Our Four Favorites From Bella Italia At The Bay And The Details That Make Them Great
Photography by Andrew Golseth & Erik Ruggels
One of the many reasons San Diego attracts new residents—aside from being a major brew capital, home to some of the most beautiful beaches, stuffed with incredible restaurants, and located in a diverse landscape perfect for staying active—is the incredible weather. More so than Los Angeles’ often boiling summers, San Diego manages to maintain a Mediterranean climate almost all year-round. The temperate weather only further enables the area’s very active and diverse automotive subculture.
Unfortunately, this mostly consistent paradise does (rarely) give way to much-needed rainfall, which is what happened this past Saturday during the 16th annual Bella Italia at the Bay. If you’re a local petrolisti, the small Italian concours is definitely worth a visit. Perhaps this is similar to your tastes, but we’re virtually numb to present-day super cars, and although it’s always a treat to see so many of the world’s fastest modern automotive marvels collected in one place—but that’s not why we attended this event. Sharing the bayfront with new speed machines were some very special vintage Italian tin worth drooling over—and nobody noticed our salivation thanks to the rainfall. Here were our personal favorites that were in attendance.
Upon entering the Spanish Landing grounds, we were immediately drawn to a very ’80s Ferrari Testarossa. Although there were a handful of the Pininfarina cheese graters on site, this one stood out from the rest because…well, it wasn’t Rossa Corsa, and it was missing its lid. Finished in a color reminiscent of the era’s most popular drug with dark blue interior—a white linen suit is required for both period correctness and safety as to not stain the bianca seats. Ferrari only officially made one Red Head Spider for Fiat head Gianni Agnelli. However, Pininfarina did offer the conversion for a short time for select customers. The car largely remains in standard Testarossa spec, with the exception of a shorter windscreen and door windows.
While trying to pick our jaws off the lawn over the cocaine white drop top above, we heard something rumbling down the bay front sidewalk. Well, if isn’t Lambo Jack! That’s right, Jack and his lovely Lamborghini 400 GT were featured on Petrolicious last year. Since entering Drive Tastefully stardom, not much has changed with Jack and the Toro V12—other than adding even more miles! Jack was kind enough to let me hop in his Italian treasure and that’s when I noticed the, arguably, coolest interior door pulls of all time. Another favorite “feature” on Jack’s 400 GT are the imperfections. Though, overall, a very well partially restored example—Jack painted the car himself in his garage years ago—the old bull has touch-up paint chips throughout. That’s because, unlike most classic Lamborghinis, Jack isn’t afraid to drive his GT. In fact, he might have the highest mileage 400 on earth.
After climbing out of the panoramic Lamborghini cockpit, we made our way across the grounds to a very different but equally special Italian steed: one of the cleanest 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Supers we’ve come across. The owner, Anthony, was kind enough to give us a little info on his newly-acquired sport sedan.
Turns out, Anthony met the original owner of this Giulia some 25 years ago! After spending a quarter century trying to buy the car, the first owner finally sold it to Anthony about twelve weeks ago. The car wears one respray in its rare factory Grigio Medio Metallic hue, while the saddle interior remains all-original and in exceptional condition. Check out the service manuals proudly displayed in the boot!
Finally, this black Dino GTS was beading water off its flawlessly painted black sculpted body, demanding a closer look. The deep wet-sanded to a glass finish paint made the tan upholstery pop—a classic juxtaposition. The seats feature some beautifully contrasting black inserts. Aside from the perfect finish, we love the headlamp aero covers and lack of bumpers that lend to its athletic aesthetic. This may just be the very best Dino we’ve ever seen.
So, there you have it. Even with a chilly-windy-rainy morning, by noon the sun was back out shining brightly over Spanish Landing. Most importantly, we’ve confirmed that despite what urban myth declares, Ferraris don’t melt in the rain. If you’re in San Diego this time next year, be sure to stop by Bella Italia at the Bay—it’s not a bad way to spend your Saturday.