A splendid 6C 2500 Super Sport Villa d'Este (1951) wins the title of "Best of Show" at the Kyoto "Concours d'Elegance", held from 30 March to 3 April.
A 6C 2500 Sport Berlinetta Touring (1939) and a 1900 Super Sprint Touring (1955) are also almost the prize-winners.
The guest of honour, not in competition, is the rare 1900 C52 Coupé "Disco Volante" belonging to the FCA Heritage collection, normally housed at the "Museo Storico Alfa Romeo" in Arese.
Alongside these gems of yesteryear, the modern Giulia Quadrifoglio, the new Alfa Romeo paradigm, and a fleet of Giulia Veloce cars which are to accompany the classic parade from Kyoto to Tokyo.
The "Kyoto 2018 Concours d'Elegance", at which emblematic classic models from three continents came together from 29 March to 3 April, has just ended in Japan. Hosted in Kyoto's 17th Century Nijō Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the event was a triumph for Alfa Romeo, with some of the brand's exquisite rarities from private collections carrying off coveted awards.
In fact, the "Best of Show" title went to a 1951 6C 2500 Super Sport Villa d'Este, one of just thirty-six of this model built by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan between 1949 and 1952. Two other historic Alfa Romeo models emerged victorious in their respective classes: the 1939 6C 2500 Sport Berlinetta Touring, formerly owned by Prince Caetani (Touring Early Italian class) and the 1900 Super Sprint Touring dating from 1955 (Touring Classic Italian 1952-1961 class). This prize tally is even more impressive considering that - with its classic cars winning three of the twelve awards on offer - Alfa Romeo was the best represented brand in the winners' enclosure.
Founded in 2016 by artist Hidemoto Kimura, this major event has been actively supported by the Alfa Romeo brand and by FCA Heritage, the department created to safeguard and promote the automotive legacy of the Group's Italian brands. Significantly, also present at the Japanese event (although not competing) were the world's only 1900 C52 Coupé, generally known by its nickname of the "Disco Volante", or "Flying Saucer", and the modern Giulia Quadrifoglio, the Alfa Romeo brand's new paradigm.
Normally conserved at the "Museo Storico Alfa Romeo - La macchina del tempo" at Arese (Milan), the priceless 1900 C52 Coupé travelled to Japan to be guest of honour at the competition, parading on the red carpet together with three of the eight "modern" Disco Volante Coupé cars built by Carrozzeria Touring. At the end of the competition, the classic cars left Kyoto via a scenic route for Tokyo, where they will arrive on 8 April. The parade of priceless beauties will be escorted by a fleet of Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce cars placed at the organisers' disposable by event sponsor FCA Japan: there could be no better way of highlighting the close bond linking all Alfa Romeo models, of yesterday and today.
Abarth 124 rally, four of a kind at the Tour de Corse
The Abarth 124 rally dominated the R-GT ranking in the Tour de Corse Rally
The Frenchmen Astier-Vauclaire win the R-GT category, ahead of the Italians Nucita-Vozzo
The race, which counts for the World Rally Championship and the FIA R-GT Cup, rewarded the reliability of the Abarth 124 rally; all 4 private crews on the starting line finished the very tough race
The Abarth 124 rally Selenia International Challenge continues next weekend with the Sanremo Rally, the second trial of the Italian Rally Championship, with the Sierra Morena in Spain and the Criterium Jurassien in Switzerland
The Abarth 124 rally dominated the R-GT ranking in the Tour de Corse rally, which counts for the World Rally Championship and the FIA R-GT cup as well as for the Abarth 124 rally Selenia International Challenge, putting all 4 private cars on the starting line in the first four positions of the category, obtaining the record for 2-wheel drives and the prized overall positions.
