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Click the above video for highlights of the event.

For everyone this year, 2020 has been challenging for all concerned. As a club we have gone from going into this year with a stacked show calendar to seeing multiple events being cancelled one after another.

Photo by Lee Hastings

One event I was hoping that was going to go ahead was Auto Italia up in the North East. The event itself was scheduled to take part during July this year. But like the majority of events it was unfortunately cancelled. Nevertheless, the determination to get it to go ahead is a testament to the level of work Auto Italia have put together behind the scenes.

It was agreed that the event would be rescheduled to the beginning of September. So not all hope lost knowing we could still hopefully have a quality event to look forward to. As lockdown eased, myself and club admin Ben Au were invited to a promotional day for the magazine to check out the venue and get those all important photographs to build towards the event.

Photo by Lee Hastings

My first visit to the castle and it was an eye opener. A superb backdrop of the castle overlooking the acres of land for as far as the eye could see. As much as I enjoyed Chillingham Castle the year prior. This was a huge upgrade which was echoed by all.

Knowing it would be pretty much our last main event of the show calendar. We had to make up for lost time with a lot of events being postponed. It was at this point the conversations were discussed alongside Abarth UK to see if we could have something special for the event as we did back in 2019 with the 124 Rally Tribute.

Photo by Lee Hastings

It was agreed that we could make use of the Abarth Hospitality Pod on the day where the representatives attending would provide some goodies along with refreshments too. A brilliant addition which no doubt would stand out at the event to make our club stand and Abarth section that more special.

An event I’ve been counting down the days to. Frantically on the days building up to it seeing so many weather changes praying for a day without any changes to it. Just like any event, the day before would forecast rain intervals even though they weren’t expected. Typical, but I shouldn’t be surprised.

Photo by Lee Hastings

Thankfully it held off and it was that last minute rallying around to get the final touches to put towards the event. Waking up at 4am on the day thinking it was Christmas (can’t say that for everyone else) but that excitement kicking in knowing it was going to be a good one.

Photo by Lee Hastings

Bright and early at the event for 7am greeted by the Raby Castle staff letting us know where to make our way. Even arriving before the Auto Italia team for the second year running! Got to go for the hat trick next year. The Abarth Hospitality Pod already in place leaving us to get our club gazebo and other accessories in place ready for the club members arriving.

The day couldn’t have gone any better. General public flooding in checking out all of the cars on show aside to the Abarth section. We were joined on the main plot alongside Alfa Romeo clubs where as within the castle grounds you had the VIP section of some rare and incredible cars featuring Ferrari, Lamborghini and more.

Photo by Lee Hastings

For the club stand we were joined by Colin Rear representing the Abarth Owners Club who made the long journey to attend the event. We also were joined by owners representing the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands areas. A great get together sharing our passion and showcasing what we love the most. Exactly how it should be.

Photo by Lee Hastings

Another lovely surprise was to see Gerry from Abarth UK arrive in the new Abarth 70th Anniversario for those who had yet not received the change to see one in the metal. It was my first time in doing so and already being a fan of it from photos only, to see one at the event was fantastic. A truly amazing looking car from all angles.

The perfect event to get to see and do everything you’d like. A chance to take stock of it all catching up with friends and owners within the Abarth community. For all how this year has went. It was incredible to finish on a high and the chance for us to forward plan. I hope that 2021 can offer a lot more so that all owners can continue to go all in and share more passion towards the brand.

A special thank you to the following for making it possible:

Michael / Claire and the Auto Italia Magazine / Team

Gerry & Abarth UK

Lyndsey & Lodestar Experimental Ltd

Sophie / Hannah and the Raby Castle Staff / Venue

Abarth Owners Club & Modified Abarth

and lastly all of our club members / attendees for making it another event one to remember.

See you at the next one!


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