Brooklands Auto Italia Day 2021

I sense a renewed enthusiasm for our club.  We saw ten Barchettas at the event on 10th October.  It would have been eleven but for the fuel crisis obliging Catherine O’Malley and Mike to travel in another car.  Our day became a very pleasant mix of socialising with members previously unseen and also with familiar faces. 

James Venn in his green LE car was the bravest of all as he took part in both the track event and the hill test, which is a great spectacle.

Ross Williams had driven from North Wales and also present were Angela & Robert Emuss, Chris Rocker & Aneta, Esther Beaumont & George, Eric Trump with his son, Rod & Clare Graham, Adam & Laurie Workman, Jack & Andrew England, John Valentine & Sally Shiels.  

After a little jostling with Abarth cars we managed to park together on the historic sloping race track. Only my friend Dave was confident enough to park on the slope, but he has a new 124 Spider.  The rest of us felt safer on the flat section at the bottom.  Possibly FIAT handbrakes have improved!   

Everyone was able to wander around the immense display of Italian vehicles old and new: 

There were Ferraris and Lambos. by the score, 

Alfas and Maseratis galore! 

My personal favourite was an elderly Lancia Lambda in red and black.  It was in perfect condition and stood there for all the world like an Italian Rolls Royce. 

The day also brought the most serendipitous meeting with Geoff Bowles who was there in his beautifully restored red Barchetta.  Geoff was the president of our club in the early days before most of us were owners.  I enjoyed chatting to him and was delighted when he passed to me a complete workshop manual.  So we now have a valuable reference document that I hope will prove useful to members.  I shall be able to scan pages of specific tasks and forward them if and when required, thank you Geoff.   

The day ended with the hill test, my grandson George & I secured a fine vantage point from where to watch the cars tearing up the steep slope.  James was there with the best of them.  One car pleased the crowd more than all the others, a tiny Cinquecento struggled noisily up the hill hooting as he came to great applause.  It was a fun end to an enjoyable day. 

Martin Garrad