At the end of a tough and difficult race, the French pair in the Milano Racing team, composed of driver Raphael Astier and navigator Frederic Vauclaire, preceded the Italians Andrea Nucita and Marco Vozzo with the Abarth of the Bernini Rally team in the R-GT ranking, with a placement in 17th position overall. The duo Nucita-Vozzo were in the lead for two thirds of the race, then, in the last special trial of the second stage, they came off the road, causing them to drop from leading position to 6th; at that time they were 15th overall, and were taking themselves and the Abarth 124 towards an excellent result.
The Abarth 124 spider also confirmed its reliability; in fact, all 4 cars on the starting line finished the race: the Frenchmen Philippe Gache and Nicolas Rivière closed in third position, and the young Italian Andrea Modanesi, with Marco Menchini, in fourth position.
On arrival, Astier was very satisfied: "The Abarth 124 rally was perfect from the start to end, and let me get to know its potential trial after trial, proving itself to be very effective, especially in the longer and more tortuous trials. Winning at the debut of a high-performance car was a great satisfaction".
Andrea Nucita was satisfied with the performance of the Abarth 124 rally: "We came off the road due to a trivial error at a point where there were few spectators. Fortunately our car is very robust, and once back on the road, we were able to continue. It was a shame, because we could have achieved an excellent overall result. In any case, with second position, we still have a good chance for the championship".
Philippe Gache at the finishing line: "The Tour de Corse is always a tough tally, and finishing it is a great success; we have to tackle very special trials that are very long and fast. Third position is a reward for our commitment".
An incredible experience for the young Andrea Modanesi: For me, it was a race to gain experience in the international field. Thanks to the great reliability of the Abarth 124 rally, I have been able to concentrate on trying to quickly learn and tackle very fast and tough roads".
The ranking of the FIA R-GT Cup world championship had four Abarth 124 rally drivers in the first four positions, with only three races to the end. The next world championship appointment is the Roma Capitale Rally, the Italian program from 20 to 22 July. In the past season, the Abarth 124 rally achieved a good triple in the Italian race.
Abarth will be the star of the weekend in rallies and on the racing track in the ADAC F4 in Germany
Three races in the Abarth 124 rally Selenia International Challenge: the "Sanremo" in Italy, the "Sierra Morena" Rally in Spain, and the "Criterium Jurassien" in Switzerland.
The ADAC F4 Championship Powered by Abarth gets under way at Oschersleben with fledgling drivers David Schumacher (GER) and Enzo Fittipaldi (BRA).
This weekend will packed with excitement in rallies and on the racing track with the Abarth drivers playing leading roles.
Four private teams will be taking part in the Italian, Spanish and Swiss championship events.
In Italy this is the weekend of the Rally di Sanremo, the second in the national series, with two Bernini Rally team crews participating in the context of the Abarth 124 rally Selenia International Challenge: up-and-coming Tuscan driver Cristopher Lucchesi with Massimiliano Bosi, and Alberto Mussa accompanied by Titty Lucchesi. Young driver Lucchesi achieved victory in the R-GT category in the Rally Il Ciocco, the opening event of the Italian Championship, while for Mussa this is his first outing in the Italian series, after testing the Abarth 124 rally in the 2017 Rally di Alba.
Cristopher Lucchesi is very excited: "The Rally di Sanremo is one of the races I've always dreamt of; the roads are demanding and winding; I hope to build on my achievements in the Rally Il Ciocco".
Alberto Mussa is also enthusiastic about taking part in such a famous race. "The image of the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth cars powering up the Baiardo ascent has always stuck with me, and racing with the current interpretation of that same model today gives me a special thrill."
The Rally di Sanremo starts from the seaside town at 3.30 pm on Friday 13 April and comprises two stages, finishing at 7 pm on Saturday 14 after covering a course of 491 km, 152 km of this time-trials, spread over 10 special stages.
In the Rally Sierra Morena in Spain, the Abarth 124 rally is defending the Spanish R-GT Tarmac Rally Champion title won by the SMC Junior Motorsport team. After the amazing success of its first year in competition, the Abarth Rally Team faces the 2018 season with the aim of taking back the Spanish Championship title in the R-GT category.
