Of all the contributions of beauty that Italy has shared with the world probably the most intriguing is their interpretation of the art of car manufacture. Mention the phrase “La Dolce Vita” and one is immediately transported to a sublime place of “the sweet life” in the imagination. It’s from this emotion that countless individuals have experienced the indefinable: the Italian’s passion for life springs forth evergreen in countless variations; wine, art, food, fashion and particularly cars.
The essence of the sweet life threads its way gracefully through the vision of the designers and engineers that create these moveable pieces of art on four wheels. Resounding through racing sports car history are the names of Automobili Stanguellini, Ferrari, Diatto, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Fiat, Lamborghini and many more: some of these designs have been beautifully translated into city touring vehicles. Although there are several manufacturers that are no longer producing automobiles, their influence can be seen and felt in the offerings of the active car makers of today.
Sink into the unabashed luxury of a cabin fully appointed with instrumentation to rival that of a professional racing car and you’ll find yourself reeling from sensory overload. For those who live to drive, this represents not only a multitude of options but expands their ability to flex their automotive handling muscles safely.
2010 Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept.
So much of life involves repetitious tasks such as the daily journeys one takes for duties to family and business that one could quite easily become bored with the whole driving affair. This same journey in a finely crafted Italian family car becomes a pleasurable, if not an exhilarating experience. As much as a daily routine may be unavoidable, a car that is fun and exciting to drive can be just what the doctor ordered to stave off the doldrums and revive your sense of adventure.
But just what is it that makes driving a Ferrari or Alfa Romeo so exciting — is it just a matter of superficial beauty or mechanical genius? For the driver, the magic is in the correlation of the details; from hand-crafted designs, engine mechanics and tuning to wind-tunnel carved body design, Italian cars are noted for their ability to meld with the forces of nature resulting in a renewed appreciation for being alive. Driving becomes more than mechanical task, the superb relationship of all of the elements that are required to make a car functional is not nearly enough to satisfy the coach builders and engineers of the Italian car makers of the present who have built their reputations on exceeding a customer’s expectations.
2006 Ferrari F430 Coupe F1
Truthfully it is the love of beauty that is central focus throughout the history of this industry in Italy. For anyone who has driven an Italian car it would be difficult to call the experience boring. With more legends to their credit than any country, could it be that there is more to the loyalty of Italian car lovers than first meets the eye?
To truly understand the passion for Italian cars that is shared by millions of drivers around the world, you must look at the men behind the designs and then further still to their families and the heritage of tradition that permeates Italian life throughout history. One Italian sentiment is that every car regardless of the manufacturer has a secret which is only known by its creator. Combine this with the folklore and tradition that infuse the crafting of automobiles and the only missing piece of the puzzle is put in place when you take the seat behind the wheel.