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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The challenge: to choose 10 favourite cars in Padua. The Good: a young man from Africa who’s never seen classic cars before. The Ugly: a die-hard enthusiast. The Bad: a famous collector. In other words: if only they could agree on a car they all liked! No chance. There’s room for everyone.

The Bad, smart and experienced, has chosen to turn these models into money-making pieces, or at least into specimens worthy of a serious collection: the one-off Abarth Sport by Pininfarina, a rarity; two examples of great Italian body-making from the inter-war period such as the Fiat 1100 by Allemano and the Cisitalia Cabriolet by Pininfarina; some pre-war cars with vintage charm such as the Fiat 518 S, the romantic Tipo 2 and the sophisticated 6-cylinder 1500 with Touring styling. There is also a Touring version of the 6-cylinder Alfa 1750 convertible. Wonderful. Last but not least, the splendid Fiat 8V by Zagato and the open-top Alfa Romeo 2500 by Pininfarina. And the cherry on the cake? A gorgeous Jolly van made by Lancia in 1959, sporting a set of advertisement loudspeakers: “Ladies and gentlemen please come closer, we have the right package for the clerk and the worker”.

The Good, seeing such wonders, is understandably awe-struck.  He would gladly choose them all! With his Africa in mind, he goes for no less than three Mercedes convertibles. The fame of the German star reaches all the corners of the world, same as the most popular model of Range Rover. Moving on to the dream cars of Italian racing: there is Dino, the small, stylish Maserati by Pininfarina, Vignale’s wonderful Ferrari 625 TF, a model similar to the one that won the Mille Miglia, and for some contemporary extravagance, a bright yellow Lamborghini Gallardo. Can the list be complete without a Porsche? Of course not; there is the classic 911. The American dream cars are also represented by the excellent Mustang Bullitt.

What about the Ugly? His sentimental trail takes us from the epic Itala of the Peking-to-Paris race to historic single-seater models such as the Cisitalia in the last edition created by Abarth with a weight of just 370 kg, and the supercharged Maserati 4CLT in the yellow and light blue colours of Argentina, which was also competitively driven by Fangio.

The smell of the racing track lingers as he stares in awe at the Ferrari 166 that Gianni Agnelli commissioned for personal road use, with its elegant and distinctive green and blue colours. Racing thorough breads include the 860 Sport (V!) with Luigi Musso’s white nose markings, and the Porsche 917 in the classic Gulf Mirage colours brought to the silver screen by Steve McQueen in the Le Mans film. Just like the Good, he cannot resist to the American dream cars, strictly from the 1950s though, namely the Cadillac with its large tail-fins and the rigorously open-top Corvette. And finally a quirky touch of France with the peerless Citroen DS 21 convertible.

The real one, now quite rare. Even rarer is the tenth vehicle chosen, which has something in common with the Bad: a magnificent Citroen Type H camper van with mahogany interiors and, at one end of the cabin, hidden behind a small door, a dinky toilet with ceramic seat and basin. As the Italian saying goes, “class is not water”.

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