The design, the performance, the heritage, the racing credentials
Over the decades the Italians have brought everything to motoring.
From supercars to motorsport legends, to cute city cars and divine convertibles, here we suggest why the Italians are the best when it comes to classics.
Do you agree?
In every walk of life – not just cars – there are few nations as stylish as Italy.When it comes to art, architecture and culture, Italy is the envy of the world.And it applies to their cars as well.
Take the Fiat 500 as an example. Built to provide people with cheap transport in the post-war world, it also happened to exude style in every way, as well as purpose. It started a lifestyle – cobbled streets, lazy mornings sat outside a cafe and motoring that put a smile on your face. All in an affordable little city car. The Italians might have made some of the best supercars of all time, but they do style at every level.
So well, in fact, that Fiat couldn’t resist bringing the 500 back in 2007 – and the modern version has been a major success.
LA DOLCE VITA
Italian for ‘The Sweet Life’, this phrase sums up the case for the Italians.Think of the classic Alfa Romeo Spider, for example. A windy country road in Tuscany, stopping off for a picnic and a glass of red wine.
For those with a bit more (a lot more) cash, imagine doing the same in a Ferrari 250, now one of the most valuable cars around and also probably one of the most beautiful every made.
Beautiful people, in beautiful cars, in a beautiful country – Italian classics have helped to define La Dolce Vita.
Few nations have had so much success on the race track than the Italians.
From the early days of Formula One in the 1950s, Ferrari has been ever-present. Scuderia Ferrari is the oldest surviving and most successful team in the sport – and is the only one to have competed in every season since F1 started in 1950.
And the technological innovations have filtered down to road cars, helping to make Ferrari a giant there as well. And they’re not the only ones. Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Bugatti all trace their motorsport heritage back to the very beginning, to name but a few. Success on the track only adds to the attractiveness of any car brand – and the Italians have been there all along.
One word: Lamborghini. As far as the extreme expressions of cars go, few have done it like this Italian firm. Founder Ferruccio Lamborghini actually started out in the tractor business, but opted to compete with the likes of Ferrari in the high-end sports car game.
In the early days of the 1960s its cars, most notably the Miura, were things of beauty, but as time went on the more outlandish designs came along, starting with the Countach. To this day the firm, now owned by Volkswagen Group, continues to make some of the most desirable, bonkers cars out there.
They say that if you’ve never owned an Alfa Romeo, you’re not a true petrolhead. And only the Italians can stir the soul in this way. Over the years Alfa has made some beautiful, as well as accessible, sports cars, such as the aforementioned Spider, GT Junior and 156. But, certainly 20 or so years ago, it also had a bit of a reputation for reliability issues.
Regardless of that, their cars awaken something in petrolheads everywhere. You still want one. And today it is back at the top of its game with beauties like the 4C, while also selling accessible everyday motors like the MiTo.