Italian car show Macchinissima brought the weird and wonderful to downtown Los Angeles

By | December 19, 2023

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

I’m always on the lookout for new weekend car shows in the Los Angeles area, especially since the number of traditional cars and coffees has dwindled in recent months (the long-running Malibu Country Mart show has closed for good, for example). This past weekend saw the birth of a new show focused solely on Italian cars and motorcycles, both vintage and modern, and it was excellent.

The show, called Macchinissima, was held at the Signal mall in downtown LA’s Arts District, a cool architectural enclave that’s home to stores like Period Correct, one of the event’s sponsors. Macchinissima was created by Italian car enthusiasts Mike Baum, Bronson Page and Dorian Valenzuela, who put together the featured cars and bicycles.

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Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

It’s hard not to start with the original supercar, and this orange Miura S was a perfect example of the model. I saw a guy walk by, point to the decal on the back and say to his friend, “Oh, I didn’t know this was a Lamborghini.”

Bizzarrini 5300 GT

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

I never tire of seeing Bizzarrinis, and this 5300 GT is one of only 133 ever made. It’s always very funny to see how the hood of an Italian sports car pops open to reveal a big V8 with ‘Corvette’ on the engine block.

Maserati Quattroporte I

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

The first generation Maserati Quattroporte had bodywork by Pietro Frua and construction by Vignale, and this later model has a 4.7-litre V8 that gave the Quattroporte a top speed of 155mph, making it the fastest four-door car in the world. his time was. Only 776 Quattroporte I were built between 1963 and 1969.

Lancia Appia

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

The Lancia Appia was introduced in 1953 as the brand’s post-war entry-level model, featuring a super cute design with suicide doors, sliding front suspension, rear-wheel drive and a V4 engine.

Ferrari 308

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

I’m just glad it’s not red.

Maserati Ghibli Spyder conversion

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

It is rare to see a first-generation Maserati Ghibli as only 1,295 were built between 1967 and 1973, but the droptop Spyder is especially rare as only 125 were made. However, this was not originally a Spyder, as it was converted from a coupe in the 1980s.

Fiat Abarth 750 Zagato Record Monza

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

These little darlings were among the most winning Abarth racing cars ever, going up against competition that was much larger in physical size and engine capacity. Early models were equipped with a 750 cc engine, while some were given upgraded 1000 cc engines to compete at tracks like Daytona.

Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Another absolute highlight from Zagato, the Alfa Junior Z has a striking plexiglass face and a wedge-like fastback silhouette that is a major departure from the traditional Junior coupe on which it is based. Only 1,117 were produced from 1969 to 1972.

Fiat 850 and Ferrari FF

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

A beautiful fastback combination, this Fiat 850 and Ferrari FF were parked side by side in the spectator area, which was also limited to Italian cars only.

Fiat 850 Coupe

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

The 850 was ready for racing, with a great stance and wider wheels, a big exhaust tip and a stripped-out interior. These small coupes were lightweight to begin with and feature a rear-mounted inline-4 engine that sends power to the rear wheels.

Lancia Delta Integrale

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

It’s becoming more and more common to see Deltas just driving around LA, even if it’s not an Italian car show. I’m certainly not complaining.

Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

One of the most beautiful cars at the show, this Flaminia Sport is one of only 99 cars with covered headlights that Zagato built in 1959. The Sport models had only two seats and a shorter wheelbase than normal Flaminis, and were powered by a 2.5-litre DOHC V6 engine.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Created as a racing homologation special, the Bertone-designed Sprint Speciale had an incredible looking body that was also incredibly aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient that was not surpassed until decades later. This is one of three that were at the show.

Lancia Aurelia B20GT

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

An Aurelia features prominently in a chase in The Calculus Case, one of my favorite Tintin books, in which the Italian driver chases the bad guys while proclaiming how excellent Italian cars are. He is right!

Fiat Michelotti Shellette

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

This much lesser known sibling to the Fiat Jolly, only 80 of these Fiat 850 based Shellettes were built and it is believed that fewer than 10 have survived. It was developed as a collaboration between Michelotti of Turin and yacht designer Philip Schell, and the Shellette could even reach 100 km per hour.

Fiat Michelotti Shellette

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

I mean, come on, how can you not love an all-wicker interior? The custom surfboard is a somewhat literal icing on the cake.

Lancia Flavia SportZagato

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

My favorite paint color was on this beautiful 1966 Flavia Sport Zagato, owned by event organizer Baum. One of Zagato’s most interesting designs ever, the Flavia Sport, has tons of weird angles and details that I could have thought about for hours. Only 626 were built.

Lancia Flavia SportZagato

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

The best details of all are the windows. The side windows behind the doors are concave and curl up towards the roof, while the rear window is concave. It’s an utterly strange, absolutely beautiful setup that’s unlike any other car before. I don’t even want to think about guessing what the replacement cost would be.

Abarth-Alfa Romeo 1300 Berlinetta by Luigi Colani

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Luigi Colani was one of the most legendary industrial designers of all time, and this 1959 Abarth-Alfa Romeo 1300 Berlinetta is the only Alfa he ever worked on. Developed from a wrecked 1000 GT, of which only three were built, Colani’s experimental aerodynamic fiberglass bodywork, curb weight of 1,720 pounds, and larger 110 horsepower engine allowed this Alfa to reach a top speed of 130 mph, and it was the first car to lap the Nürburgring in less than 10 minutes.

Abarth-Alfa Romeo 1300 Berlinetta by Luigi Colani

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Like most of Colani’s other designs, this Alfa is both ugly and beautiful, and really looks like an alien spacecraft from another planet. Its owner is collecting and restoring a collection of Colani’s creations, which will undoubtedly be one of the best garages in the world.

Bonus rat Fink

Photo: Daniel Golson/JalopnikPhoto: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

Photo: Daniel Golson/Jalopnik

I had to add this Rat Fink door lock topper that was on an 80’s Alfa Romeo GTV.

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