FIAT FreakOut MKE Is Live!

Benvenuti amici!

The 34th annual FIAT FreakOut 2017 National Convention is officially live - after nearly two years of plotting, pitching, submission, approval, brainstorming, meeting, planning, decision-making and initial funding!

Nearly two years? you ask. Yes. You correctly read that. The idea to allow a, now, three years young local chapter to host the infamous national happening will be just a month shy of two years old when the event kicks off July 19th of this year. Quite frankly, the fact we're a mere four months away from Get'cher Freak On Time in Cream City is just beginning to truly sink in.

So, how did this still fledgling Midwestern FIAT/ABARTH club manage to snag the "grand prize" that is FreakOut? You can read about it in detail here... The 10 word answer is Bobb, Bryan, Doug, Duane, Joe, Mike, Pat, Sean, Thad, Willie. That short & sweet list of people encouraged & supported the ideas and efforts of this "FIAT Freak" with ideas and efforts of their own. Truman said, "It's amazing what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit," and truer words have scarcely been spoken and/or written. That stated, I would be remiss if I failed to call those individuals out. Each individual shared an idea or offered their service in some way that plays big into this coming together in a relatively short amount of time.

Now, you know the "secret" of how this FreakOut came together. You can host your own FreakOut, right? Well... not so fast. We've only covered plot, pitch, submit, approve, meet and plan. That leads us to making decisions. I formed our local planning committee based upon personal voiced interest in making this happen and individual availability. "Make" and "available" are the operative terms necessary to get from page to practice. You'll have the chance to meet the local people responsible for offering one of the coolest FreakOuts ever as you participate in the activities in our itinerary. But it takes more than the help of a handful of individuals to see something like this to fruition...

... It also takes funding. The national club takes on a considerable percentage of the financial burden of hosting the event itself. Accommodations, the Welcome Dinner and the Awards Banquet, you can imagine, are major expenditures. Only a portion of attendees will likely choose to stay at the hotel chosen as our host accommodations or take part in our fantastic Awards Banquet. The national club takes on the risk of covering what attendance does not. Looking for ways to help mitigate said risk is essential to supporting our national Board of Directors. We chose cool but inexpensive activities and forged early partnerships with Palmen Alfa Romeo-FIAT (Road America), Reina International Auto (Road America) and Schlossmann FIAT (Concorso and MKE FIAT GeoDash). We also recruited the assistance of VISIT Brookfield and VISIT Milwaukee. Those agents played key roles keeping itinerary events affordable.

Finally, and quite possibly most importantly, we enjoy a tremendous amount of shared passion with the international, national, regional, local and online communities. We look forward to "getting our freak on" with you this summer. HAPPY INT'L WOMEN'S DAY...

(Respect to the artists responsible for the images)




Happy Twenty-seventeen!

Benvenuti amici!

Twenty-sixteen is gone/Twenty-seventeen is here and we turn back for one last glimpse at what a fine time we're having. In excess of 700 people (from all over the world) follow our Facebook page and we are approaching 70 thousand visits to this blog - thanks to an uptick in daily check-ins. We're eternally grateful for your interest and support... and strive to continue adding a little something extra to your FIAT-ABARTH life experience.

The founding of our local club, also the Wisconsin Chapter of FIAT Club America, and the the purpose of this blog... as published in our very first entry... is to celebrate the long line of automobiles ordered, approved, designed, financed and/or manufactured in Torino since 1899. "If you build it they will come" proved itself to be true when Sean Kane joined our second meeting with his X1/9. That beautifully maintained machine holds a special spot as the first non-500 on our roster.

We are elated to see more vintage and contemporary FIATs continue join our Facebook community and varied list of Wisconsin events. The growth (quite frankly) is exactly what we always dreamt it would be but never dared expect to see in such a short amount of time. Our local membership, as well as our Facebook and blog readership, has gone as global as the brand itself. See; the photo below.