With the experience acquired in 2017, with regard to both the car and its technical and racing organisation, this year the Madrid team has entrusted its car to the Spanish crew of Alberto Monarri and Rodrigo Sanjuán.
"We are thrilled to belong to a brand as prestigious as Abarth," Alberto Monarri tells us. "We have a big challenge ahead: to repeat last year's victory in the Spanish Tarmac Championship (CERA). I started my rallying career in the Fiat Punto Cup in 2002, so I am very attached to the brand."
The Rally Sierra Morena starts from Cordoba at 4.15 pm on Friday 13 April and concludes at 6.40 pm on Saturday 15: the course is 428 km long, with 12 time-trial special stages totalling 164 km.
In Switzerland, this weekend sees the debut of the Zeughaus Garage team,, which fields an Abarth 124 rally driven by Beat and Janine Wissen (CH) in the Criterium Jurassien, the opening race in the Swiss season.
Beat Wyssen is an aficionado of the Scorpion brand. "I've been racing Abarth 500 R3T cars for years, and this season I decided to move up a grade with this lovely 124 rally".
The Criterium Jurassien gets under way in Saignelégier at 6 pm on Friday 13 April and ends at 7 pm on Saturday 14 after 481 km, with 11 special stages comprising a total of 174 km of time trials.
Abarth returns to the track in Germany on the Oschersleben circuit, which sees the start of the ADAC F4 Championship Powered by Abarth. The single-seater racers powered by Abarth 160 HP T-jet engines will star in a championship intended to foster the growth of future champions who have been outstanding amongst the very young kart driver cohort.
This is the fourth season of the German series, involving thirty or so cars in the hands of drivers from 12 countries: the talented youngsters also include David Schumacher, son of Ralf, who is following in the footsteps of his cousin Mick (son of Michael), who dominated the category in Italy and Germany in 2016, finishing first in both championships. Also taking part is Brazilian Enzo Fittipaldi, grandson of two-times F1 World Champion Emerson.
The weekend schedule comprises three races: 11.05 am and 4.30 pm on Saturday 14 April and 3.45 pm on Sunday.
500 and Panda, two Fiat icons on display at the Triennale Design Museum
Until 20 January 2019, the eleventh edition of the Triennale Design Museum is now open to visitors, ready to welcome them and tell the tale of Italian design with a host of stories and no less than 180 works on display.
The Museum will exhibit two symbols of Italian creativity: Fiat 500 N (1958) and Fiat Panda 30 (1980)
Both vehicles, albeit in different eras, have represented the perfect combination of style, innovation and emotions, breathing life into real masterpieces of industrial history.
The vehicles on display belong to the precious collection of FCA Heritage, the department that protects and promotes the historical heritage of the Group's Italian brands.
The thirteenth edition of the Triennale Design Museum has begun. Entitled Storie. Design italiano (Stories. Italian design), it will be open to visitors until 20 January 2019. The stars of this new event will be two icons of automotive design, Fiat 500 N (1958) and Fiat Panda 30 (1980). Both vehicles belong to the precious collection of FCA Heritage, the Group's department responsible for protecting and promoting the historical heritage of the Italian brands of FCA.
Some cars go down in history for their innovations in the fields of technology or design. Others deserve to be remembered for what they meant for the daily lives of a whole generation or a whole country. Few vehicles succeed in combining both these characteristics, advanced technology technique and deep emotion, and so in leaving an indelible mark, becoming a sort of icon of their age. But when this does occur, essential masterpieces of industrial history are born. And these rare triumphs have included Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda, two iconic cars spawned by Italian creativity which soon joined and became a permanent fixture in the collective memory of the international market.
The evergreen Fiat 500 is no stranger to the rooms of a Museum. Indeed, just last year a vehicle from the F series, the most popular 500 of all time, became part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. And today it is the turn of a splendid 500 N from 1958. As it crosses the threshold of the Triennale Design Museum, it confirms the importance of this model, which was responsible for "motorising" Italians, and at the same time became a true work of design, renowned worldwide. The 500 N will be joined by another vehicle that is just as famous: Panda 30, another Italian icon which has provided an unmistakeable way of experiencing our daily relationship with the car since 1980: more immediate, more relaxed and definitely easier to manage.
