- Concours d’elegance, parades and special races on roads closed to traffic: this is the packed programme reserved for the historic cars arriving at the medieval Dyck castle
- Alfa Romeo takes part with four precious models: the prototype 750 Competizione (1955), the 8C 2900 Le Mans (1938), the Giulietta SZ (1960) and the 1900 Sport Spider (1954)
- Under the spotlight the Lancia 037 Rally (1984 - group B) and the Formula 1 Lancia D50 (1955)
At the German event also the Abarth 1000 Monomille (1960) and three Fiat cars: 8V (1954), 600 Multipla (1959) and Dino Spider (1969)
- The historic cars are accompanied by some current production models, such as the multi-award-winning Alfa Romeo 4C, the Fiat 500L 'City Lounge' and the new Abarth 695 biposto which, for the first time in Germany, can be admired on the road
From 1 to 3 August, the annual Classic Days event will take place in Germany, dedicated to the cars of the past and held at the medieval Dyck castle, at a short distance from Düsseldorf. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could by no means fail to be in attendance at the prestigious event, offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the precious historic models from the Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Fiat and Lancia brands that will compete in the "Racing Legend" races and the special races around the captivating water castle.
In detail, four models come from the Alfa Romeo History Museum - the prototype 750 Competizione (1955), the 8C 2900 Le Mans (1938), the Giulietta SZ (1960) and the 1900 Sport Spider (1954) – while two extraordinary race cars belong to the Lancia Collection: the Lancia 037 Rally (1984 - group B) and the Formula 1 Lancia D50 (1955). There’s also space for three Fiat cars – 8V (1954), 600 Multipla (1959) and Dino Spider (1969) – and the Abarth 1000 Monomille (1960).
To confirm the common thread that has always tied the cars of yesteryear to those currently in production, also in attendance at the event in Germany are the beguiling Alfa Romeo 4C, the Fiat 500L 'City Lounge' and the new Abarth 695 biposto, the “most Abarth of all Abarths”, which for the first time in Germany can be admired on the road.
Alfa Romeo: Zagato coupé for the 60th anniversary of the Giulietta
During the "special races" scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, four jewels from the Alfa Romeo brand’s crown will flaunt their splendour, beginning with the 750 Competizione, a racing "barchetta" made in 1955 for potential participation in Sports category races, 1.5-litres class. The car’s engine is that of the Giulietta, taken to 1488 cc for a total power of 145 HP, propelling this racing spider to 220 km/h, also thanks to the kerb weight of 670 kg. The bodywork design is by Boano, and in sharp contrast to the style of its Alfa Romeo contemporaries. The car remained at the prototype-laboratory stage: in 1955 at Portello they had to concentrate on consolidating the production of the "Giulietta".
Also from the Alfa Romeo museum is the Giulietta Sprint Zagato, a racing version derived from the standard production car, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. From the combination of the shorter chassis of the Giulietta Spider, the standard 100 HP 1.3-litre engine of the Giulietta Sprint Veloce and the aluminium bodywork by Zagato comes a race car which is practically unbeatable in its displacement class. During the event at the Dyck castle, it is possible to admire a particularly rare example with aerodynamically optimised stub tail. Finally, the third car from the Alfa Romeo Collection is the 1900 Sport Spider, a one-off race car created in 1954 on the advanced mechanical base of the 1900, with an ‘open’ body by Bertone, particularly sleek and aggressive, with the performance and drivability of a contemporary car.
The participation of official Alfa Romeo cars is rounded off with a precious 8C 2900 Le Mans which will be on display at the medieval Dyck castle. This is a unique vehicle characterised by breathtaking aluminium bodywork – by Touring – which led the 24 Hours of Le Mans for a long time. The bonnet guards the legendary 8-cylinder-in-line engine from the victorious Formula 1 Alfa Romeo race cars and which comes in a 2.9-litre version with two Roots compressors in this version.
Lancia: guest of honour at the event the D50, the Formula 1 car from 1955
Lancia, on the other hand, chooses a race car from its own collection for the race round the Dyck castle: the Formula 1 D50 of 1955. This is one of the eight single-seaters built for the 1954 World Championship – the one competing is Luigi Villoresi’s car – before going to the Scuderia Ferrari, which in 1955 won the title with Fangio, thus confirming that the Lancia Racing Team was on the right track. A truly innovative F1 car for the period, the D50 adopts an eight-cylinder 2.5-litre V engine fitted transversely, allowing the propeller shaft to pass next to the seat rather than under it, lowering the car’s centre of gravity and improving stability. The rear gearbox is transverse, while the characteristic side tanks improve aerodynamics and permit weight distribution to be maintained from the beginning to the end of the race. What’s more, in 1955 this example of the Lancia D50 was driven both by Villoresi in the Valentino Grand Prix (Turin) and by Louis Chiron in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Three decades later, Lancia dominates the World Rally Championship with the Tipo 037 Rally, which visitors to Classic Days can admire up close. The group B race car with two-litre engine and compressor won a total of six world championship races, gaining the title of the last car with rear-wheel drive in 1983. Walter Röhrl became runner-up to the world champion that year with the Lancia 037 Rally. The advanced version from the Lancia Collection is the last of the more than 250 examples built in total both for the road and rallies.
Fiat: exceptional eight-cylinder coupé with fibreglass bodywork
Spotlights are on a unique vehicle that opens the Fiat presentation for Classic Days. Created on the base of the Fiat 8V, a small sport saloon built in a limited run from 1952 to 1954, the model in question (dating to 1954) is unique thanks to its fibreglass bodywork, in order to minimise the weight, and is propelled by a V8 2-litre 115 HP which can take it to 200 km/h.
Next to this genuine automotive rarity, the Fiat 600 Multipla (1959) created on the base of the Tipo 600 and forerunner of the concept of compact passenger MPV. The strength of this model is the optimal layout of the interior space which, despite the vehicle remaining just 354 centimetres in length, demonstrates how designer Dante Giacosa was motivated more by research into practicality than aesthetics. Showing off the proverbial versatility of the model, the Fiat 600 Multipla on show in Germany features a tow trolley with a Guzzi Cardellino motorbike and a Dingo 49 cc.
Completing Fiat’s line-up at the German show is the Fiat Dino Spider of 1969, a luxury cabrio equipped with a V6 engine originally built at Ferrari (the same power unit was adopted by the Ferrari 246 GT).
Abarth: a 1960s dream car with aluminium bodywork
Visitors to Classic Days can admire a rare Abarth 1000 Monomille (1960), so called because it is equipped with a 1,000 cc engine and a single camshaft which provided approximately 60 HP at 6,000 rpm. The top speed was no less than 180 km/h. A coupé with a distinctively sports set-up, its bodywork was similar to that of the Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero but deliberately created to be narrower, in aluminium and without bumpers for a total weight of just 560 kg. Its price, decidedly higher than that of a Porsche 365, made the Abarth 1000 Monomille the dream car of the early sixties.
Turin, 21 July 2014