Picture the scene, you’ve been at work the usual Monday to Friday and heading into the weekend knowing you have another Abarth event to look forward to. Usually on a local basis events are held on a Sunday so it’s nice to finish the weekend off with. However, in this case. You’re having to leave at 2am in the early hours of Saturday morning and resigning to the fact if you don’t go to bed at 8pm on a Friday evening, you’ll never make it.
Begrudgingly I found myself tucked up in bed at that time on a Friday evening while it was still sunny outside questioning why I do this to myself. But, the idea of attending a major Abarth event held in the UK, my tantrum had soon passed.
Leaving the house at 2am knowing the southern section of the country were all busy dreaming of their next modifications. I made the long journey south to aim to get to Northampton by 7am to meet up with fellow club co-president Ben Au. Once we managed to get together at a local service station within the area. It was then time to make our way to the meeting point at Stowe National Trust to meet alongside Abarth Club Hertfordshire & Abarth Owners Club members.
First to arrive on time, which is a one off for me as I’m usually the one turning up last to our local events. As time would pass you start to wonder if we had been forgotten about as there was no one else arriving. Not something you want to see having spent driving throughout the night and wondering if you entered the wrong postcode. Anyway, as luck would have it you would see about half a mile away a convoy of Abarth’s appearing in the distance.
A great chance to catch up with the various members you only get to speak to through the various Abarth Club’s. Everyone with a spring in their step all fresh for the event while you’re having to look forward to your next caffeine fix. The initial buzz had taken off so we had the fun of driving through the little villages onward to Silverstone itself. With never having the chance of being to any major race circuits previously, the idea I was about to arrive into the home of motorsport two weeks after Lewis Hamilton took 1st place on the podium was pretty special to say the least.
Once parked up in front of the Abarth Hub, the next process was to get checked in with the Abarth team under the Scorpionship membership. I was presented with a packet of vintage style Abarth postcards alongside the very stylish 70th Anniversary keyring. Two great keepsakes to have which adds to making the day that more special. In addition to this everyone who had checked in received refreshment tokens to take advantage of throughout the day courtesy of Abarth. This again was a nice touch so a big thank you to Abarth UK for doing so.
Inside the Hub would feature a stunning Abarth 595 Classic in all its glory. Rightfully cordoned off featuring a backdrop of larger prints of the postcards I had previously mentioned. It’s not every day you’ll get a chance to see one of these but when you do, you can’t help but smile. The backdrop inside the Hub would echo the history from the brand giving you a timeline of where it all began to present date. All the facts and figures in front of you showing you what effort had been taken all because of the passion of one man, Carlo Abarth.
Outside featured many of the Abarth series on display starting from the 595 model right up to the special 695 Biposto with all the added extras, including the 124 Rally Tribute. All of which continued to turn heads throughout the day drawing big crowds to check out why exactly these cars are held in such high regard within the Abarth community.
Alongside Ben, I had the pleasure of meeting up both Justin and Gerry within the Abarth UK team to discuss the future of the brand and also to give them an idea of what Abarth Club North East are looking to do beyond 2019. On the back of our discussion we had managed to secure the opportunity to have the 124 Rally Tribute for a few days for the Auto Italia Chillingham Castle event. (This has been covered on a previous blog) – From the clubs point of view, we were over the moon to be offered this for the event and it would show how far we have come in such a short space of time. Again, the Abarth team were brilliant for allowing this to happen.
Throughout the day, the hub would feature the various club presidents of their respected areas within the country to be interviewed by the media team. Ben had the pleasure of going first and managed to nail every question when put on the spot in expert fashion. Then there was me, a rabbit in the headlights. Although I managed to get through it fine, I felt like I could have done better in showing my passion to the brand. Still, it was great to have our club featured within the video being produced to get our name out there.
The end of the long day would have all Abarth owners in attendance being escorted from the Hub to the Silverstone track for the Parade Lap. The buzz from this was incredible. As I’ve previously mentioned not being to any major tracks, the idea of going round it safely alongside all of the various owners and Abarth team was unbelievable. The build-up alone having every one outside the main track getting ready for a chance of a lifetime was great to see. A one chance lap around a world famous track in a sea of different coloured Abarth’s was a fitting end to a brilliant event. Special shoutout to Colin Rear of Abarth Owners Club for arranging this!
Our location may put us out of the way to attend the majority of shows within the south. But this one was truly one to remember. So much so, that I’ve already secured my tickets for the event in 2020. I’d fully recommend anyone within Abarth Club North East considering this to get involved and get booked up. For more information about the Silverstone Classic, please check our event section with all details where to purchase your tickets. If you require anything else, please see the Abarth Owners Club group on Facebook.
You can see a video below featuring all of the highlights of the event… I can’t wait for 2020.