Ace Cafe Italian Night – March 2011

Despite plenty of expressions of interest at attending the monthly Italian car meet at the renowned Ace Cafe in February, the reality of a rainy, cold and dark evening meant that only one particularly enthusiastic Abarthisti actually braved the elements. That person was not me, and in my defence (!), I recall I was in any case still sitting in a warm and dry office until well gone 7pm that evening. With the prospect of a sunny(ish) end to the day, and slightly warmer temperatures, the prospect of the March meeting looked rather more appealing. Fortunately, no-one sabotaged my diary, and I was able to make an early enough exit from our South Bank office so I reached the Hanger Lane gyratary and the nearby Ace Cafe just before sunset, and thus was able to see the early arrivals in the daylight. Most of the first cars on site were Maserati:

One Abarthisti had already arrived, and it was literally about 30 seconds after I got there that another turned up. During the evening, there 7 modern Abarths in attendance, and one older model. Sadly the latter, a black car lacked sufficient light to be able to photograph, but as most of the modern cars were white, these were easier to record.
Fortified by the consumption of a warming mug of coffee, we discovered a Nuova 500 had also arrived.
There were a few other cars, mostly Alfas, as well as a few Fiats, a Lancia Prisma, a rally-look Integrale, and we were admiring these, and contemplating a departure when the real star of the evening arrived.
I managed to have a good chat with the owner of this Hyena. It is one of just 24 cars that were built, and one of only 2 in the UK. He bought it many years ago, with just 109km on the clock, and has done 20,000km in about 10 years. He told me that the car is surprisingly different to drive compared to the Delta Integrale, on which it is based (he owns one of those, too), and is just a bit softer and more comfortable. It is also considerably more valuable, as he told me that the other UK car did sell at very close to the price at which it was advertised in the classic mags (£90,000 in case you were wondering!).

We had a great evening, and decided that we will try to make this a monthly Abarthisti meeting, and are looking forward to warmer temperatures and the fact that by April there were will be daylight for far longer. That will doubtless mean that far more cars come for inspection. There are plenty of other themed evenings, for other categories of cars during the month, too for those who want to see German, or French or American marques.

2011-03-11 20:47:33

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *