Tag: Italy

By on January 10, 2019

The Buy/Drive/Burn series has been all about convertibles lately. We started with some $40,000 luxury entries from 2010, then upped the dollar figure with three more from 2009 that asked over $90,000 for the pleasure of their company.

Today we step back in time to the year 2001, and spend even more money. The cheapest drop-top here is over $120,000. Let’s go.

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By on November 27, 2018

Image: FCA

During Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s final days, he said his company would begin prioritizing Jeep production in Europe. This of course comes at the expense of the Fiat brand, which lost a sizable hunk of the European market after 2009 and appears to be outright failing in the United States.

While the brand gained back some of that lost ground east of the Atlantic over the past two years, Fiat’s Jeep stablemate took off like a rocket after 2013 — effectively tripling its share of the European market. Eager to cater to the ever-changing tastes of consumers, FCA is going to stick with Jeep and make some money. As a byproduct, the company thinks it may be able to revitalize Italy’s manufacturing industry, bolster overall volume, and get some laid-off employees back onto the factory floor.

However, it’s not just Jeep that’s getting special treatment. FCA intends to do the same for Alfa Romeo and Maserati, as their products boast higher margins than anything Fiat builds. (Read More…)

By on November 13, 2018

Our recent Rare Rides entry on the Bugatti EB110 quickly sussed out a couple of mid-90s competitors in the comments section. Today, we’ll visit the trio and pick one to take home.

An entrant each from France, England, and Italy; all of them failures in their own right. Which big money flop will it be?

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By on November 8, 2018

Long before Bugatti released the record breaking Veyron, it produced a slightly less famous supercar. It’s the angular two-door which was simultaneously the beginning and end of an era in Bugatti’s history.

It’s the EB110, from 1993.

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By on November 2, 2018

Mother Nature took out her anger on Fiat Chrysler earlier this week, using floodwaters to set hundreds of new vehicles ablaze at the Port of Savona. Italy has been subjected to savage weather this week, putting just about all of Venice underwater and blasting the rest of northern region of with extreme winds and precipitation.

According to local reports from Savona News, it was initially believed a nearby warehouse caught fire after storms caused an electrical short. However, follow-up reports claimed the fires likely broke out in the port after rising sea water caused vehicle batteries to explode.  (Read More…)

By on October 26, 2018

The De Tomaso name keeps surfacing in the Rare Rides series, almost as often as BMW. The honorary first mention came via the Chrysler TC by Maserati, followed by the Qvale Mangusta that initially bore the De Tomaso name. Most recently, we featured the Maserati Ghibli, which was the very last new Maserati presented by the man himself, De Tomaso.

Today we step back in time, back to an era before any of those aforementioned Rare Rides were ever considered. Let’s have a look at the very luxurious De Tomaso Longchamp.

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By on October 10, 2018

The looks of an old Volkswagen Jetta, the reliability of an old Italian car, and the inconvenience of right-hand drive. All of your dreams can come true in today’s Rare Ride — a Fiat Tempra. It made its way from 1990s Italy to England, then stormed up the banks of Rhode Island.

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By on September 19, 2018

In the 1990s, nobody in North America spent much (any?) time thinking about Maserati products. So you’d be forgiven if today’s Rare Ride slipped from your fond early-90s memories long ago.

It’s the Shamal, and it’s a bit homely.

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By on May 18, 2018

Fiat logo

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to to retire soon, and he wants to revolutionize the company as one of his final acts. On June 1st, he intends to unveil a sweeping plan that abandons local production of the compact and super-mini cars the Fiat brand is known for so FCA can focus on larger, more upscale, models.

Fiat, the most Italian brand we can think of that isn’t Ferrari, is moving assembly out of Italy. After being emptied, those factories will be repopulated by Maserati and Jeep SUVs. If you think that’s rather bold of FCA, there’s more. There’s also a very good chance the Alfa Romeo Mito and Fiat Punto will be killed off entirely. Thanks to a decade of steadily declining sales, the Punto has transformed from an European staple to a financial liability. It’s hard to imagine the continent without it, but Axing the model admittedly makes good bit of sense.

However, if FCA keeps culling Fiat and Chrysler’s lineup out of existence, won’t it eventually have to change its name?

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By on April 2, 2018

The Rare Rides series started off in the early part of 2017 with a concept Ghia that was all Ford underneath. A year later we featured the Quicksilver, which wore Lincoln badges. And more recently, a Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia caught our brougham attention.

Time for some change, and to have a look at a Ghia which is all Chrysler beneath its luxury fittings and beautiful styling.

(Read More…)

By on March 5, 2018

Image: 1985 Lamborghini JalpaBright red paint, an interior to hide even the largest cocaine spillage, a targa roof, and sweet deep dish aero alloys all help define the Lamborghini Jalpa as a product of its era.

It’s the one everyone forgets as their minds gravitate to the older Countach or the newer Diablo.

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By on January 23, 2018

Image: 1973 Alfa Romeo MontrealIn our last Rare Rides entry we had a look at the oddball little BMW Freeclimber, a Daihatsu Rugger as edited by Italian design firm Bertone. Small SUVs has never been Bertone’s forte, however. No, the most well-known Bertone designs fall into the sports coupe category.

And here’s a prime example — the Alfa Romeo Montreal.

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By on January 19, 2018

Image: 1991 Bertone BMW FreeclimberWe’ve been on a bit of a continental streak lately here at Rare Rides. First, the Cadillac Allanté showed us American engineering with Italian design. Then, the Gordon-Keeble coupe from 1965 mixed British creativity and funding with Italian and American components.

Today we’ve got a different trifecta: A Japanese design, rebodied by the Italians, then powered by a German engine. Open up some shampanya, and let’s learn about the Freeclimber.

(Read More…)

By on December 22, 2017

Image: 2001 Qvale MangustaTechnically complicated, Italian designed, and American powered, the Qvale Mangusta mixed together ingredients from two continents into an exotic sports coupe.

But it wasn’t supposed to be called Mangusta, nor was it to wear a Qvale badge. The looks aren’t the only dramatic part of this coupe.

(Read More…)

By on December 7, 2017

Image: 1984 Honda City CabrioletOur last Rare Ride was a little first-generation Honda Civic from 1977. Since everyone seemed to like that little red box, today we bring you a little blue box from Honda. It’s a bit newer, and also a bit worse.

It’s the Honda City, and other applicable adjectives include Cabriolet and Pininfarina.

(Read More…)

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