Auto e Moto d’Epoca , Padova (Padua) – October 2011

Asked to name major classic car shows in countries beyond the UK, and the better informed enthusiast would doubtless cite Retromobile in Paris and TechnoClassica in Essen in Germany, along with some of the very prestigious events in America such as Pebble Beach, but Italy? Probably less well known, but the largest classic car event is the Auto e Moto d’Epoca, which is held at the Fiera in Padova (Padua), a historic town sited between Bologna and Venezia. Given my well documented love of Italian cars (and Italy as a whole), when I worked out that the logistics made this perfectly feasible for a weekend trip, I made my bookings with British Airways, Hilton and Hertz, full of eager anticipation.The directions on the event website suggested that those arriving on the A13 from Bologna should leave the autostrada at Padova Sud and simply follow signs to the Fiera. Would that it were so simple, and I reckon that I did pretty much a lap of the city, before discovering that the Fiera is fairly central, and with a variety of car parks all around a 10 minute walk from the main entrance. Queuing, or rather scrummaging for a ticket was a bit of a challenge, too, but once that was over, and I was in the main event, it was time to savour what was there. With 15 Halls, and lots of outdoor displays, I cannot be sure that I saw everything. This is a vast event. It runs for four days and I can see why some people would come for more than one day. It also got pretty crowded, though the number of people did diminish by mid afternoon, and the last hour was very pleasant and an ideal chance to take many of the photos that I could not get earlier in the day. There were several halls with cars for sale, and others with Owners Club displays, some of which clearly had support from the manufacturer. Whilst not quite as polished as Retromobile, the variety of cars and the fact that were many vehicles which I did not even recognise more than made up for any other challenges. There was far too much to photograph even a quarter of what was on show, so here are just some of the exhibits, collated by manufacturer and presented in alphabetical order.


There were large numbers of classic Abarths for me to enjoy. And enjoy them I did.

Rarest of all was this, an Allemano Coupe. A small number of these cars were built around 1960, in both coupe and convertible format. I’ve seen a red convertible at Brooklands in the UK before now, but cannot recall ever seeing a Coupe before.

Several of the Zagato styled 750 “Double Bubble” models were on show. These diminutive cars are now worth a lot of money. One is for sale in the UK, offered at £75,000. Later models had a 1 litre engine and were called the 1000.
There were lots of the cars based on the Fiat 600, the 850 and 1000TC.
Fewer of the Fiat 500 based cars were on show, but there were some.
This 1300 OT was based on the 850 Coupe, and would be a lot of fun.
There were several other racing Abarths, with the 1300SP and 1300GT among them.
The 124 Abarth Spider enjoyed success as a rally car in the early 1970s.
There was a large Alfa-Romeo stand in the centre of one of the halls, with exhibits supplied by the Alfa Romeo Centro Storico, and fabulous they all were. I really liked this, a classic racing 159 Alfetta.

Alongside it were a couple of lovely cars from the 1930s, a 1934 6C2300 Gran Turismo and the 1938 8C2900B Tipo Le Mans.
Three concept cars made their very striking presence felt: the Pininfarina styled 1969 33 Coupe, the Bertone styled Carabo from 1968 and the Ital Design produced Iguana.
An 8C Spider and a new Giulietta completed this fantastic display.
There were plenty of classic Alfas throughout the rest of the show.
Three of the very droolsome 6C1750s were generating lots of positive comments from everyone.

This saloon car dates from the early 1950s and is based on the 6C2500 more often seen as a coupe. There was a convertible version as well.
The 1960 TZ. Very nice.
From the 1950s Giulietta range there was a lovely Spider and a couple of the very pretty Sprint Coupe.
From the 1900 range of the 1950s was this 1900SS Zagato from 1957 and a 1900SS Coupe.
There were a couple of the relatively unloved 2000/2600 Spiders. Surely the prices of these should start to reflect their desirability?
This is a special bodied coupe version of the 2600, the 2600SZ, and a 2000 Spider.
The 105 series cars are clearly as popular in Italy as they are in the UK, and there were several examples of the Giulia Berlina, the GT/GTV Coupes and the much loved Spider as well as a Giulia SS.
There were a few of the larger 1750/2000 Berlina models which I rather like.
In the UK whilst Alfetta GT and GTV models are quite often seen at classic car events, the Berlina is far more elusive., but there were several of them at this event.
The Junior Zagato.
There were surprisingly few AlfaSuds, but this Ti was really nice.

