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2009 Concorso Italiano Magnifico! – “A Celebration of Italian Style

By D. Brian SmithPhotography: D. Brian Smith & Ben Moment

Italian and style – these two words go together as well as bacon and eggs, peanut butter and jelly, movies and popcorn, poetry and romance, singing and songwriting, baseball and hot dogs, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, horsepower and torque, aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, pizza and beer, Banzai Pipeline and surfing, Italian and food – you get the idea. Centered on the fantastic Italian automobiles from the beginning of the automotive industry to the present day, the Concorso Italiano has always been a celebration of all things Italian. Thanks to the brilliant automotive Italian designers of the past and present, there is an unlimited supply of superior Italian automobiles for aficionados to appreciate, collect, and drive. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, De Tomaso and Fiat all had separate areas for spectators to admire these masterpieces on the Laguna Seca Golf Course links. Having all of these wonderful Italian machines to lust over alone would have kept the car loving crowd sufficiently occupied for the entire day.

Being very aware that other countries have produced some pretty cool cars, the new owner of the Concorso Italiano, Tom McDowell, wanted to be a most gracious host in his first year of stewardship for the Concorso. So, portions of the greens also contained some notable British cars, German marques, and even some well-styled American iron for aficionados to examine and admire. The caveat for the non-Italian entries was that the automobiles had to have a similar sense of refinement and high-performance design and engineering that the Italian marques embody. British Lotus, Jaguar, Aston Martin, MG, Austin Healey, and Triumph were all thankfully on hand. One or two American hot rods, some ‘60s era muscle cars, a few new American muscle machines and a 1955 Chevy Bel-Air street rod coupe exhibited proudly, in addition to some all-electric Tesla roadsters and two Fisker hybrid luxury cars still in running prototype phase. One or two kit cars were displayed; as were a few hand built, full-on custom creations. Some hot BMWs, Mercedes, and Porsches rounded out the mix of stylish and superbly engineered automotive finery that made the Concorso Italiano 2009 a Friday must-attend and report back spectacle for the excited crew of Redline Review.

In our effort not to miss anything we attacked the festival of automotive finery from opposite ends of the show. When we met in the middle we compared what we had seen and photographed, then swapped ends and did the same thing over again. Redline Review came away with enough photography of various and sundry supercars from different epochs and all corners of the globe. Thanks to new owner Tom McDowell and his helpful hardworking Concorso crew of volunteers, the luster of the now 24-year-old Concorso Italiano is again shining bright. The event offers a low-key way to enjoy many of the finest automobiles ever created in one spectacular setting. True to form, Italian Style is celebrated in its totality at the Concorso. The best way to appreciate the Concorso Italiano is firsthand. For information on next year’s Italian spectacular, visit www.concorso.com. Until then, let your eyes be dazzled by what we most appreciated right here. Remember, at Redline Review, “It’s All About Speed.”

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