1964 Fiat Abarth 850TC, owned by Andrew Schank.
The 21st Annual All Italian Car and Motorcycle Show
By Brandes Elitch
October 12, 2008
The San Francisco Bay area has many car events, but if you have an Italian car, chances are your favorite is the Italian car show held in Alameda, a charming town just fifteen minutes east of the Bay Bridge.
The show is held the first or second weekend in October, which is just before the first rains of the season usually appear, so weather is never an issue. How many neighborhood car shows do you have in your neighborhood where the majority of cars are Alfa Romeos? It seems that Alfa owners are a particularly interesting lot, although this does seem like a hopeless generalization, and here are two that I found particularly so.
1934 Alfa Romeo 8c 2300 is one of the most original Alfa 8C 2300s in the world.
Patrick Ottis is a well known figure in Alfa circles. His entry, a 1934 Alfa Romeo 8c 2300 convertible with a Figoni body, was the hit of the show. There were 189 cars made of this model, and Patrick believes that about 110 still exist. All cars of this series were custom bodied. The original owner lived outside of Paris, and hid the car during the Occupation. After the war, it was driven to Cannes, where it was bought by an American, who exported it to the states. Six months later, it was advertised in the Sunday New York Times (the marketplace for old cars then) and a gentleman from Cincinnati took the train to New York, and drove it home to his garage, where it stayed for 54 years. Patrick followed the car for 30 years, having known the owner from their joint dealings with Luigi Chinetti over Ferrari matters. The car is remarkably original, and Patrick has endeavored to keep it so. The color is particularly attractive, as there are two slightly contrasting shades of red, which highlight the typical Figoni C-curve along the side of the car.. Since Patrick owns a restoration shop, he is intimately familiar with every part on the car, as he works on it himself.
All the other Alfas were postwar cars. Steven Smith showed his 1959 Giulietta Sprint, which he has owned since 1973, when he bought this car and a 750 Sprint in a wrecking yard for $300 (for the pair). Alfa means â€œAlways Looking For Another,â€ and Steve has done his best to fulfill this role, having had many cars over the years, but this is the one that stayed. He upgraded it with parts from his Guilia SS, which was hit by a garbage truck when parked in front of his house, and totaled by the insurance company (arghh!). As a result, every time he showed the car, someone would say, â€œThis is a nice car, but (this or that) is not original.â€ In 2004, Steve met other Alfisti who were experiencing the same exasperating comments, so they formed Scuderia Non-Originale. It now has about 150 members, and Steve proudly displayed the club decal on his car. The club has no rules, but has entertained two mottoes: â€œVeni, Vidi, Veloceâ€ (I came, I saw, I went fast), and for older cars: â€œAndiamo Lentimente Fumando Assaiâ€ (We go slowly, spewing smoke). I think that this club is one of the more promising developments in the car collecting hobby, and you can read about it at www.greend.com (click on the Alfa green cloverleaf ).
Steve Smithâ€™s 1959 Alfa Romeo Guilietta Sprint.
Patrick and Steve represent two passionate, knowledgeable, charming, and discerning car guys â€“ in short, typical Alfa owners! There were dozens of other like minded Alfisti there, most of them with equally interesting stories. It is shows like this, with its $5 entry fee, and convenient parking, that make you glad youâ€™re a car guy!
Fiat 2100 Station Wagon was in mint original condition.
1962 Abarth Allemano, owned by Andrew Schank.