Sunday the 12th of September 2010 saw the first Club Dino Italia meeting which took place in the Lake Iseo area, northern Italy. The club has gradually been expanding with owners finding out about us, coming out of the woodwork and getting involved. This was our first opportunity to see just how enthusiastic these people really were. We have been planning the day for 6 months or so albeit in a very low key way so as to not pump it up too much and then find ourselves with no-one actually coming. We also didn't want to put people off by organising an expensive and complex event as often happens here in Italy - our event costing only the price of lunch.
TwentyFourHundred owner and good friend Mark Devaney was over for the weekend so we both set off in my 2 litre coupé early on Sunday for an hours drive to Walter's house where Mark picked up a very original (17,000km) 2.4 litre coupé and Walter got his lovely yellow 246GT out of the garage. Off we set, the three of us in convoy - destination the Ricci Curbastro Vineyard 15kms south of Lake Iseo. We arrived, parked up met the very congenial owner and almost straight away the other owners started arriving. First in was a superbly restored silver 2.4 litre Spider owned by a Swiss couple who regularly put serious mileage on their car in and around the Alps. Next, another 2.4 Spider arrived, driven by Agostino from Padova. This car is on Portugese plates while he tries to re-register to Italian plates - possible, but expensive and time consuming (as bureaucratic things often are here!). Another very original 2.4 coupé was next, beige with low mileage. The owner has had the car for 11 years but has decided to put it up for sale as he has 5 other cars to contend with and doesn't have time for them all.
Two red Spiders turned up in quick succession, a 2 litre and a 2.4. The 2 litre car couldn't stay all day due to the owner attending a wedding later on the same day. Next was a group of people from the Emilia Romagnia area. They arrived in a red 246GT, white 246GTS (apparently only 7 white 246GTSs were ever made), a dark red 2.4 litre Spider which has been in the family for many years and finally in this group was a replica of a 1959 Dino 196S which is road legal and has mainly Dino mechanics along with a Fiat Dino 2 litre engine. The final car was a blue 2 litre coupé loaded with Adriano and his lovely family. A chap from Piacenza arrived later on in a modern car due to his 2 litre coupé bursting a head gasket on the way, fortunately for him not too far from home.
With all cars assembled we had a very enjoyable tour of the museum and wine cellar by the very enthusiastic and entertaining Sig. Curbastro followed by a glass of their very tasty Brut DOC, some nibbles and a chat in a large room with picture window looking down on the Dinos.
We said our fairwells to the Vineyard and drove in procession the 15kms to lake Iseo and our destination for lunch - the Hotel Restaurant Aquarium - which was on the waters edge and commanded a beautiful view up the lake. Off to one side was Sarnico, famous for the Riva factory. We all parked up in a line and after more chatter went in to have a very nice 2 and a half hour lunch. Two people from the German Dino Register were in the area and so joined us making over 30 people in all.
Lunch over and more milling about the cars done, it was time to say our farewells and head home before the inevitable sunny Sunday evening traffic became too bad. As it was Mark and myself got stuck for over an hour just north of Milan due to home-goers from the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. All in all a very enjoyable and successful day with many new friends made and the promise of more things Dino to come in the future.