A chance to see Italian automobiles in all their glory

Thursday, 8 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Italian cars stir up emotions like no other type of cars… not merely in Sri Lanka, but around the world. Most people would stop and look at a car like a Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini when they see one on the road, and that includes even people who don’t know anything about cars! It could be said that Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis are ‘exotic’ cars and that’s why people stop and look at them. But then, what about cars like Alfa Romeos, Lancias and Fiats? A 1960’s Lancia Fulvia or even the humblest of Fiats – the Fiat 500 – turn heads like no other car on the road. Indeed, they were technologically exotic and advanced compared to their other global contemporaries. This is exoticism, the inexplicable magnet that ignites the fiery passion of members of the Italian Car Enthusiasts’ Club in Sri Lanka, which seems to match the fiery temperament that seems to be hard-wired into every Italian car. To say that this close knit group of some 68 members of the Italian Car Enthusiasts’ Club of Sri Lanka are passionate about their Italian cars is an understatement. There are club members who have spent millions of rupees restoring back to original condition, a car that is actually worth much less if they were to sell it! There are others who have gone to great lengths to match the upholstery to the original of a car where the interior has been damaged. After all this, as they say, the ‘proof of the ‘tiramisu’ is in the eating’. These Italian cars need to be driven, and mostly driven hard to be enjoyed. That Italian cars are some of the most enjoyable cars to drive is borne out of the fact that even some collectors of classic and vintage cars both locally and internationally agree that the diminutive Fiat they have in their collection is the most enjoyable car to drive! For instance, there is a local family who had some fine automobiles in their garage, who also had a humble Fiat 600. The whole family agreed that out of all their cars with all modern comforts such as leather interiors, climate control, power steering etc., the car that they enjoyed most was the Fiat 600 with vinyl interior, no air-conditioning and winding windows! Auto Arte Italiana or Italian Automobile Art is a display of Italian automobiles organised by the Italian Car Enthusiasts’ Club of Sri Lanka. Around 40 Italian cars are expected to be displayed for the public to admire at this unique event which will be held on 10 August at the North Lawn of the Taj Samudra. The show will be open to the public between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and visitors to the event will be able to see a range of Italian cars including vintage Fiats, Lancias from the swinging sixties, red blooded Alfa Romeos, Maseratis and Ferraris – both current and classic, and of course Lamborghinis. There will be great food, music and indeed, members of the Italian Car Enthusiasts’ Club will be there to answer your questions… and you can find out first hand why Italian cars are so special! Visitors will also be able to ‘hear’ the scream of some 40 plus Italian engines being revved up, in a special ‘countdown and rev up’ that will be happening at the event. This event has been made possible by the principal sponsorship of Eurosports Auto Lanka Ltd., the importer of Lamborghini and Alfa Romeo in Sri Lanka, co-sponsors Pirelli, Wurth, Exide, Valvoline and Taj Samudra Hotel, and media sponsors Wijeya Newspapers, Art Television and TNL Radio.