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and only in L.A.!

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Nov 11, 2017

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


The 2017 Best of France and Italy Car Show at Woodley Park (photos by Dave Wolin for LACar)

Story and photos by Dave Wolin Only in L.A. - (honest!) Even the veiled threat of early fall showers a week or two ago couldn't prevent the cognoscenti* and other francophones and italophiles from attending this year’s edition of the Best of France and Italy Car Show … both as attendees and exhibitors. (Hey, the unwashed public was encouraged as well, and the price was right: FREE!) The annual un-judged gathering/show and shine event attracted a couple of thousand spectators and more than a few hundred French and Italian car owners.

Actually the turnout was pretty astounding as no French cars have been sold in the U.S. since the late 80's and Italian car maker Fiat / Alfa only recently returned after a 30 year absence. Of course the ever-present contingent of more recognizable cars from the country that’s shaped like a like an uncomfortable-looking boot … after all we were hanging at Woodley Park in Van Nuys … near enough to Hollywood to easily qualify as “adjacent”.

The brainchild of husband and wife Citroen enthusiasts (and the owners of the legendary Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank) Chuck Forward and Tina Van Curen, this event has been a part of the LA scene since 2001. Somehow the only two Renault Caravelles left in the new world managed to run well enough to reach Van Nuys. They were accompanied by Fiats of all descriptions, including Jay Leno’s gigantic 1917 21-liter aircraft-engined Fiat. There were Alfas of all sorts, along with Lancias, Maseratis, Panteras, Citroens, a few Peugeots, one lone Simca and the usual West Side/Valley contingent of Ferraris and Lambos. I know, we’re all spoiled with all of this automotive pulchritude, but this is L.A. Baby … Don’t sweat the success (and the third mortgage on the house) excuse me; please pass the quiche a la checca.


Most interesting to me were a pair of classic (and rarely-seen) Facel Vegas, a wonderfully-complicated Hotchkis pickup truck, and (honest!) a local everyday Bugatti driver.

The attached snapshots (coming soon) showcase the wonderful of variety of machinery that we enjoyed at Woodley Park. If you were there, you know what I’m talking about, and you've most likely have already called Autobooks to enquire about when this unique automobile gathering will return in 2018. When you find out please give me a call ... Hey, I don’t want to miss it either! -DW


The 2017 Best of France and Italy Car Show at Woodley Park (photos by Dave Wolin for LACar)

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