The Alfa 75 has become a cult, as it is the last rear wheel drive Alfa, at least for now.
Just two cars were on the Audi Sport stand, representing the 90s. That is both the 1990s and the Audi 90.

The A112 hatchback was never sold in the UK, so it is one of those cars which tends fo be forgotten about, but this was one of the first supermini hatchbacks made, before the Fiat 127 and Renault R5 popularised the genre. The car was produced from 1969 until 1985 and although it is rarely seen on the roads of Italy. there were lots of these rather endearing cars on show, with several of the Abarth badged cars as well as the “cooking” versions.

Before the A112, Autobianchi produced a distinctive range of small cars, and there were several of the Bianchina based models on show, with not just the saloon versions, but also the Panoramica estate, the Van and the very pretty Convertible.
The Stellina was based on the Fiat 850, and was produced for a couple of years before Fiat’s 850 Coupe supplanted it.
Although the Y10 was badged a Lancia when sold in the UK, in Europe it was badged Autobianchi, the last car to bear the marque name.
There were not many BMWs at the event, even though these cars are now quite popular in Italy. There was this very nice 327 though.

This 503 is one of few such cars that were built in the 1950s.
Not one, but two of the EB110 on show, One was parked up in the supercar display outside and the other was in one of the halls, sporting a “For Sale” sticker.

An early Corvette.

There were plenty of the much loved DS models on show, including a very elegant Concorde. This Coupe model was produced by Chapron., First launched in 1960, a revised version with a squared off roof line appeared in 1965.

I rather liked this Mehari.
There were a number of the Traction Avant cars on show, too.
A separate display concentrated on some of Citroen’s rallying exploits, with a variety of cars from the past 40 years on show.
A very nice Pantera

No surprise that Ferrari was well represented at the event, though more of the cars were in the “for sale” than the Owners Club displays. Earliest model was this 166.

The very pretty 250 GTE
250 Lusso
275 GTB
330 GT
365 GT
365 GT4, the Berlinetta Boxer
The 599GTO, and the first one I have seen in yellow. Not perhaps its best colour!
As befits its position as Italy’s largest car manufacturer, there were lots of Fiats of all ages on show, many of them rare to British eyes.

This 508S Balila sports car was particularly nice.

