Written by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos
Italian Passion means nothing less than fierce classics. The stallions are resting, and behaving well, but somehow you see how badly they want to hit the road again to roar loudly, and catch every car in front of them. There was one holy bull featured, and it was such an honor to meet a machine like the…
Some of you have already been waiting for this report, so here it is: the report of the Italian Passion exhibition in Auto World Brussels. This event runs from 3 December to 31 Januari and, at the same time you can see the standard collection of Auto World, which has the best of Belgian marques on show. All great, but I was looking for the Italian stallions.
BACK IN TIME
Before we turn to the classic Italians, let’s start from the beginning and that means back in history. I was in Brussels with a respected car-journalist, and we first took our time to admire the Edwardian and prewar collection of Auto World. Of course many Belgian treasures are to be seen.
In the gallery below you’ll see some other fine examples that caught my eye. Obviously I mention the Hispano-Suiza K6, the more because it’s coachwork is by Henri Chapron! Also the Voisin and Bugattis are not to be missed. What I really liked downstairs were the small workshops, revealing nothing but pure patina, or better said: Dans son Jus. One other thing that I was impressed by was the map of Belgium showing all the marques with years when produced. A lot of new names for me, because I am not really familiair with Belgian marques except Minerva of course. I learned that Belgium had more then 100 marques and, was a great name when talking about cars, sadly almost all of this glory has long gone.
Mention the fire engines, of which there was one Delahaye. This was a special exhibit, because I could smell the Dans son Jus and not just a bit…
Auto World truly is worth an extended visit, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Mahy family.
After I climbed toward the Italian stars of this show, I first walked by a ‘street’ full of mostly special Alfas, a great line-up. When I looked down from the Alfa balcony I couldn’t resist capturing the great set-up with the ‘futuristic Lambo classics’. The contrast between the old and the new is just fantastic.
Around the corner of the special ‘street’, I froze to the floor… I stood right in front of the Lambo P400SV. I think I kept staring at this beauty for a while, savouring the feeling some people experience with their fave movie star or singer. To me this was the best Italian Passion experience, although I prefer the P400 or most of all the P400S. I missed the eye lashes of the P400(S), and the rear lights of the P400SV are a bit more clumsy. But if you look at the wheels then the P400SV is forgiven for all that.
Below you’ll see a great line-up. Next to the Miura, the Maserati Mistral and Ghibli are classics with such a fine design, not to forget the very special Alfa Disco Volante. Take a good look at the Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider. If you plan to go to Paris, you can see there what I mean.
Of course there were some of the beloved Ferraris as well. The 250 GT Berlinetta SWB and 275 GTB Coupé definitely earn a spot in this report. A car that will bring back precious memories to my dad is the Alfa Giulia, in this case a Sport GTA. The Nardi steering wheel of his Giulia now hangs like a trophy in my room. Click here to see one of the adventures that the Giulia played a role in.
To make this report not too long we quickly continue with the next group.
SIR BROWN RETURNS
If you remember my report about Interclassics Brussels, you know which I found the weirdest car of that exhibition. Also the mint green Amphicar was one I could remember from Interclassics, but that one I had spotted at Interclassics Maastricht. This area was not Italian anymore, just some British, USA, France, etc. The Americans can be great, like a classic early Mustang, a Cord with those shiny external exhaust headers, or an over the top American Caddy with the iconic fins. The early Jaguar E-Type is a British celeb, but the D-Type beats all. The E-Type on show was nice, but the best example to me would be an early coupé model and best looking in dark grey metallic paint. And for the purist it should of course be an early flat-floor. France is well represented at Auto World, and among the French products on display is a smashing Delage D8-120 convertible with coachwork by the Belgian coachbuilder D’Ieteren Frères. A fine Bugatti had just such two seats décalé as my Amilcar CGS.
Just take a look at the gallery below and you’ll see. Pay attention to the tiny Abarth, I wish that was my first car.
THE SHOCKING PART
Some of you might skip this last part, but since those cars are the classics of the future I need to include them. Before I showed you a great line-up of Lambo’s. This was an intro not to shock you too much. I will admit that I love modern supercars as well and there is nothing wrong with that. I love every car, no matter what it’s age is. So, behind the holy Miura, I entered a black room with future classic supercars such as the F12 TDF, the LaFerrari (wondering why Ferrari chose this name), the most futuristic one, a Lambo Veneno, a MC12 and last but not least the Bugatti EB 110, which is already a classic.
I hope you had a great time visiting this event with me. There was a wide variety of cars on show at Auto World Brussels, and a visit is highly recommended. Obviously there are many more great cars that I did not mention in this report, like the Peugeot Bebe. You know I can speak about cars for hours, but lets do that in Paris. See you next week at Retromobile!