Italian Car Day 2014 (Pre-Event Rally)

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Italian Car Day 2014 (Pre-Event Rally)
Woodbridge – St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada
June 1st, 2014

As if the Italian Car Day couldn’t come any quicker (July 19th, 2014), the organizers along with Saturn Drives arranged a pre-event rally from Woodbridge to St. Catherines, Ontario. It was an early Sunday morning when one of the groups around the Greater Toronto Area gathered at a nearby shopping center parking lot.

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Like with any car gathering it wasn’t long before the lot filled up with an assortment of rides ranging from Porsches, Vipers, Aston Martins, and naturally Italian supercars like Lamborghini and Ferrari.

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By 9:15am drivers and their passenger(s) received the rally map complete with check points, the first of which was a stop over at Multi Machining in Stoney Creek, Ontario. 15-minutes later and the engines fired up for what would be a nice and lively cruise along on the highway with 40+ sportscars.

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Once the speed limit hit 100 km/h, the taps were opened on these iconic supercars. Ferrari 355 rolling on HRE wheels, what a beautiful sight!

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The man behind Saturn Drives rolled out in this precious Aston Martin Vantage (N430). Okay, so it isn’t an Italian Car Day type machine, but it’s powerful dry-sumped 4.7-liter V8 engine puts out an impressive 430 horsepower and a fearsome exhaust note – that’s something that any gear head can appreciate.

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There were surprisingly a handful of yellow Ferraris in the caravan enroute to Stoney Creek, instead of the usual sea of Ferrari Rosso paint. Even though the F360 was replaced a decade ago, it still looks great.

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When else can one ever get the pleasure of seeing 5,000+ horsepower together at once? By the time the cruise neared the first check point, the caravan had doubled in size – including some Nissan GT-Rs, Fiat Abarths, and Subaru STIs.

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Upon arrival at Multi Machining in Stoney Creek, the group hung around for about an hour talking shop and enjoying some much needed refreshments. Once again, drivers were given the final map for the cruise through some scenic areas in the St. Catherines wine region with the final destination at Sun Collision Centre for lunch.

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It wasn’t long before another 50+ cars showed up to join the original caravan. The streets were lined with supercars of all kinds from this couple who rolled in with their matte black Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R, to the other R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo.

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It was great to see some vintage cars come out of the shed and shake things off for summer, case in point is this Dino 246 GT (1969–1974). It’s not everyday you see an older Ferrari on the road, let alone one as rare and special as a Dino – named after Enzo Ferrari’s son.

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Once the street was cleared from all the cars attending the rally, it was time to cruise once more. The first section of the leg took drivers through some great back roads complete with twists and elevation changes.

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At one point of the cruise, drivers encounter a two-lane tunnel where these beautiful machines seemed to come alive. Who doesn’t love opening up throttle and hearing the roar of one’s flat 6, V8, V10, or V12 engine?

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Once the group gathered at the final destination of Sun Collision Centre, it was time to let loose and enjoy the complimentary lunch. Cars were parked everywhere on the lot making for a great backdrop to an already incredible day. A big thank go out to Sun Collision Centre for hosting the amazing and delicious BBQ lunch complete with cold drinks!

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Visitors were welcomed to tour the car and motorcycle collection inside the building. If it wasn’t obvious already, the owner is a huge Ferrari and Fiat aficionado along with a couple iconic Fords.

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Parked just outside the building’s entrance was this incredibly modified Fiat Abarth. Don’t let the decals and racing livery fool you, it isn’t just branding – this thing is packing some serious go-fast goodies and sounds like pissed off dragon when idling.

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It isn’t everyday that you get to see a Fiat Abarth, let alone a whole selection of them done in various styles – from the typical tricolore a more subdued appearance.

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There truly is nothing nicer than Italian cars from the 80s. Surely they’re not the fastest (at least not anymore), they’re uncomfortable to drive, and are grotesque in appearance, but that’s part of the charm in owning one of these great creations – be it Ferrari or Lamborghini. There’s something to be said about the wide rear end of a Testarossa, no?

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The Ferrari 360 has never been a personal favorite or that of many, including Ferrari fans themselves that is unless it’s a Challenge Stradale version. Next, add a set of Ferrari 430 Scuderia wheels and what you have is a tweaked machine that just by the little change makes it current a decade after its production – bravo!

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The reason people love the raging bull known as Lamborghini, is possibly due to this V12 monster – the Diablo. Unfortunately, there aren’t many around nowadays so just being in the presence of the last true all-Lamborghini creation is a blessing. By 1998, Lamborghini had been taken over by Volkswagen and that meant a switch to more mass produced beauties and thus, the creation of the popular V10 Gallardo.

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As the replacement for the Dino, Ferrari introduced a new beauty in the stable known as the 308 or in this specific case, the 308 GTS. This targa roof coupe came to life in 1977 and is known for being the car in the famous television series Magnum, P.I. Despite its history with Hollywood, the 308 is and always will be considered famous for its timeless design.

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It having the wind in your hair as you drive along the Italian countryside is your glass of vino, than this 1972 Fiat Dino Spider 2.4 is what dreams are made of. The car was manufactured by Ferrari with the same V6 drivetrain as the Dino 246 and sold under the Fiat brand with only 425 units ever produced. These rare gems are never seen, but thanks to one of the organizers of Italian Car Day who cruised with it since the 9am kick-off the pleasure of appreciation his machine is all ours.

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After spending the entire day with the great group from Italian Car Day and Saturn Drives, the checkered flag went out and it was time to wrap up. A big thanks go out to all the organizers, sponsors, and those that helped out including a notable mention to owner of Sun Collision Centre for the excellent lunch. Also, a shout out to the 100+ participant vehicles that came out for the cruise. No speeding tickets were given, no accidents, and no egos were bruised during the entire cruise – this is what being a car guy is all about. We can’t wait for July 19th, 2014 to come around for this year’s Italian Car Day show – one not to miss!

For those looking to register their Italian-only cars for the event, pre-registration can be done HERE. For more information, please visit Italian Car Day.

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