid restoration, and a F40 recently repainted green for a client! There were also plenty of other Ferrari models spread around the various vendor stands, so it was quite a spread for fans of the Cavallino Rampante. Other manufacturer classic divisions present were Porsche Classic Partner Milano Est, and the Fiat Group classic departments.

This Porsche 356 comes complete with a makeshift VW Transporter, ready to go racing
The well-known Fiat 500 fitted with a Lamborghini V12 motor made by Oemmedi Meccanica is just insane

It would be fair to say that apart from the previously mentioned displays, together with some club stands, that the majority of the car displays were the province of classic dealers, that is not to say that they didn’t have a wide variety of machinery on offer, including some rare examples. It would be equally fair to say that the wildest car at the show was on the Club Cinquecentotiamo (Cinque Cento Ti Amo = 500 I Love you), where there was a classic Fiat 500 based matt grey mini monster, boasting a mid-mounted 6.2 litre V12 Lamborghini Murcielago engine and its 4WD running gear, complete with wheels, which was pretty much as wide as it was long! The stand also featured a variety of more prosaic 500 variants, and there was a rally of club members on the Sunday which brought around another fifty examples to the parking area adjacent to the circuit arena.

Abarth 1000 SP always a delight to look at
Cute Fiat 750 Rendez-Vous from 1957

At the modern end of the 500 spectrum was the presentation of the limited series 60th anniversary edition, whilst there was a wild modern derivation in the form of the Giannini 350 GP, with bulging wheel arches, a plethora of slots and a large spoiler on the trailing edge of the roof, all finished in gleaming pearlescent white. Adjacent to this was an original one-off 500 based two seater called the Monza, whilst other rare and interesting Fiats were the 1957 750 Rendez-Vous, spectacular in duotone metallic blue, with complimenting upholstery, and the unique Punto based Zagato Monomille from 1995.

Retro Agip petrol station with Alfa Romeo makes a perfect life-size diorama!

Alfa Romeo were also well represented, with a number of 6C variants, through all post war decades, whilst another eye catcher was the lurid orange Lancia Stratos based Stola. The show also had an expansive vendor area for parts, accessories, models, brochures, books and associated automobilia in hall 22, so there was plenty of variety for visitors to choose how they spent their time.

All Photos by Keith Bluemel

Lancia Stratos-based Stola looked rather ungainly...