Fiat 500 N (1958)
Produced in August 1958, and characterised by its light blue livery, the Fiat 500 N on show in Milan belongs to the model's first series and features the upgrades Fiat presented at the Turin Motor Show in November 1957, which improved the car's trim level: headlights with aluminium surrounds, sun blinds, aluminium trims on the bonnet and mouldings on the sides, polished aluminium hub caps, wind-down front windows, wing windows with a catches to hold them open, padded rear bench, direction indicator and light stalks on the steering column, and rubber-clad brake and clutch pedals. The car featured in the event has a 15 HP two-cylinder 479 cm3engine, giving it a top speed of 90 km/h.
The story behind the 500 model is nothing short of enthralling: it was fruit of a genial intuition by the legendary Dante Giacosa and the ambitious strategy designed to develop and renew the range implemented by Fiat as early as during the Second World War. Fiat presented the Nuova ("new") 500 in the summer of 1957 hoping to replicate the success of the "Topolino". The car inherited a two-seater body type, updated to implement the most modern technology of the day from its forerunner. Unitised body, rear engine and four independent wheels; the engine was an air-cooled two-cylinder, the first of its kind made by Fiat. The launch price was 490,000 lire. Within a few years, the 500 was asserted as the new iconic car of Italian youths and sold rapidly worldwide, from the United States to New Zealand. Over four million units of the car were made non-stop - across five series - until 1975.
A car of undisputed success, followed in 2007 by the birth of the new generation: today's 500, just like its illustrious ancestor, immediately proved highly successful, since in just 10 years it has already acquired 2 million customers, as well as winning an impressive array of awards, including "Car of the Year" and the "Compasso d'oro", the oldest and most prestigious world design award established in 1954 and assigned since 1958 by the Association for Industrial Design. The coveted prize has been won by both the generations of Fiat 500, precisely in 1959 and 2011. And last year, to mark the 60th birthday of the legendary 500, the brand staged a string of celebratory activities, notably including the launch of two exclusive special series; the evocative "See you in the future" short, the first ever made by Fiat and starring Oscar® winning actor Adrien Brody; the multi-award-winning European tour "The Fiat 500 Forever Young Experience"; a commemorative stamp and coin.
Panda 30 (1980)
The story behind the second Fiat icon on display at the Triennale Design Museum is just as fascinating: the vehicle in question is a Panda 30 produced in 1980. With its distinctive red livery, the vehicle on show belongs to the first series of this model, of which a total of more than 7.5 million vehicles has been manufactured to date.
It all began back in the mid 1970s, when the need arose to design a new front wheel drive vehicle to accompany the Fiat 126 and Fiat 127. Initially known as "Zero", the design then took on the name "Design 141" and in 1978 the first prototypes were prepared. The name chosen was "Panda", continuing along the same lines launched with the Ritmo which, unlike the standard procedure adopted in previous decades, had abandoned the use of the technical name of the design, opting instead for a new more imaginative, exciting one. In March 1980, following a preview at the Quirinal Palace, the new Fiat runaround made its début at the Geneva Motor Show.
Developed with a view to offering maximum functionality and exploiting the space inside the vehicle to its full potential, the first series of Fiat Panda was 3.38 metres long, had a 3-door body featuring a folding, removable rear seat, and could comfortably carry 5 passengers. With these dimensions and the stylistic solutions proposed by designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, the new Fiat vehicle proved highly practical, versatile and multi-purpose. The layout featured a front engine and front wheel drive, the suspension was independent on the front wheels and rigid axle on the rear wheels. Depending on the markets, the customer could choose from a 650 cm3air-cooled two-cylinder engine with 30 HP, or a 903 cm3water-cooled four-cylinder engine with 45 HP. These two variants were the reason behind the names assigned to the different versions: Fiat Panda 30 and Fiat Panda 45. The consumptions were interesting: at 90 km/hour the Panda 30 travelled 19 km with 1 litre and the Panda 45 over 17 km. The maximum speeds respectively reached over 115 km/h and approximately 140 km/h.
