Italian Car Club takes over historic Texas farm

| 13 Oct 2017

Words & photos: Art Weinman

The Italian Car Club of the Southwest attracted a bumper entry of 91 vehicles for its 14th ItalianCarFest, which took place at Nash Farm in Grapevine, Texas. A special class for Italian Race Cars included nine stunning entrants – a perfect fit for the historic surroundings.

There were two other categories catering for cars built before and after 1975. Go and Kitty Piccagli were awarded Best of Show and Second in Class for their 1959 Taraschi Formula Junior and 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce Spider, respectively. 

Barry Fromberg’s 2007 Ferrari F430 Challenge took the top award in the later class, while second place was a tie between Rob Lay’s Ferrari 355 Challenge and Maor and Lily Primo’s 1987 Alfa Romeo Rally Race Milano. 

With special permission, all the race cars ran their engines for about five minutes during the show, giving visitors and local residents a sense of what makes the classics so special. 

The Best of Show and Mayor’s Trophy were awarded to Ugo and Kitty Piccagli for their 1963 ASA two-door coupe. The little green car is a rarity, being engineered by Ferrari and bodied by Bizzarrini. The Mayor of Grapevine was on hand to personally deliver the award. 

24 Ferraris turned out for the show, with an additional three in the race car class, which was topped by H. Whitney Bogg’s 1998 550 Maranello and followed by Jack Stewart’s Testarossa.

Val Herrara’s 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint GT Veloce also took a class win, with Michael Keane’s ’73 GT Veloce taking second in the closed Alfas category. Herrera also brought along a 1971 Montreal.

More modern cars dominated the open Alfa class, with the top award going to a 4C Spider from 2015, and a slightly later 2016 model taking second place. 

Other cars included Joe and Linda Flaherty’s 1996 Lamborghini Diablo Roadster and David Hunn’s 1969 Espada – two of 10 Lamborghinis to take part in the event. In addition to the Lambos, no fewer than four De Tomaso Panteras were on show, with Jerry Quam’s 1969 example coming second in the Italian Connection class. 

The club was assisted by the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau, which erected sponsor booths and placed signs around the block, while the Grapevine Heritage Organisation filled in holes, levelled the field and cleaned up ahead of the event. Even the historic hog wallow was gone!

A restored farmhouse dating back to the 1850s provided a backdrop for the Main Street Bakery, which laid on Italian sausage sandwiches, cappuccino gelato and pastries. A local vintner sold wine and beer, and there were items of club clothing for sale, with the proceeds going to charity.