Today, I got the chance to speak to Club Administrator, Nicolas D'Apice.
Nicolas gives me the run down about what daily life is like within Abarth Club Argentina, his passion for the brand what they get up to across the country.
Hello Nicolas, thank you for taking the time to speak to me.
So first up, can you tell me more about yourself, your role within Abarth Club Argentina and what Abarth you’re currently driving at the moment?
Hello Ross, I'm Nicolas and I'm currently one of the three administrators of Abarth Club Argentina. I've been with the club for around 4 years now and my current role within this is that I'm in charge of the Club's Instagram account along with our Club Whatsapp Group Chat.
I own a 2013 500 Abarth (135BHP) in Rosso Sfrontato.
When did Abarth Club Argentina form and how many people help run it with you?
The club was created as at 24/03/2015. You have me and two administrators (Emanuel & Julian) who run the club. However, in total there are about 6 of us that run all the groups since we have the usual social media accounts to deal with such as Instagram, Facebook etc.
Emanuel has been in the group from the beginning. He is a good asset to us as he helps other members by providing his technical or mechanical expertise. He drives a 2014 500 Abarth 595 Turismo (220hp) in Bianco Gioioso.
The third member of the team (Julian) has also been in the group from the start. He currently drives both a White Series 3 and a Red Series 4 Abarth. Julian is the administrator of Bertocchi Performance. He is (but don’t tell him ;-) ) the guy that has probably the most knowledge about this little car within our country.
With you all being in charge of running the club for the full country. Where are you based within Argentina?
We are primarily based in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. We do have members from all over the country, for example from Mendoza, Santa Fe, Cordoba, La Rioja, and so on.
What do you love most about being involved with the club?
For me, It’s a wonderful experience. It gives you the chance to participate in an activity that we love the most, the passion for cars.
We think that the sense of friendship and togetherness is what makes us feel proud of our little community and being able to share food and more at our club events. For most of us, the Abarth brand is something that we’ve grown up with. Here, it became very famous because of the Italian heritage that our country has.
When the COVID-19 issue is over with. Is there an event you're hoping to attend during 2020 that you think will still go ahead as planned?
We are definitely anxious about a big gathering right now with our club members. We have made plans which some have yet to be confirmed but a circuit experience later this would be great to go ahead with.
What is the Abarth scene like within Argentina? Are they as crazy and passionate like the rest of us across Europe?
We have an enormous relationship with the Abarth brand.
Many of our parents even raced with Fiat’s with Abarth parts on them. The Italian cars are part of our rich culture and it is deep within our hearts. Besides, the Argentinian people are known for being very passionate. There have been many times when were are out at events or a general drive across the city, we come across people in the street who stop you while you are driving and ask you if it’s an official Abarth car, It's more than often they have some sort of story with a Fiat or an Abarth in the past. I think it’s part of the roots or the essence of driving down here.
Are there any other clubs within South America that you're close to? If so are there any plans to join together to create one big Abarth event?
We would like to join along the Classic Abarth Club here. They have many official classic abarth cars and some replicas that are not that common down here in South America.
Apart from that we talk to many mixed car groups as we form part of the track day meetings almost always.
We also often speak with Abarth Club Brazil, which has wonderful people but unfortunately the distances are very long between each other.
What have you done to your Abarth modification wise?
Mine has little things, even though I have it since 2016. I added the Magnetti Marelli centrals, both gas pedal and the engine one. Apart from that it has only been visual changes. I added the 595 aluminium gear knob, the stubby aerial and the aluminium gas tank cover.
If someone from our club decided they wanted to take a trip to Argentina for a holiday. Could you tell me more about where the best places are to visit and what you love about your country?
Well that’s a big one! If you are coming here you have to know that we are extremely passionate about cars, football, wine and food.
We have an amazing country, with vast extension and with all the climates. We have from glaciers to deserts so its great to travel within the country itself. There's a wonderful tour around Balcarce, Fangio’s town of birth.
Most of us are from Buenos Aires, which is a lovely city. Strong with European roots and some Latin passion. There are a lot of places to go to besides our city really never sleeps. You can have dinner at 2am without any problem and dance till noon if you want to. It's great!
Do you still have anything planned for 2020?
For this year we had planned to have several gatherings but with the quarantine, it got a little bit complicated.
Now we don’t know how long it’s going to last so we encourage our members to stay at home and be safe.
When this its all over we would like to make a big reunion with many cars but we can't make any plans right now.
Do you have any goals you want to achieve while running the club?
Yes, indeed. We would like to create a sense of community that could represent us.
We’d like to be able to help each other and people from outside too. We have the responsibility to carry on the Abarth name here in our country and it’s our job to make it known and respected.
Which Abarth within the whole series do you like the most?
If I had to choose, I’d go with the Abarth Biposto in red. I love it in every single aspect. Now I’m thinking about the Tributo Ferrari as well but... Lets pass to the next question before I change my mind!
Lastly, why do you love Abarth?
As I pointed out before, I think it has something to do with the roots.
Having Italian Grandparents adds some passion to it and pride. It’s a people’s car. It’s not something fancy to brag about. But the people who know a little bit about cars will know what you are driving and probably why you chose it.
We all know this car it’s not the easiest choice, nor the cheapest or more powerful. But, it does have something that we can't truly explain. Maybe its soul...That’s enough for me.
Besides the faces that the Abarth leave behind when you surprise someone with a bigger fancier car are worth it.
I couldn't of summed it up better Nicolas, thank you again for taking the time to speak with me and to our members within Abarth Club North East.
If you would like to check out more from Nicolas and what Abarth Club Argentina are up to. You can follow the following accounts on Instagram.