Michigan’s Concorso d’Italia, established three years ago to showcase Italian high performance and classic cars, now takes place at Meadow Brook Hall the day before that venue’s famous Concours d’Elegance. More than 100 cars from 15 different Italian manufacturers were exhibited at this year’s event.
With numerous models on display, Bizzarrini was the featured marque for 2004, including a rare P538 Spyder Le Mans racer that recently sold at auction for $700,000. Designer Giotto Bizzarrini, who at various times worked for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Iso, before launching his own company, was honored with a lifetime achievement award. Bizzarrini is best known for his pioneering design work on the Ferrari 250 GTO and the Lamborghini V-12 engine. Both the Lamborghini P400 Miura and the Bizzarrini P538 racer were powered by the 4-liter version of the Bizzarrini-designed Lamborghini V-12.
Regardless of one’s preferences, be it for GT, sports or super cars from different makers or from different periods, the Concorso d’Italia had something for just about everyone, including fans of one-off prototypes and rare racing cars. The latter included an interesting mix of formula and full-bodied cars from the 1960s through 1990s.
Alfa Romeo was particularly well represented in the racecar exhibit. Alfa racers on display included an ex–Mauro Baldi 1980s F1 GP car, a Formula Three racer, a Type 33 sports racer with the bodywork removed and a 1965 1600 GTA/GT4 that won the 1965 Argentina GP. The Alfa 1600 took the trophy for Outstanding Italian Race Car at this year’s event.