Rusty But Trusty On The Field – All Italian Show

Every year, there’s a fun, laid-back show for owners of Italian cars in the area surrounding Alameda, CA, just south of Oakland, to park their cars on the field and enjoy each other’s company. Each year brings the usual gaggle of Fiat and Alfa spiders, along with various Alfa sedans and some more unusual cars, like an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet, two DeTomaso Mangustas, and even a Fiat 131 sedan. The one thing that’s always surprising is the number of nicer Alfas parked outside the show field. You often overhear people saying they didn’t have the time to wash the car, or that it really needs some paint, but c’mon, people, this is not Pebble Beach! And if someone has a problem with you driving in in your spider that you haven’t washed since March, they can go to a car show that costs $250 instead of $5. Our first example of people who agree with this perspective is below – a red Fiat X1/9 that looks well-used, well-loved, and ready to keep going.

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The owner of this Alfetta berlina was also not afraid to bring it out on the show field. Indeed, some of these “lowly” Italian cars were parked right next to, say, a Dino 246. This is an earlier car – giveaways are the “hooded” headlights, narrow Alfa shield, and chrome door handles. The owner has already got a good start on returning to the style Centro Stile Alfa Romeo intended, having removed the bumpers and lowered the nose from the stock height.

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Here’s a nice example of a Fiat 124 spider, parked next to the yellow Ferrari 308, likely the one spotted on the street last month. Those mud flaps are no doubt handy for keeping the stones off the paint on back road rallies.

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This car sort of has an Italian cousin, the Innocenti Sprite, but probably not close enough to display on the field. It’s probably not the vice principal’s car, although it would be super-cool if it was. Either way, it’s a neat little car. What’s under the hood, a 948, 1098, or Datsun 1200 or 1500?

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No doubt, you were thinking this show needs more Alfettas. There were 4 Alfettas in all, one coupe and 3 sedans. This is a later sport sedan version, finished in an unusual wine red metallic. Some giveaways are the flush door handles, wide Alfa shield, black c-pillar grills, and large rectangular tail lights. The last sticker on the plate was from 1994 – imagine the back fees! Of course, that may be offset by not having to fork out the cash for 9 biannual smog tests!

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Saving the best for last, this Fiat 124 wagon, right next to the latest Fiat to be sold in the US and Canada. This car has been retrofitted with a Fiat twincam, and, in spite of its weathered looks, is quite a rocket. How many times could you keep a straight face and say “Gee officer, this old Fiat won’t do a shade over 65” when you get nabbed? Just be prepared to be approached by every Italian and ex-iron curtain immigrant who spots the car.

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