This is enough to make your eyes water: CAR magazine reader David Whitton spotted this clutch of Alfa Romeo 4C sports cars at a breakers yard on his Continental summer holiday road trip.
We think these are prototype 4Cs bound for the crusher. Although seemingly sacrilegious, this is the fate due to most manufacturers’ pre-production prototypes, which can never be released to customers for sale.
Alfa 4Cs meet the crusher: David Whitton’s tale
David’s 2014 summer holiday was a European road trip with the ultimate destination of his wife Martina’s home town of Alexandroupoli, in mainland of Northern Greece.
‘On the outskirts of Turin, I passed a breakers yard in Volvera/Orbassano where my family are, and I could not believe my eyes,’ David told CAR magazine. ‘Piled up on top of other vehicles were two Alfa Romeo 4Cs! On closer inspection of the yard through the fence and avoiding the attending (but friendly) Rottweiler dogs, I found another 4C just by the gate
‘All three look as if they were development mules in a sorry state of repair. The vast majority of the other vehicles in the yard were Fiats: more development mules/styling exercises of 500s and 500L/MPW and a few 500Ls sporting enhanced bodywork or what I think were factory Abarth-type enhancements.’
It’s a great find by David – we tip our hats to his great photos that he’s shared with us. Remember anyone can upload their own stories to www.carmagazine.co.uk by following the links at the foot of each page.
David Whitton’s road trip: a European odyssey
‘Our start point was Livingston, Scotland and once through the Eurotunnel we headed for Paris then got financially mugged by the French toll roads all the way to Lyon where we hung a left and headed for Turin,’ David tells us. ‘We were mugged again to the tune of €55 to pass through the Mondane tunnel into Italy.
‘We stayed three days in Turin and as my first car was an Alfa Romeo Alfasud 5M, it was so refreshing to see nothing but Fiats, Lancias and Alfas on the road; even a Lancia Gamma Coupe. Very few oversized SUVs were present and the ubiquitous German brands are in much reduced numbers and the ones spotted were in poverty specification.’
‘Martina and I spent a few happy hours in the Museo dell’Automobile in Turin (Corso Unità d’Italia, 40, Torino, Italy) and I thoroughly recommend a visit.’
The cars that most caught David’s eye? ‘The Lancia Integrale Martini rally car – wow – a red Disco Volante (just so perfect), the Fiat Ecobasic, Fiat’s Downtown three-seater with driver in the middle (strange!) and the Lancia Aurelia… bella bella. Need I say more?’
‘On the way back home to Volvera/Orbassano we stopped at a huge Fiat dealership named after the famed Mirafiori assembly plant. On the showroom floor among all the current new metal was the Lancia ECV2 from 1988 and alongside, sat a Martini-liveried Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti from the 1996 touring car race series.’
‘I also fulfilled a boyhood dream of visiting the hallowed gates of Ferrari at Maranello. These dreams were fired up by reading the articles by Mel Nichols, Ian Fraser, Steve Cropley and Gavin Green in CAR magazine.
‘It is said that one should never meet your heroes, but Maranello was exactly how I imagined it would be. The contrast of 1970s industrial Italian chic with the rundown buildings and feeder businesses against the modern steel and glass of the new Ferrari buildings is stunning.’
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