This is also a 508, as this range covered a vast array of different models in its time.
There were several other pre-war Fiats, including a 521 and an 1100.
The 500 Topolino was the car that put Italy on wheels during the 1930s and there were several of this brilliant little car on show, including a rare estate car. The car was facelifted post war. and called the 500C.
Fiat’s large family car offering in the early 1950s was the 1400, and the Owners Club had a stand with three different models on it, one of them in rare convertible format, and the other two representing the first and second generation (1400B) cars. Elsewhere, the rare Furgone (Van) was a rather splendid sight.
Decidedly unusual was this, the 1950 Zagato styled 1400 Panoramica. Zagato produced a series of cars with bodies like this, on the diminutive 500, the 1100 as well as this one, based on the larger 1400.
Equally rare was this special bodied 1100TV, one of just 126 such Pininfarina styled cars that were made in 1957.
Another rarity was this Stanguellini based car
Fiat’s Campagnola is little known to the UK, but this was an off-roader very much in the style of the Jeep and the Land-Rover. The first cars were sold 60 years ago.
Fiat’s medium sized car was the long running 1200 and 1100 series car, which ran from 1953 until 1969. There were several on show, including the rare Familiare (estate) version of the 1100R.
The 1300/1500 range was the antecedent to the better known 124 range.
A special display of Fiat estate cars included some really unusual vehicles. There was a 500C Belvedere, an 1100R, a 2100 and the one off 130 based car that was made for Umberto Agnelli.
There was a 2300 Berlina, a large car aimed at well heeled Italian, and to my eyes the best resolved of Farina’s three designs for cars of this size (the Peugeot 404 and the Morris Oxford/Austin Cambridge being the others).
There was also a 2300 Coupe, and one of these was also on show.
Plenty of 124 Spiders, showing the evolution of this car from its elegant beginnings to one with large US bumpers.
Several of the Dinos were for sale. Just as well that exporting a car from Italy is an administrative challenge, or I could have been awfully tempted!
The Nuova 500 is still a common sight in Italy, and there were plenty of these cute little cars on show.
Also on display were some of the conversions to the Jolly beach cars.
The 600 also spawned the Multipla, and there were examples of both the regular car and this early people carrier on the Fiat 600 Owners club stand
You don’t often see a 128 Coupe these days. This one had just sold, for €8000.
This 127 Sport is a rare survivor from towards the end of production of the popular small Fiat. This was the second major facelift applied to the car, and few of these were ever sold in the UK, as the Uno arrived within a matter of months of this update. In Italy, the 127 lived on for some years in the shadow of the Uno.
This has to be one of the most original 132s around. It looked like new.
The Ritmo Convertible looked pretty much like new, too. This is a late model, in a limited edition format.
Coming right up to date, the 500 Zagato that was shown at the Geneva Show earlier in the year made another appearance here.
A couple of favourites here (yes, OK, I had a lot of favourites at this show!).

This very pretty sports car is based on the Austin Healey Sprite. There are a trio of these cars in the UK, and they are regular attendees at Italian car events, so it was good to see another example here.

In 1974, Bertone produced a hatchback body for the long running Mini. The initial cars, badged 90 and 120 had pure BMC Mini mechanicals underneath. but when the relationship with the UK Company ended. the cars were re-engineered to accommodate Daihatsu mechanicals, and given a facelift. In this guise production continued throughout the 1980s. This is one of those facelifted cars, fitted with a Turbo. It was the only car of its type at the show, though I did see another one parked up across the street while I was heading towards the show. They are rare even in Italy now.
The Rivolta was the first Iso badged car offered.

Parked up outside was an example of the imposing Fidia saloon.
There were several of the XK120/140/150 cars on show.

The much loved Mark 2, and the equally loved “E” Type.
This is an early SS90 – quite a surprise to find it on show here. It was complemented by a 3.5 litre saloon from the 1930s.
As part of the 70th anniversary for Jeep a display of some of the different models offered over that period were on show.,

There were a couple of the early Lamborghinis, the 350GT.

This Espada was rather nice.
The Miura was very nice. Very nice indeed.
An early Countach was joined by a later model car in the “for sale” hall.
A large Lancia display occupied about half of Hall 3. and contained all sorts of interesting vehicles, starting with the very first Lancia, the Alpha model.

Lancia has often been the prestige car of choice for the President of Italy and other leaders and there were a couple of very stately machines on show from the early years of Lancia, along with a Flaminia from the early 1960s.
This an example of the early 1930s Augusta.
The Aprilia is well known for its advanced engineering and fastback styling, though it was offered with plenty of alternative body styles, several of which were on display
The Ardea was a smaller version of the Aprilia.
Aurelia was an important post war Lancia, and there were examples of many of the different bodies which were offered including the B50 Convertible, the later 2 seater B24 Convertible and the B20 Coupe.
Flaminia was the large car that appeared in the late 1950s and which was produced until 1969. Whilst the Coupe and Convertible models are reasonably often seen at events, it is far less common to see a Berlina. There were a couple of Zagato Sport Coupes as well.
The Appia was Lancia’s smallest car, and was offered throughout the 1950s until production ceased in 1963. There were plenty of Appia models, including the Berlina and the Coupe.
The Fulvia replaced the Appia and this car was very popular when new, despite its premium pricing. There were several of the lovely Coupes on show.
Flavia was the mid-range offering in the 1960s, and was offered with lots of different bodies, including this convertible and a Coupe.
A special treat was this lovely one-off Pininfarina styled Olgiata, based on the Gamma Coupe
There was also a lovely Gamma Berlina. This car had belonged to one family almost all of its life and clearly been well cared for.
It is nearly 30 years since the Thema was launched (1984), and examples of this car included the Ferrari engined 8.32 and the elegant Estate.
The Stratos featured on a couple of stands.
Also from the rallying scene was the 037, and this S4.
No Lancia display would be complete without the Delta Integrale and sure enough there were a couple of these cars and a bare chassis on show.
A classic Range Rover.

