Tutto Italiano

By Peter Walker
Photos by Jonathan Palazzo

August 3, the morning of Tutto Italiano 2014, dawned ominously. Rain on Boston's South Shore and drizzle and dark clouds on the North Shore reminded many Italian car aficionados of certain water-logged Tutto Italianos of earlier years. The prospect of driving an Italian car—especially a leaky convertible one—through heavy rain, parking it on a rainy lawn, and huddling to escape the downpour for a few hours under any possible shelter was not at all what most lovers of Alfas had in mind. Nevertheless, a fair number of Italian car owners and fans braved the elements and were amply rewarded for doing so. The skies over Brookline's Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation began to clear later in the morning, and a solid turnout of Alfas, Fiats, Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis and other two- and four-wheeled Italian vehicles filled the upper and lower lawns around the museum.

As in recent years, Ferraris and Lamborghinis were parked on the upper lawn. Maseratis and motorcycles parked along the drive from the upper lawn down to the museum. Fiats and Alfas were arranged around the lower lawn. A few spectators with interesting cars (including a V-12 E-Type and an early 1970s BMW 2002) were allowed to park across the drive from the area for the Alfas and Fiats. Especially interesting Italian cars were invited to park next to the upper entrance to the museum building.

The more exotic Italian brands, thanks to local dealerships, displayed an array of new and recent models. Among the Ferraris, though, was a yellow Berlinetta Boxer and sundry examples of the 308/328/348/355 range. An especially pretty Maserati 3500GT was also on show. The Fiats included a number of fairly new regular and Abarth 500s next to examples of different years of the 124 Spider and a few X 1/9s. A Lancia Beta Montecarlo—ahem, Scorpion—and a Delta GT were also parked with the Fiats.

The Alfas were well represented as well. Many regular AONE members turned out: Bill and Ian Anderson arrived in a pair of Milanos (one an automatic!!??); Roger and Karen Carlson brought their 1959 2000 Spider; Dan and Debbie Donovan came in their 1988 Spider; Michael and Debra Leccese brought their 1978 Niki Lauda Spider and displayed Niki Lauda memorabilia in the car's open trunk. Greg Stidsen and Paul Leone each brought a burgundy GTV (Paul's a 1972 and Greg's a 1974); Jay Woodruff came in his recently acquired racing-striped 1986 Spider, and I came in my 1977 Spider. Two frequent participants in AONE events were also present: Connecticut AROC member Frank La Sala with his white 164, and former AROC-er Fred Frey with his burgundy Giulia Super. (Velocissima asks for the understanding and forgiveness of any other AONE members whose presence was not noted.) Notable among the other Alfas on display was a deep-red 2600 Spider, which nicely complemented the Carlsons' lighter-red 2000 Spider.

Among the special Italian cars parked next to the upper-level entrance to the museum building were a beautiful light blue Ferrari 275 GTS, a Ferrari 275 GTB/4, a Lamborghini 3500 GT, and a blue Lancia Aurelia. A Bizzarini GT, which had begun the morning parked next to the Lancias and Fiats, was moved to the museum entrance area and drew considerable attention.

Also on display next to the museum entrance were two Alfas of special note: the only late-model Alfa at Tutto 2014 was the same 8C Competizione that has appeared at at least one other recent AONE event. At one point a young boy entertained the crowd by revving the engine of the 8C to what sounded like red-line limits (if ever the bottom falls out of the market for used 8C Competiziones, I may avoid that particular one!). Near the 8C was parked Rod Burdick's lovely 1965 Giulia Sprint Speciale, a perennial favorite at Tutto and other events.

One other car of special note was at Tutto 2014, a Ferrari 335 GT. Some spectators argued over whether there had been only four or eight 335 GTs, but either way, it is an extremely rare Ferrari. The body that of a pontoon-fendered 250 Testarossa (or very much like it), but the engine is a larger V-12 than the 3-liter used in the 250 Testarossa. This car was brought as a stunning example of the work of Paul Russell's shop in Essex, Massachusetts, and was displayed on the upper lawn with the other Ferraris.

When the day's awards were presented, the 335 GT was, not unexpectedly, among the winners. Paul Russell himself accepted the award and explained the history of the car, which is quite interesting and colorful; one early chapter involves coolant in the engine oil, an estimate from Maranello of $60,000 (in 1960!) to cast a new block, the subsequent abandonment of the car in U. S. customs, and the payment of a $1,000 customs fee by a third party, who as a result took ownership of the car.

The award for the best Alfa of the day went to Roberto Donati, of Volante Motors, who had brought a lovely red, stepnose 1300-cc Bertone coupe GT. Late-model 115 Spiders took second and third places. Rod Burdick's Sprint Speciale received yet another well-deserved award. But perhaps the most touching award of the day was Paul Russell's personal award for his favorite car. This award went to Fred Frey's Giulia Super, and Paul Russell explained that he picked this car because not only was it a beautifully restored and presented car, but Paul liked how Fred had displayed the photos that recorded his restoration of this car.

After the award ceremony, cars began to leave the Larz Anderson grounds. Although the day had not started on a promising note, it ended under a lovely sky, and those who did make it to the event were pleased that they had braved the intimidating early morning weather.Tiny Quadrifoglio

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Tutto Italiano