From 1980 to the present day, no less than four generations of Fiat's little big car have been produced, so continuing the vehicle's long run of commercial success and technological records in the segment. For example, as well as being the first city-car with 4WD (1984), the Panda was also the first car to implement a diesel engine (1986); the first in its segment to receive the coveted "Car of the Year" title (2004), and in the same year, it was also the first city-car to climb to an altitude of 5,200 metres, at the Everest base camp. And the long series of records continued in 2006 when Fiat Panda became the first natural gas fuelled city car to be produced on a large scale. But Fiat Panda never stops. It is the only car in its segment to offer four engine versions (petrol, diesel, petrol/natural gas and petrol/LPG), three configurations (City, Cross and 4x4), two traction systems (front and all-wheel) and two transmissions (manual and Dualogic robotised).
Triennale Design Museum, Stories. Italian design
Triennale Design Museum, the first Museum of Italian design, was opened in Triennale in December 2007. A "mutating" museum which, every year for 10 years, has changed its order and layout, each time aiming to offer different responses to the same basic question: what is Italian design?
The eleventh edition of the Triennale Design Museum tells the story of Italian design through a wide range of stories, which combine to define its complex nature. In particular, the layout of the Museum proceeds in two directions: on one hand it presents the course of history seen from a diachronic perspective and on the other it develops five thematic studies which enable visitors to interpret design through the lens of other disciplines.
The Museum exhibits a selection of 180 works, mostly from the Permanent Collection of the Triennale Design Museum, created between 1902 and 1998 and identified as the most representative examples of Italian design for their contributions in terms of technical and formal innovation, aesthetics, experimentation, distinctiveness and public success. These introduce us to the problems of choosing the essential pieces that must be displayed in a design museum, defining what can be considered an "icon" and judging whether this term is truly effective when applied to the design context.
A successful weekend for Abarth drivers in rallies and on the track
The winning streak of the Abarth 124 rally continues in Sanremo (Italy), in the Sierra Morena Rally in Spain and in the Criterium Jurassien in Switzerland.
One-two win for German driver Zendeli and the Brit Caldwell in Oschersleben in the ADAC F4 Championship powered by Abarth.
Enzo Fittipaldi (BRA), grandson of Emerson, was on the podium twice.
The winning streak of the Abarth 124 rally continues with three more successes in the R-GT category of the Italian, Spanish and Swiss championships in the wake of the hat trick in the world Tour de Corse on the weekend of April 8.
In the Sanremo Rally, the young Italian Cristopher Lucchesi with co-driver Massimiliano Bosi repeated the R-GT win earned in the Rally Il Ciocco that opened the Italian Championship. In the tough and selective special stages of the Italian race, he finished ahead of Bernini Rally team mate Alberto Mussa with Titty Lucchesi.
Lucchesi was satisfied with the result. "I enjoyed driving the car on these roads that enhance its handling and power features", he declared.
In the Sierra Morena Rally in Spain, the Abarth 124 rally scored a well-earned success in its category and among the two-wheel-drive cars with an excellent fifth place in the ERT ranking (sixth in the Tarmac Rally Championship) Alberto Monarri and Rodrigo Sanjuán. It was a winning debut for the Spanish driver who was behind the wheel of the spider with the scorpion badge for the first time "The car is incredibly spectacular. The public was cheering us on and the end result was extremely satisfactory", he said.
There was another winning debut, this time for the Zeughaus Garage team, which fielded an Abarth 124 rally driven by Beat and Janine Wissen (CH) in the Criterium Jurassien, the opening race in the national season in Switzerland.
