4 days, 145 of Fiat Coupe’, 267 participants from 13 countries, 1 broken radiator, 1 fixed gear shift, 5 less and more crashed cars and a lot of positive energy. It’s how I would describe in a few words the gathering of Fiat Coupe’ lovers in occasion of 20th anniversary of this model hosted in the capital of Piedmont on May 30th-June 2nd.
When on Saturday morning I arrived to Lingotto district a colorful rainbow of cars appeared to my eyes. Red, yellow, blue, green, silver, grey, burgundy, white coupes one by one entered to the spiral roadway leading to the test track situated on the roof of the former Fiat factory. Bend after bend they reached the highest level of a present modern complex with shopping center, cinema and hotels.
Roar of engines, proudly lifted bonnets that often were hiding powerful motors and general happiness made this usually abandoned place full of life. When I was watching this extraordinary show I had an impression time went back to 1982 when last cars with Fiat logo left the Lingotto factory. And as in the past engineers were testing tenacity of freshly produced cars, in the last day of May 2014 proud owners of their tinny sweethearts had a good fun taking one of sharp bends.
But the main attraction was about to arrive. The event on the roof of Lingotto was honored by Chris Bangle, the creator of the legendary coupe’. American who for the most time of his career played a significant role in automotive industry (Opel, Fiat, BMW). Now he lives and works in Clavesana, a village in the Langhe area, where he runs his own company Chris Bangle Associates. The meeting with dynamic and charismatic designer was sentimental not only for owners of Fiat Coupe’, but also for its originator. He admitted he is emotionally attached to this car as it was the last model that he designed personally – as a designer, not the chief of the team. He enjoyed a lot investigating mechanical (and visually!) modified engines, deeply customized bodies – starting from color of varnish and ending with such accessories like: headlights, side mirrors, or even the color of wheel rim, that reflect not only the passion of the owner to her/his car, but also a piece of her/his soul.
With a big pleasure and proud I need to underline that sweethearts of Fiat Coupe’ Klub Polska distinguished in the background of more than one hundred cars from different spots of Europe. Yung, full of positive energy people take care not only for their cars, but also for fiends from the club. They came in great number from different Polish cities. Some of them I have already met one year ago (Fiat Coupe’ Klub Polska visits Chris Bangle), with some others I met during the 20th anniversary of Fiat Coupe’ in Turin. And although I don’t have coupe’ (yet?), I have to admit that they managed to inspired me with their love to this cult car.
Once the official part ended, with a subway ticket in hand I went with Polish team for a lunch. We ate in one of the restaurant in the downtown together with other participants of the anniversary. Afterwards we made a short trip in Turin: quick espresso al banco in coffee shop Caffe’ Vergnano, ice creams in via Po, window shopping in via Roma, quick walk in piazza San Carlo and finally travel back to Lingotto. Funny situation couldn’t miss, of course (by the way I’m curious when recently people could watch Mexican wave in a subway?…:)), or gaffe (sitting comfortable in the train we realize we hadn’t wait for four-person family…), or puzzlement when in city center GPS communicated we need to walk 8 more kilometers to get to the restaurant (fortunately we manage to clarified this misunderstanding quickly and to downsize the distance to one kilometer, only). Then everything went smoothly: speedy shopping in Eataly Lingotto and in 8 Gallery, rapid repair of gear shift outside the hotel and finally a dinner.
Sunday morning started with a Fiat Coupe’ parade in the heart of Turin, then they proceeded to Venaria Reale, a royal complex situated outside the city. Unfortunately some of participants had a bad luck as 5 cars crashed in an accident on bypass… Moreover celebrations of 20th anniversary of Fiat Coupe’ were hosted also in such places like the Museum of Pininfarina and Mirafiori Motor Village. And even though I wasn’t present there, still I had a chance to take part in an official dinner that thanks to team from Poland was culminated with an awesome spectacle. Over a dozen of Fiat Coupe’ were parked perpendicularly to the hotel Holiday Inn to send a light to the sky. Well, I couldn’t imagine better ending of this extraordinary event…
Guys – once more thank you for such wonderful moments and such a good fun! Special thanks to Club del Coupe’ Fiat for inviting me for the anniversary!