Zastava joins the CC5C membership roster

Followers of this blog and the CC5C Facebook page are well aware of the fact we intend to turn up the heat in 2017. The addition of a CC5C event planning committee is tasked with fine-tuning our itinerary of local events and their first goal met is hosting FIAT Club America's national convention called FIAT FreakOut. This annual event is, to date, the largest gathering of FIAT and ABARTH aficionados in North America and will team with Milwaukee's Festa Italiana for their 40th anniversary.

To my knowledge, marks the only time Cream City... and/or Wisconsin... has hosted a FIAT-specific national convention. We take the opportunity very seriously and itinerary submitted and approved by our Board of Directors will reflect the fact.

Panorama: FIAT FreakOut 2015 Pittsburgh

In short, the horizon looks bright for Cream City 500 Club. The 2016 creation of the aforementioned planning committee will help keep our ideas fresh and exciting... as well as help forge stronger relationships with local businesses. Interest in our brand of motoring mayhem is steadily expanding beyond our city, metropolitan, state, regional and national borders. Our relationship to FIAT Club America, as a regional chapter, is helping push the presence of the aged 33 years club further west. And you continue to make our efforts more fun than we may deserve.

On behalf of the current CC5C Planning Committee thank YOU for your support. Bryan, Duane, Joe, Pat, Sean, Willie & I trust sharing our labor of love will inspire you to join your local community of aficionados and spread Passion, Purpose and Peace across the globe.

See you on the road sooner than later...





From Kragujevac, with Love!

Benvenuti amici!

Many childhood dreams have been born of the automobile industry. This blog entry focuses on one such local dream and how it came to be.

Our tale begins in Kragujevac... the first capital of the modern Republic of Serbia... 1954. The vast majority of Europe, East to West, was still struggling to put itself back together after the Second World War... ten years later a child would be born in the Serbian city and his parents would emigrate to the United States of America. He would grow into a proud USAmerican man with an unquenchable passion for his birthplace. Today you're invited to ride shotgun with me and this man.

CC5C: Introduce yourself to our readers.

Pep: Hi, my name is Pep Stojanovic and I was born in the former Yugoslavia way back in '64.  brought over by my parents in 1967. had visitors from Yugoslavia (YU) or went to YU every year from 1972 onward.

CC5C: This entry is (obviously) about the Yugoslav connection to FIAT S.p.A.. How do you find yourself connected to this relationship?

Pep: I went [home] every summer from '76-'83... which is when I really became very fond of these cars, especially the Zastava 1300.

[During those summers] Being in the Detroit  of YU, the city of Kragujevac was where I was born & visited and where Zastava existed since the late 1800s (cannon and munitions plant). It began life as a car manufacturer during the early '50s -- just after WWII.

I was fascinated how small the 750 was/is (everything in America in the '70s was larger than they could comprehend, even what we called compacts)! I liked how the cars translated into societal positions from the 750 to the 101 to the 1300 then onto the Ladas and FIAT 132s... at the very top of the communist party hierarchy.

'Always dreamed of having one of my own here, or there, but mostly here. In 2016, I realized this dream (the automotive path out of Serbia to Milwaukee WI).

My family's first car over there (uncle's side that remains in Serbia to this day) -- oddly enough -- was a YU 125pz from Poland. [Accomplished only with] financial help from my grandfather, then living in the US, for sure. That would have otherwise been a very tall order for your average Serbians. We were an agricultural and a Man-with-a-Truck biz level family.

Their next car was a FIAT 125p (Polish-built 125) which I later got to use with my American friend, Scott Jornlin, when we went over there in 1983... after graduating high school. My family had just purchased a FIAT 128, not sure if Zastava made that or not, though.

*Editor's note: Zastava officially launched their YU-only range of vehicles with the 101 family of cars... it was based on the FIAT 128.

Pep: Since falling in love with these cars, more the fact they were built in my YU hometown, and a general appreciation for FIAT/Italian design, I was/am hooked on them BIG TIME.

