Italian sports and luxury cars have a global reputation for speed, design and beauty. It all started back in 1884, when Enrico Bernardi built the tricycle car that ran on petrol. From there, the Italian automobile industry began its long journey in transportation history. Italians design cars from the heart to evoke emotions for the ultimate driving experience. You don’t have to go far to experience the cars of Italy. Here are five that are available right here in the U.S., and there are even more listed on DriveShare.
The Collector Car Vault’s 1974 Alfa Romeo Montreal
This Alfa was without a name when it was first introduced in 1967 as a concept car at a Montreal, Quebec auto expo, but the public was quick to name it after the city. It was an Italian automobile with a hint of muscle and plenty of louvers to go around. Unfortunately, due to not being produced for the North American market, it never made an impact in the States. Luckily, this Montreal listed on DriveShare is one of the few that made it to the United States out of about 3,900 manufactured during its seven years of production. With a high revving 2.6L V-8, a crisp five-speed and an LSD, this ride will not disappoint. With an exhaust note of a purebred Italian and a muscle-esque body by Bertone, what is there not to like?
Check out the video where Matt Farah from The Smoking Tire puts the pedal to the metal in this exact Montreal:
Peter Zawadzki’s 1984 Ferrari 308 GTS
A throwback to the times of Magnum, P.I. and The Cannonball Run, this car screams 1980s and is a time capsule on wheels. This example is the 1984 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole, meaning “four valves” in Italian, which helped it run more efficiently, as not to sacrifice buff horses from previous years due to emissions regulations. Power came from a 2.9L V-8 mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, and of course, a gated shifter. This specific vehicle happens to be a desirable Targa, so the cabin can be exposed to let your hair, or lack thereof, blow in the wind. The exterior is sprayed in traditional Ferrari red, and the interior wrapped in beige leather. The striking aerodynamic body designed by Pininfarina appears to slice through the air. This 308 will get you noticed wherever you travel. If you want to be the center of attention, this car is for you. Be prepared to get plenty of thumbs-ups.
Matt Mortimer’s 2008 Lamborhgini Gallardo Superleggera
Recognized by enthusiasts from ages eight to eighty, this Italian thoroughbred still lays waste to others. By just the name alone, you can already begin to imagine its exotic styling and immense horsepower. The Lamborghini Gallardo is enticing in itself, but this vehicle also happens to be a Superleggera, meaning “super light.” The use of carbon fiber for the door panels, sports seats, diffusers, and a few other components shaved a couple-hundred pounds off of the car. A power increase from the standard Gallardo comes from the addition of an updated ECU, intake and exhaust system, which produces a staggering 523-hp from the mid-engine V-10. Why keep dreaming when you can actually get behind the wheel?
Roy MP Classics World’s 1959 Fiat 600
Based on economy and affordability, the Fiat 600 followed in the footsteps of the Volkswagen Beetle. With multiple names and ten production plants in different countries, the 600 should be considered a global platform vehicle. Originally built with a rear-mounted 633-cc inline-four, this example now has a 1600-cc engine pulled from another Fiat of the same period. Weighing in at just over 1,200-lbs, this Fiat can still hold four passengers, but the suitcases might have to ride on the luggage rack. The interior is custom with black and red diamond stitched seats and matching carpet and floor mats. As you get behind the wheel, you will notice the gauges on the dash have been tastefully updated to a modern illuminated unit, since we all know how unreliable old gauges can be. An Italian flag stripe adorns the car from front to back, all ten and a half feet of it. As the old saying goes, big things come in small packages.
Steven Kittrell’s 1974 Alfa Romeo GT Veloce
Yes, this is the second Alfa on the list, but this GTV is more than deserving of its place in DriveShare’s Top Five Italian Vehicles list. With a name like Alfa Romeo 2000 GT Veloce, this masterpiece is everything it sounds like and more. It’s dressed in the rarest color for this model, Blu Pervinca Metallic, meaning Periwinkle Blue, and the interior is bound in beautiful tan leather with wood accents. Equipped with a 2.0-liter Twin Cam inline-four, the largest engine available for the GT at the time, and a five-speed gearbox, this vehicle is begging to be taken for a spirited drive, whether down the winding coastline or on an open highway. With a spacious backseat for thrilled passengers, enough trunk space for your baggage, and a Retro Sound stereo system, what more could you want?