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Italy, Car Country

Italian cars are perfect exemplars of the Made in Italy brand, incorporating both elegance and tradition. Every year in Italy, numerous car exhibitions, fairs and markets focus on the figure of some of the most important Italian designers, who continuously conceive some of the most unique and breathtaking examples of cars the world has to offer.
Throughout the year and throughout the Peninsula, the most notable exhibitions familiarize attendees with the history of the Italian automobile: the Auto and Moto d'Epoca Exhibition in Padua; the Fuoriserie Exhibition every April in RomeMotorissimo in Trento, and the Classic Show in Adria.Fiat 8V - Source: Flikr - Photo by El CaganerLet's go for a ride, as it were, reliving a chapter in the history of Italian automobiles from 1920 to 1980. When we arrive to the showroom floor, we can peer at some of the most gorgeous motors produced both in the early post-War years and more recently, in racing and street versions. Most of the cars on display boast singular features and distinctive bodywork, rendering them famous all over the world: some examples are the FIAT 8V, that was intended as a relaunch of the FIAT image and, naturally, the Ferrari 250 Testarossa. The Ferrari 250 Testarossa was produced, essentially, as a limited edition; only 34 were ever produced, meaning the car is a very highly sought-after collector's item. In August 2011, a prototype of the Ferrari 250 Testarossa was sold at a Gooding & Company Classic Car auction for $16.4 million.Another of the most celebrated models is the Lamborghini Miura: produced between 1966 and 1973, it was sold to a number of VIPs at the time, from Claudio Villa, Little Tony and Bobby Solo to Gino Paoli, Elton John, Dean Martin and Hussein of Jordan. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi also bought two Lamborghini Miuras, one of them later purchased at auction by actor Nicholas Cage at a price of  $490,000 - the highest amount ever paid for a Lamborghini Miura. 

Also a favorite in Calenzano is the Lancia Stratos; with its distinctive and incomparable style, this car once belonged to "The Dragon" Sandro Munari. Visitors to the event can also admire a Lancia 037: both the Lancia Stratos and Lancia 037 won the World Rally Championship at least one time. As for the cars from the 1920s and 1930s, tourists will have the chance to admire some models exhibited only during international competitions, such as  a Lancia Lambda from 1925. Produced in the early post-War years, it is considered the first of Vincenzo Lancia's masterpieces; the second is the Aprilia (1936). The Isotta Fraschini stands out as well - particularly that produced in 1926 - as a manufacturer of one of the most luxurious and prestigious cars in the history.

Another model not to be looked over is the Fiat 525 Viotti, the first collaboration between FIAT (the Italian automobile company that was found and is still based in Turin) and the Viotti Coachbuilding Company (Carrozzeria Viotti). Their cooperation culminated in the production of the Fiat 508 Balilla, a best-seller in its time.

The Berlinetta 202 was designed by the “maestro” Battista Farina (more commonly known as Pinin Farina, founder of the homonymous firm Pininfarina)  for the Italian automotive company Cisitalia. Meanwhile, Giovanni Savonuzzi (engineer in Cisitalia's technical department c. 1940s) designed the Nuvolari spider convertible as a tribute to the car's Mantuan driver during the 1947 Mille Miglia Car Race. 

The big names in car design, the specialized mechanics and sculptors of the exteriors of true works of art include Mario Revelli di Beaumont, Franco Scaglione, Giovanni Michelotti, Franco Martinengo, Marcello Gandini, along with others so well-known they go only by their last names: Bertone, Castagna, Zagato, Viotti, Vignale, and Bizzarrini. They are just some of the ambassadors of Made in Italy design, innovators that give life to ideas that, long after they take shape, remain the fixation of the world's imagination.