The Alfa Romeo 8C Spider received a positively rapturous reception when it was shown to a very privileged South African audience at the Alfa Romeo Day held at Kyalami this past Sunday. This first post-Geneva public outing for the 8C Spider was most appropriate as it marked the 98th birthday of the legendary Alfa Romeo marque and to celebrate this historic happening, the Italian automaker pulled out all the stops.
Visitors were treated to a veritable visual feast of Milanese machinery. On display in the ‘brand tunnel’ was a star-studded cast of 18 classic Alfa Romeos dating from the 1950s to the 1990s, including a priceless specimen driven by the J.F. Kennedy. There were also more than 40 classic Alfas that participated in two Trofeo races around Kyalami. The current range of cars, were resplendent in ‘Rosso’ Red but the show stopper went to the 8C Spider, robed in the subtlest, shimmery pearl white hue. Sadly the 8C won’t be available locally but it nevertheless provides a tantalising foregleam of the technology arsenal immediately available to Alfa Romeo. (Incidentally, a competition was run that entitled all members of the public who test drove an Alfa during the Alfa Romeo 8-Day experience to be entered into a draw to drive the 8C in Italy – the winner will be announced in 15 days’ time.)
The big event of the day, however, was when 240 Alfa Romeos of all shapes, sizes and ages took to the track in a parade lap in an attempt to set a Guinness record for the largest gathering of Alfa Romeos – the spectacle was recorded for prosperity and aired on the news on all SABC channels. 200 cars were needed and we got way in excess of that so, it looks like we’ve succeeded in establishing a new world record. (Once the figures are ratified by Guinness, a release will be issued.)
And, while on the subject of statistics, it’s worth mentioning that there was a record attendance of 6 966 visitors (excluding staff, Trofeo racing personnel and exhibitors), while 2322 cars passed through the gates.
Managing Director of Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa, Giorgio Gorelli, said: “I’m humbled by the unbridled passion that South Africans have for this brand. The parade of more than 200 proud Alfa Romeo owners on the track was a sight to behold. I’m confident that with our new levels of service and forthcoming product introductions, we will meet and, in fact, exceed all expectations of Alfisti.”