Touring Italy Like Enthusiasts Used To
Photography by: Federico Bajetti
Going on a vacation with a pre-war car is heroic. It’s true that many enthusiasts take their cars on long trips like the Mille Miglia or the Coppa Nuvoari, but to do a trip on your own, relying solely on your companions and a few spare parts is quite an adventure, even by today’s standards. The owners of these machines drove all the way from Germany and were going on vacation: isn’t this just plain cool?
Encountering a ’30s Alvis or Fiat on the road is quite a fortunate coincidence. Witnessing an entire group of cars with German license plates, driving together on the roads close to Lake Garda is a great lucky strike.
A lone pack formed by unrestored ’35 Lagonda, a Fiat 514, an Alvis, and an Armstrong Siddeley is a wonderful thing to witness, even if you struggle to remember the model and manufacturer names!
Pre-war cars can put your knowledge about cars through serious testing, the early core of motoring culture. Seeing cars like these makes me want to retire and live like a hermit at the Royal Automobile Club Library in order to study everything about them. Cars like the Alvis or the Lagonda are just like a beautiful classic painting, and now almost more art than machine. The beauty, the soul, and the spirit of adventure and freedom define these old, oil dripping machines—and they should be appreciated for this. I’m sure the vacation was one to remember, too.