A new name for me. Just 40 of these sports coupes were made in 1969.

A fabulous display of racing Maseratis made for a spectacular sight on this stand. A Bertone Stanguellini model from 1953 was among them.

There was almost a complete presence of every road car type offered by Maserati from the 1959 3500GT to the present day.
There were examples of both the first and third generation Quattroporte
Several of the BiTurbo generation cars, of which this convertible was rather nice.
There were no fewer than 3 Shamals on show
I don’t think I have ever seen quite so many of the classic 300SL models in one place. There were 7 on the SL Owners’ stand, and a further couple on the Mercedes-Benz Classico stand, with both the Gullwing coupe and the Convertible models represented.

There were several 190SLs as well.
The Mercedes-Benz Registro had a wide variety of other cars to see, including these ranging from the 220 of the 1950s to the very latest SLS Convertible.
The very imposing W100 model 600
Even more imposing was this 500K.
A small number of MGs were on show, including these:

J2s and a PA

Among the “T” series cars were a TC and a TF
Not a particularly well known name these days, but this company goes back to the 1920s when it was set up to build motorbikes. Late in the 1920s they dabbled with microcars as well. Moretti turned to conventional cars in 1946, offering a number of different designs over the next 10 years. Among them was the 750, which was launched in 1953, and which was offered with lots of different body styles including this one.

In 1957, the policy changed, and instead of making complete cars, Moretti started to build special bodies to go over the mechanicals of others, most notably Fiat. For the next 20 years, a vast array of different designs were offered.
Basis for this car is the Fiat 500, though you would probably never guess!

This one is 600 based.
This rather pretty coupe was based on the boxy 128 saloon.
An array of NSUs included the first type Prinz, a couple of the Prinz 4, the slightly larger 1000 and the very lovely Ro80

A second generation Manta Coupe.

Another Italian styling house that made rebodied Fiats (among other things).

This is the 1200 Spider. A coupe model was also made, and they were produced in some number. Not hard to see why, as it is very elegant. .

A 1955 Panhard Barchetta.

The 205 Owners Club had three cars on their stand, with an immaculate GTi model joined by a CTi and a Rallye.

This Ape was beautifully presented. It needed to be, as it bore a price tag of €15,000!

There were a lot of Porsche in the exhibition. Pretty much every different type of the popular 911 was represented.

There were also a good number of 356 models.
There was one lone 914 and a very lovely 904.
There were not many Renaults on show, but this rather splendid car did go someway to making up for the lack of others.

An original R5 was parked up outside, as was an R4.
There were four Alpines, though, with the A110 and A310 on show.
A late model “Mille”, although by the time this car was made, the name had been changed to 1005.

There was also an example of the Bertone styled 1200S Coupe which was based on the Mille.
A number of TRs were at the event including a TR3, a TR6 and a TR7.

Yet another Italian styling house that made new bodies for Fiats in the 1960s.

A series of rebodied 850s were offered, including this pretty 850 Coupe

This car was based on the Fiat 1500 Saloon.
The 240 Series is now a minor classic and a couple of these cars were on show.

This was an absolutely fantastic event. Indeed, probably one of the most interesting classic car shows I have ever attended. With plentiful and affordable flights to nearby Bologna and Venezia, this is perfectly viable for a weekend trip. I will be including it in my 2012 plans, for sure.
2011-11-06 08:49:05

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