CC5C: That is a really cool and heartwarming story. We've visited some of these models in our Going GlobalMachine MigliorePiccola FIAT pieces. But this... your... personal anecdote adds an all too important amount of soul to the mix.

You mentioned 2016 being the year you realized the dream of owning/driving a Zastava on our shores. Tell us more about that.

Pep: I formed JugoAutomobili, Inc. as a vehicle to engage in several [varied] automotive ventures, including; investment for sale of domestic classic cars, leasing service equipment to classic car shops, and starting a joint classic car storage venture with the purchase of eight 2-car lifts. However, the main focus -- hence the name -- was to make an effort in bringing various Zastava models to the USA. [My hope is] one day achieving a critical mass of, say, 10-20 cars (if not more) to establish a Zastava Fan Club in the US... specifically the Midwest.

*Editor's note: This reads like the possibility for an expansion team style arm of FIAT Club America... "Zastava Club America". But that's a story for another day.

Pep: So, I bought the 1977 Zastava 1300, built under license from Fiat 1300, to keep for myself... and to advertise what is potentially available... and two other cars -- a '79 and an '83 Zastava 750 (based on the FIAT 600 w/ larger power output and some minor cosmetic changes).

Given the interest I've uncovered, here, we are actively searching for top end 1300s now. The 750s have been rising in price for a long time and everyone has been neglecting the other cars in Zastavas history... especially the 1300 a/k/a the Yugoslav Mercedes Benz.

CC5C: That is great! Will you introduce any other models to the available range from Cream City's JugoAutomobili Inc.?

Pep: I would like to add a few more to the mix over the coming year or two. We'll tighten our focus on the 750s (to try and find more examples up to '68 -- those cars were made with suicide doors). They are getting pricier all the time over there as they become rarer and rarer. At the same time, I would like to focus on 750s from '69-'76 (more metal on them). But I would also consider high end examples from '77-'85 (final year of production was '85). Suffice to say, for now, those late models may be modified to give them more punch to their classic looks. 

A secondary focus will be to get a few examples in my own collection of the Zastava 101.  'Not sure what appeal these would have to ex-Yugoslavs (as well as others) with incurable car loving nostalgia, but I wouldnt mind a couple specimens for myself at very least.

In the works for introduction in the coming year or two, assuming my shipping costs can stay at or less or worst case only mildly more expensive than this first batch, include;

1971 Zastava AR-55 (hardtop version based on the FIAT Campagnola. Lightly restored, mechanically refreshed, and new shoes (wheels and tires)... in order to preserve the military patina it has achieved over the years. Originally a Yugoslav Army Jeep that eventually became a hunting vehicle for a private citizen.

1964 Milletrecento; made by FIAT, ordered by a dentist in YU, sold and rebadged a Zastava. (The doc couldn't wait for a YU-built version.) Seeing as how it is a 1300, my favorite car and my birth year, this one I am living with 'til I die... and then dying with 'til I am resurrected. 'Not sure if I can pull off being tucked away in the trunk, with the car entombed above ground in some kind of long lasting glass, but one thing at a time. HaHa!

1971 Zastava 1300 though very luxe/lusso version. This one, only acquired this past week, has the very rare and EXPENSIVE option to be had back in its day; a rear seat with a fold out center armrest. This one has been restored to a very [Read; VERY] high level, with mechanicals to boot. Starts up at 32 degree ambient temperature like a modern day fuel injected car! 'Did not think I would be able to 1-up my own 1300 so quickly. But my Serbia-based partner is very good at searching through the barns and bushes of the countryside.

FIAT-Zastava 1300/1500

1959 Zastava 600 (highly restored model -- close to original specs). It's a show car that will be a piece of jewelry... representing a very rare decade. The cars, that eventually grew into the 750s, were introduced in 1955 and are scarcely found these days. I would imagine, with a top speed of about 35 miles per hour, that it will enjoy life as a show car or a collection jewel. It represents the FIAT licensing expansion strategy very well in that it is a mix of FIAT and Zastava. (They were probably 60-70 % FIAT in these early years.)

