From sublime to ridiculous – Auto Italia has it all!!

From sublime to ridiculous – Auto Italia has it all!!

It’s that time of year again when car shows become a weekly fixture and one that should feature on everyone’s list of must see events is Auto Italia at Brooklands in Surrey. One of the biggest events of the year it celebrates the UK’s obsession with all things Italian. This year was Auto Italia’s 34th Spring Gathering – the premier event is without doubt the finest all-Italian car event.

This year a group of NIIMC members and friends made the trip across, some by car and boat, some by bus and boat and others jumped on a plane and hired a car at the other end.  Everyone arrived full of anticipation and as in previous years the site was bursting with all types of Italian cars (and a few motorbikes).

The familiar attractions of the Test Hill demonstration took place, along with the action on the Mercedes-Benz World circuit which is adjacent to Brooklands. This year the quality and range of cars was as breathtaking as ever with some old, some new, some red and some blue cars from all the famous Italian brands. The standard of the cars was no better than what we have in Northern Ireland but in  terms of variety we are always going to be eclipsed by what’s on offer in GB.

In the past the Ferraris has always outnumbered the Lamborghinis but this year I reckon that the Lambos gave the Prancing Horses a run for their money courtesy of a fantastic turnout out from the Lamborghini Owner’s Club. The variety of colours and models was stunning from the latest Lamborghini Urus , Huracan and Aventador to the much admired Lamborghinis from the 70’s such as the Espada, Countach, Urraco and Jalpa.

As ever there were some extremely rare models – when was the last time you saw a Lancia Kappa Coupe, a De Tomaso Mangusta or a Monteverdi 375L. There were even a few cars that I have never seen before. My personal favourite was a Maserati Bellagio – an estate Quattroporte if you need to ask – this was one of only 5 ever built.

Everywhere you looked there was something to admire – the beauty of Italian cars which are the epitome of style is that there is something to appeal to all tastes – whether you are a modern supercar enthusiast or are seduced by the stunning lines of some of the most beautiful Lancias and Ferraris of old.

The atmosphere, the soundtrack fo the cars and the smell of fuel from thoroughbred engines was just intoxicating and the only disappointing  aspect of the event was when the cold crisp day turned to a wet one with a series of heavy showers – that signalled an early departure for some owners and their cars and deprived me of the opportunity for a further wander to marvel at some of the cars that I hadn’t had the chance to admire earlier.

As the event drew to a close some NIIMC members jumped on their coach for the journey home (some intent on consuming alcohol to numb the pain of trying to sleep while travelling) whereas others made the short journey to the local Hilton Hotel for a few pints, a bite to eat and a comfy bed for the night.  I’ll not tell you which option I chose but I was well rested and the cooked breakfast the next morning was delicious!!

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable event and definitely worth a visit.


Tim Logan