The remarkable Abarth 124 rally confirmed how reliable it is with all the cars that started crossing the finish line.
The show continued on the race track in Oschersleben, Germany, for the first stage of the ADAC F4 Championship powered by Abarth, in which very young kart drivers show their strength in the one-seaters propelled by 160 HP Abarth T-jet engines. Over the weekend, German driver Lirim Zendeli won the first two races and British driver Oliver Caldwell won the third. Brazilian Enzo Fittipaldi, grandson of Emerson, improved his scores. He finished fourth in Race1, third in Race2 and second in Race3.
The fifth season of the Italian F4 Championship powered by Abarth kicks off next week on the Adria racing circuit.
Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Daytona at the Imola Motor Legend Festival
FCA Heritage and Alfa Romeo are heading to the land of engines for three days of motorsport history. From April 20 to 22, public to the Motor Legend Festival will see a cherished Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Daytona. The car is usually housed at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese - The Time Machine
The "Enzo e Dino Ferrari" racing track in Imola will be hosting the 2018 Motor Legend Festival from April 20 to 22. Not by chance, the event dedicated to motorsport history will be staged in a symbolic location in a land traditionally accustomed to evoking motoring emotions. The event would not be complete without FCA Heritage, the organisation founded in 2015 to develop a vast range of services for collectors and fans of the cars of the Italian brands of FCA, among other activities. The fcaheritage.com
website is dedicated to their history. The online showcase of the organisation was recently complemented with the refreshed Store section presenting a selection of products dedicated to collectors and enthusiasts, such as engine oil developed in partnership with Selenia Classic, vintage-inspired merchandising, reproduction of owner handbooks of the most iconic models and car care kits.
Visitors to the Motor Legend Festival will see one of the most cherished gems of the FCA Heritage collection on the track. The Alfa Romeo 33/2 Daytona is an authentic motorsport legend that took the first three spots in the two-litre category in 1968 edition of the gruelling race it was named after and went on to win the World Sports Prototype Championship the same year. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the remarkable achievements of that glorious 1968, when the car finished on top also in Targa Florio, on the Nürburgring, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the "Imola 500 km" driven by Teodoro Zeccoli and Nino Vaccarella. Its presence is confirmation of the special dedication of FCA for the classic car world and events that showcase its racing traditions.
Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Daytona (1968)
After the experience of the Giulia TZ and TZ2, Alfa Romeo was excited to return to racing in the two-litre Sport car category that in the sixties was becoming very popular and had been chosen as playing field by many major manufacturers.
The design of a new vehicle was started in 1964 by Alfa Romeo Design under Orazio Satta Puliga's guidance and was developed in particular by Giuseppe Busso. The chassis consisted of three large aluminium alloy pipes arranged to form an asymmetrical "H". A tubular chassis made of a single magnesium casing was fixed to the front end, while two "arms", also made of magnesium, was connected to rear. Rubber fuel tanks were accommodated inside the chassis tubes. The structure weighed just 55 kilograms, for a kerb weight in full running order of 580 kilograms. The two-litre, aluminium alloy V8 had four overhead camshafts, injection fuel feed with mechanical pump and twin ignition. The definitive version delivered 270 HP. The top speed of the car varied from 260 to 300 km/h according to the aerodynamic configuration.
However, in January 1966, before the engine designed and built in Alfa Romeo was even started for the first time off-vehicle, the design of the 33 (with the type code 105.33) was given by Giuseppe Luraghi to Autodelta, much to the discontent of Alfa Romeo engineers. Meanwhile, tests on a finished car fitting a provisional engine (the 1600 twin cam engine of the TZ2) started in Balocco in the winter of 1965.
The creation of the 33 was long and complicated, particularly because of its innovative chassis and 1967, the year of its debut, ended by winning the Fléron hillclimb in Belgium. The following year the 33, now with a new closed body, took fifteen overall victories and six category victories, amongst which were the mentioned Daytona and Le Mans 24 Hour races, where the car finished in the first two and three places, respectively.