Earlier in the year I received a message like most days all Abarth related. It was from Graeme Wear letting me know later in the year Auto Italia Magazine would be having their first Northern event on their show season calendar. Knowing how much Auto Italia are involved with not just Abarth, but also the wider Italian audience. It was an absolute must that we added this event to our roster and would seek to have as many of the clubs members there as possible to support it.
I’ve found since running the club, our geographic position may somehow go against us with the major shows held in the south. Despite that, we still look to attend as many as we can to fly the flag for the North East.
Towards the back end of 2018, there was a campaign from Abarth to hold another UK event somewhere else within the country. Croft in Darlington was suggested and I spent a few hours (sad I know) of my time spamming as much as I could to make a noise that it should be held up this way, in the North at least. Unfortunately, it didn’t come off.. But it wasn’t for the want of trying.
So to hear that a well-respected name was putting forward an event up this way. It was a no brainer.
Flash forward to the Silverstone Classic event held during July this year. Abarth UK had their own stand. Plenty to see and do at one of the biggest events in the country and only the rain filled day putting a small somewhat downer on the day. Bar that, you couldn’t fault it. Outside the Abarth Hub stood a selection of the car series, most notably the 695 Biposto with all the trimmings, in addition had the 124 Rally Spider in all its glory.
Following on from a few interviews, I seized my moment to ask the Abarth UK Hierarchy about future events being held up North. Getting the chance to not just mention ourselves, but also to push the other clubs up our way to highlight how big our catchment areas are and events would be heavily supported. I asked the question and was told quite simply, `no events are on the horizon for the future` - No sooner as I was about to follow up this with why? Etc. I was asked what events we would have for the rest of the year. Unsure why I was being asked this, but nevertheless I reeled of the list of remaining events and brought up Auto Italia’s show at Chillingham Castle.
Given the good relationship between both Abarth and Auto Italia Magazine, they felt it would be great to offer us the 124 Rally Spider for just under a week. Now, had I asked to borrow the car to begin with… 1) It wouldn’t have entered my mind to ask if it was a possibility.. and 2) I’d have fully expected to be laughed at and told where to go! – The fact it was offered to us was fantastic. A real coup for the club and to further build on going forward now we could speak to the team directly.
Now was the work of keeping it a secret. We planned on promoting this event regardless but now we had something extra that most Abarth owners wouldn’t get the chance to see.. Especially up our way.
Abarth UK were fantastic in organising this it has to be said, from the initial talks, to the delivery and then collection.
Knowing we were going to support the Auto Italia event in big numbers, keeping this on the quiet was going to be a test, but we managed to pull it off. Setting off earlier than the rest to get to the event and avoiding the large convoy to give our members something to look forward to. The big reveal went down brilliant on the day with many photos and videos being taken of the 124 Rally Tribute.
A great backdrop of Chillingham Castle allowed every one attending to get as many photos as possible to remember the occasion. Even after the event had finished, most members who attended made every opportunity to get collective group photos to make the most of the time there. Some of which have been featured in November’s edition of Auto Italia Magazine! We have been told that a review of this event may appear in January’s edition so please check this out once it’s on sale.
I’d like to think we left a great impression to Auto Italia for their first Northern event in order for future shows to be held up our neck of the woods. It was one to remember and definitely one of the shows in our clubs history that I have enjoyed far more than what I was expecting.
Abarth and Auto Italia Magazine have continued to support us following this event and we will do everything we can to return this to them.
Here’s to many more exciting events and things to come!
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