FIAT 600D/Zastava 750

Zastava 125PZ

1972 Zastava 101 (total restoration to original factory condition). New original Zastava stamped panels will be used, as will original seats recently discovered in immaculate condition.

1977 Zastava 101... A total restoration using new original Zastava stamped panels. This one is going to take a more playful direction. 'Going to lower it, paint it groovy, get some neat wheels and tires from the period, and custom install a substantial soundsystem in it. 'Going for the '70s vibe with some playful touches. The engine will be original/as manufactured a/k/a FIAT made!! It will also set itself apart by being mated to a 5-spd transmission.

FIAT 128/Zastava 101

Zastava 102/Yugo 45

Zastava Florida


Later, I want to delve further into the Eastern European automakers scene. [We'll be] identifying cars that still remain way below the radar, if not completely off the grid, to make more interesting my collection. Please stay tuned for those immigrants hopefully coming in the longer term.

CC5C: Wow! It appears, thanks to Pep & JugoAutomobili Inc, we'll soon see some of the other legendary runabouts, pictured above, join the modern Serbian-built FIAT 500L on our Cream City streets. On that subject, how did you find yourself in the mix with Cream City 500 Club and FIAT Club America?

Pep: In the absence of a Zastava community with which to celebrate, show, and enjoy these cars, I knew that a local FIAT club would be an ideal fit for me and them. The folks over at Reina suggested I inquire. I was apprehensive at first (dreading how my Zastava-made FIAT knockoffs would be received). I was fearful that if we were not a pure Italian FIAT then we could not play together.  I was thrilled that my inquiry about joining was not only met positively, affirmatively, and very welcoming, but I was ecstatic when the club encouraged the gathering we had at Valenti Classics on Nov 5, 2016. The only problem (now) is having to wait until next year's driving season to continue the fun, socializing, and experiences (driving the cars and meeting new friends, metal machined kind and in the flesh human kind).

I am glad that my cars and I will be a part of your group. I just hope that everyone else that buys one joins in as well.

CC5C: You and ALL FIAT aficionados are welcome, Pep. Thanks for taking the time to formally introduce yourself, your machines and your brilliant dream-become-reality to our community. And thank you for helping us educate the USAmerican FIAT crowd on the longstanding global vision of the automaker. See you on the road soon, my friend.

Well, that's all for now. JugoAutomobili, Inc., Cream City 500 Club and FIAT Club America look forward to introducing you to the border busting world of FIAT at FIAT FreakOut 2017.

Until then, as always...





Miniature Motoring Mayhem!

Benvenuti amici!

This is the season the CC5C Planning Committee sits down to decide on the events for the coming year. We break our events up into Normale (laid-back, people-centric) and Sportivo (full-on, car-centric) activities. This is keeping in the tradition of FIAT model trims and informs attendees of what they can expect when they join us.

But 2016 isn't over yet and [MKE] local members dream up reasons to hang out all the time. Park your FIAT during the winter months? No worries... you may end up hosting a visit from the club. Check out what we have planned. We trust it may inspire you to get out there and have some multi-FIAT fun of your own!

Pep's Cars + Coffee [500] Club
Pep Zastava w/CC5C
Road Class - Normale
CC5C welcomes our first vintage Zastava (Yugoslav-Serbian licensed & built FIAT) to the fold. Pep's 750 is the mechanical ancestor of the modern FIAT 500, FIAT 500L (also built in Serbia) and FIAT 500X. This is an informal morning hang-out session... conversation over coffee and donuts. We'll add a photo session to the mix if weather permits.

