Ace Cafe Italian Night – June 2011

Hard to believe, but another month has gone by, and once again the calendar said that it was the second Thursday, and hence time for Italian Car Night at the Ace Cafe. With the prospect of a sunny end to the day, all was looking good, until I got to the Hangar Lane gyratory, a few hundred yards from my destination. One hour later, I finally arrived, thanks to traffic jams of epic proportions caused by some emergency gas repairs being undertaken a bit further north, and given the struggle I had to get there, was not surprised to find that the car park was nearly empty. Gradually more and more cars did arrive, resulting in a display of both interest and variety, which made that hour spent going nowhere seem worthwhile, even before I factor in the congenial company of some of my fellow Abarthisti.


After the immense number of cars in April, and a decent turnout in May, the numbers of Abarth were reduced this time, not least because my logistics had compelled to arrive in the Audi (which had to stay parked up on the street), and because, well, you’ll have to read on………….


Undoubted star of the evening was this 8C Competizione. There could well be a surfeit of kidneys and other valuable body parts of offer from the many attendees who would all have to resort to such sacrifices to own this wonderful machine.

Plenty of other Alfas were in attendance, though, with a number of 147 GTAs arriving later in the evening. I caught these


Just one Ferrari, this rather nice Dino 246 GT


So, here’s the reason that we were one more short on Abarths. A combination of our repeated requests and a nice sunny day were sufficient for my friend Lloyd to decide to bring his X1/9 rather than his Abarth Punto. One of the last models made, this is a Gran Finale car. He has had it for 12 years and has restored from the rather sad state that it was in when he bought to its lovely condition now. The trip from Doncaster and back would be the longest journey he has ever made in it, as it only covers about 600 miles a year. Judging by the interest that the car generated, it was not just me that was very grateful that he decided to bring it.

Looking absolutely pristine was this pale green Nuova 500. It was showing 95,000 miles on the clock, but I would guess that it has not covered many of those since a comprehensive restoration, as it was about as perfect as you could get and probably better than when it left the factory over 40 years ago!

Not quite so well presented, but probably rarer these days was this Uno SX

Other Fiats included a further Nuova 500 and the more modern Cinquecento. The more recent Punto may ape an Abarth, but apparently it packs a not inconsiderable 265 bhp under the bonnet, and accordingly is quite brisk.


The ever popular Hyena made a mid evening appearance at the event, along with a couple of MonteCarlos and a Fulvia coupe.

A fun evening, as ever.

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