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Brooklands Italian Car Day – still blowing the doors off!

Brooklands delivered its usual display of Italy’s finest from Fiat 500s to Ferrari Enzos as well as opportunities to see some of them in action on the Test Hill and Mercedes Benz World Test Track. 

Happily the on track demonstrations were at a brisker pace than last year’s Motorsport Day and a definite highlight was the sight and sound of the ex-Nelson Piquet Benetton B190. Also sounding good were a Lancia Stratos replica and modern Maserati 3500GT. It was also nice to see a Ferrari Enzo being exercised. Over on the Test Hill, a very standard looking Fiat Topolino with a twin cam engine fitted was showing a surprising turn of speed along with an 80bhp Fiat 500 Abarth. 
The highlight of the Nuvolari Paddock for me were the ‘pre-hot hatches’ in the shape of an early AlfaSud Ti and Fiat 128 Rally. There was also a nice, white Lamborghini Muira and rare rhd DeTomaso Longchamps, a sort of Italian interpretation of an 80s American muscle car.
Most popular car of the day with the crowd turned out to be the highly detailed replica of the Lancia Stratos that won the 1976 Monte Carlo Rally in iconic Alitalia livery. My personal favourite was the unrestored, East African Safari spec Group B Lancia 037 in equally evocative Martini colours. The current owner bought the car in Africa more than 30 years ago and exercises it regularly. With panel gaps that would flatter a Reliant and genuine East African patina the car is a lovely reminder of how things really were in those halcyon days.
Words and photographs 
Keith Mainland


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