Report by Marco Zanello and photos by Giacomo Zanello
The Auto and Moto d’Epoca 2011 was held 27-30 October at the Padua Exhibition Centre in Padua, Italy. This year celebrated the 28th edition of the Italian exhibition dedicated to the world of classic cars.
If the numbers of the past editions had proved the undisputed value of this show, the numbers of this year made clear that the organizers intended to follow the development trend, aware of the fact that Italy is a country where the interest and the culture in vintage cars is nothing but sleepy. Thus 90,000 square meters of the exhibition area, where you could see more than 2,600 cars, spare parts, clothing and accessories, modelling and automobilia, were invaded by over 70,000 visitors, a number comparable with the Retromobile in Paris, even if the latter is still unattainable from the point of view of its exhibition care.
The Auto and Moto d’Epoca 2011 is grouped into eleven stands divided on the basis of their contents, all aimed to orderly facilitate the visitor’s tour. In the area reserved to the brand clubs there was the special interest shown in the Alfa Romeo and Mercedes-Benz, beautiful stands that were respectively mounted to celebrate the 150 years of the Unit of Italy and the 125 years of the activity of the famous German house.
Alfa Romeo exhibited some of the most important historic models belonging to the collection of its museum, among them the Tipo 159, the car driven by Juan Manuel Fangio winning the world championship of Formula One in 1951, the 8C 2900B Le Mans, the only example that in 1938 came close to victory in the Sarthe marathon before retiring for a valve problem, the 6C 2300 Gran Turismo coachwork by Castagna and three concept cars built on the mechanical structure of the 33 road version. The Italian House also paid homage to the creative genius of the Italian coachbuilders of the 1970s: the Carabo by Bertone, the Iguana by Italdesign and the 33 coupe by Pininfarina, the latter that featured charming gullwing doors.
As for the space and exhibited cars, the more interesting area was the one dedicated by Lancia, where on display was the Alpha 1908 coachwork by Miller Bros, most probably the oldest Lancia in existence and winner of many Concours d’Elegance, several versions of Flaminia, an Astura and a good number of models from the Eighties, among them a Lancia Integrale and a Thema.
The British car displays didn’t fail either, in particular the Jaguar and MG, with the exhibition of the Pa Sports of 1934, the 32 of 1933 and the A Coupe of 1960. It was also noted a little heterogeneity among the clubs, all no longer tied to the Italian brands or Porsche, but remarkably extended to Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Citroen. Also taking part were clubs born to dedicate the most updated cars that are becoming part of the vintage cars like the Fiat Barchetta.
Despite the Auto and Moto name it must be pointed out the almost total absence of motorbikes, in part due to the upcoming 2012 bike show in Padua, named “Passione Moto.”
The only real drawback of Auto and Moto d’Epoca 2011 was been the absence of Coys, the auction house, that in prior years energized the exhibition with the sale of some real valuable models. However, after poor results last year, Coys abandoned the 2011 edition, further demonstrating how classic car auction houses haven’t found a fertile soil in the beautiful country.
Auto Moto d’Epoca 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger photo and description)