Every November, Woodley Park in Van Nuys looks like Olde Europe for one day. It’s my favorite local car show because I love French and Italian oddballs. And, this year didn’t disappoint! This is what I saw. I took a lot of pictures.
Fiat-Abarth Double Bubble. Incredible and this is just the first one. Go home, Lancia badge maker. You’re drunk. A fucking Ferves Ranger! This is a very rare (and adorable) 4-wheel drive vehicle based on the Fiat 500 that was built in Italy in the late 60's. Awesome. An unusual Hotchkiss pickup conversion. A Biscuter. This is from Spain, but designed by Voisin, who was French. These microcars which are little more than a go-kart, were kind of Spain’s Beetle. Nicely equipped Citroën Traction Avant. This is the world’s first hatchback. And it’s front wheel drive. Citroën was always decades ahead of their time. Pretend those wheels don’t exist. Iso Grifo with a badass looking hood. 1965 Sunbeam Venezia. Coachbuilt by Superleggera with an alloy body and a tuned 1840 Holbay engine with dual Webers. Less than 200 were apparently built. This is an interesting one. It’s an ASA 1000 GT. This car actually started out as a 4 cylinder Ferrari project when Enzo bandied the idea of an “affordable” Ferrari around. The 1 liter engine is like one third of a Ferrari V12 and makes 97 horsepower. From 1 liter, which is amazing for 1960. Bizzarrini designed the chassis and Giugiaro the body. When Ferrari abandoned the project, ASA licensed it and produced 50 cars, 32 of which were exported to America. The price was a then eye-watering $6000. A badly in need of love Vespa 400 in the back of an Element. Fiat 600 Jolly also seriously in need of attention. Autobianchi Bianchina! Autobianchi somehow made a Fiat 500 even cuter. The sole representative from Simca. Not a lot of Peugeots, either, disappointingly. Jay Leno stopped by in his humungous pre-war FIAT that he brings every year.
The parking lot game was on point, too.
A freaking Toyota Century! This Holdenized Chevy SS was rad.