Ace Cafe Italian Night – April 2012

The legendary Ace Cafe’s themed evenings continue right throughout the year, but for understandable reasons, attendance diminishes more than somewhat in the cold and dark winter months. With the clocks now adjusted for British Summer Time, and the promise of daylight until around 8pm, there was much to look forward to from my first visit to Ace in 2012, for Italian Night. Although the weather seemed to throw everything (in the case of the hail stones, quite literally) at us for random periods of time during the day, it did stay dry all evening, allowing full appreciation of the cars and bikes that turned up. A combination of unpredictable weather and Easter/School holidays probably did deter or preclude some from attending, as the main car park area never got completely full, and it was probably 7pm before the majority of people arrived. However, patience was rewarded with variety and some rare and unusual cars.


As usual, Abarth dominated, with a strong presence from the Abarthisti. Many of the regulars were joined by a couple of new owners and yet one more well known face from distant parts managed to fit in a visit (albeit sans her own car) thanks to work taking her to London. This was the first time I was able to see Oli’s green wheels which occasioned much comment when he got them….. draw your own conclusions!

A variety of Alfas ranged from a pristine 1750 GTV through a series of, er, modified 145s to a recent model GT and a Spider

Here is where all the interest was! First to arrive was a Tipo Sedicivalvole. Not a car that sold in large quantities when new, these are very rare now.

An original Cinquecento also arrived early and claimed a spot backing onto the Cafe.
It was the third Fiat  to show up that really caught my attention, as a pale green 1974 128 Special pulled into the car park. Yes, although he had not responded to my message from earlier in the week, Chris Hendrie, late of this parish, brought what is currently his “daily driver” along. It’s just about to hit 80,000km, and apart from a bit of bubbling on the front wings, is in great condition. It was really good to catch up with Chris, and I hope he does indeed bring along his other Fiat, the 238 to Brooklands in three weeks time.
Later on, though, there were rivals in the rarity stakes. This 850 Spider was definitely another “star”.
I also fell for the fabulous 500C Belvedere.
The 131 Mirafiori is not a car you see very often, and we were treated to two of these, a late model Series 3 CL model and a second generation Sporting.
Just one: a 348tb

Not present at all


There was a sizeable gathering of Italian bikes as well. Star attraction was this brand new Ducati 1199 Panigale S Tricolore. The proud owner had collected it in Manchester that day, and because of the weather had actually trailered it down, so had only ridden 12 miles on it. I do have to point out that this is a £25,000 machine!

A fun evening. Great cars and the perfect opportunity to catch up with many friends whom I have not seen over the winter months.

2012-04-13 08:25:51

Leave a Reply

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