During the Italian car day at Exotics@RTC, all of the focus was on the selection of cars inside the mall area. I did take some time to wander out in to the parking lot to see what other cars had shown up that day and hadn’t been “worthy” of a spot inside. As I was strolling around, something unusual showed up. I had no idea what it was but it was clearly pretty old. As it pulled to a halt, we got a chance to take a look around.
It was an Alfa Romeo C6. I asked the guy driving it why he was outside when this would clearly have been something that would have got a prime spot. He wasn’t bothered about all of that sort of thing and was happy to roll up when he wanted and to have those outside check the car out. The restoration had been undertaken in the UK and I imagine it hadn’t been cheap judging by the condition of the vehicle. It had that swoops look that cars of its era sometimes had and was a fantastic looking machine. If I had gone out earlier in my visit, I would have missed it completely!
I do love the Tornado. It was coming in to service just when I was getting into aviation and I ended up working on handling clearances for them when I was a junior aerodynamicist. Their retirement by the RAF was a sad thing for me but I was consoled by the fact they remain in service with the other operators. I was looking forward to seeing some at RIAT. I did get to see some flying at a distance on arrivals day and they taxied up our way. Nothing too close in the air though.
I did get a chance to see them on static display which is fine but not as fun as seeing them flying. A lot of my hopes, therefore, were focused on departures day. The German jets were scheduled out at various times during the morning. However, they weren’t hitting their designated times and I was getting close to needing to leave. Eventually I realized my time had run out. I walked back behind the FRIAT stands and popped to the facilities prior to making the drive away. While in there, I heard a very familiar roar. Sure enough, as soon as I was out of sight, a Luftwaffe Tornado made its departure. The Tornado doesn’t climb fast so it was nice and low as it passed the stand – apparently. Bum!
A Luftwaffe Panavia Tornado ECR taxis in after landing at RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom.
The Exotics@RTC team have a number of special days throughout the season and I figured the Italian Car Special was probably one worth taking a look at. I wasn’t mistaken. Unlike the normal meets that take place out in the parking lot, this one was centered in the shopping mall itself. The atrium was filled with Italian cars of many marques. This even included Lamborghini tractors!
It will come as little surprise to know that the prancing horse was on display in large numbers. The centerpiece of the display was a a pair of La Ferraris – one with a roof and one open topped – with an Enzo and an F40. This was quite a valuable selection to have in the middle and it seemed rather funny how so many expensive cars were barely getting any attention as a result of the focus on this foursome. Alfas were also on show and there were some older Fiats that were clearly trimmed for rally activities.