Diminutive Drive
Road Class - Sportivo
We're cruising into the new year. This is the first of our 2017 Cars & Coffee Club meetings. When we last met we were hosted by Pep Zastava and Valenti Classics. This time we'll meet at Colectivo Coffee (Milwaukee's Lakefront - 1701 North Lincoln Memorial Drive). Catch up with you fellow [local] ABARTHisti & FIATisti. More details will be communicated, via our Facebook page, as plans develop.

Cabin Fever Cruise [Lakeshore]
Duane Hand
Road Class - Normale
This year we're combining the Cabin Fever and Spring Thaw Cruise events and dubbing it the Cabin Fever Cruise. Join us on this leisurely cruise along the Wisconsin stretch of The Great Lake. 'North or South is anyone's guess. One can only be certain by joining CC5Cruise Captain Duane!

The Kane Classic
Sean Kane
Road Class - Sportivo
CC5Cruise Captain, Sean, is taking over our May event. He's driving the FIAT train West, to Oconomowoc a/k/a A Special Place, for 2017. Anyone who's had the pleasure of joining other Kane-led back road romps knows this is going to be as much a blast as the area is special... Get in There!

Duane Hand w/Amacento
Road Class - Normale
Formerly dubbed the simply More cruise, in honor of the 2010-2012 FIAT USA ad campaign, this has quickly become a club favorite. This Hand-led fun cruise to the Hwy 18 Drive-In (outside theater) is family friendly.

FIAT FreakOut 2017 [MKE WI]
FIAT Club America w/CC5C
Road Class - Normale, Sportivo
Twenty-seventeen marks the first time Wisconsin will host the FIAT Club America event. This is quite an honor as the [inter]national FIAT convention has a longstanding reputation of bringing Italian car aficionados together.

"From all over North America... and often from overseas... hundreds of Italian car lovers drive, trailer, and fly to converge at a chosen destination, usually rich in history and culture, to play! We unite in the spirit of friendship to celebrate the unique automobiles that reside under the umbrella of the FIAT marque including ABARTH, Alfa Romeo, FIAT, Lancia and more!" - FIAT Club America

Italian Cars & Motorcycle Show [ICAMS]
Reina Int'l Auto & Moto
Road Class - Normale
Reina Int'l Auto & Moto is a true friend to the Milwaukee Metro automotive world and the organization is a true friend to CC5C. Each year we join their longstanding celebration of Italian Cars & Motorcycle Show. This is event is family friendly.

Motoring Mayhem
Joe Noto & Willie Carter w/CC5C
Road Class - Sportivo
This is a first time "official" event for CC5C. The genesis of this event is our semi-annual Road America visit. The event will honor Wisconsin's famed Motorsport heritage with annual visits to strips like; Great Lakes Dragaway, The Milwaukee Mile, Road America & Slinger Speedway. Joe & Willie want you to join them on this special tour.

FIAT Fall Tour
Sean Kane w/Amacento
Road Class - Normale
This event was formerly dubbed FIATs Feast Farewell. It marks the end of the social driving/touring season. CC5C celebrates another successful year of FIAT fandom with a Kane-led backroad tour and a family-style sit down dinner. Keep up with CC5C via our Facebook page. Get involved with local & national clubs today!





The Scorpion Queens

Benvenuti amici!

It's been a while since we last hosted you. We trust you passed the final weeks of summer in passion, purpose, peace... and your FIAT and/or ABARTH. 

Have you ever wondered why FIAT seems so hellbent on the inclusion of the female form in their ad campaigns? What is the connection? It may not be what you think. Sure, the female form is one of nature's great works of art, but the function of the fairer sex's heart & brain can be just as captivating... and mysterious to males.

We read, hear and celebrate of the men responsible for the machines that make our lives easier and otherwise more enjoyable. But little is written or spoken of the women responsible for supporting their industrial efforts and/or making their homes a place where they could restore their seemingly inexhaustible energy. Today we take a moment to salute two women of note; Nadja Abarth-Žerjav and Anneliese Abarth. Karl "Carlo" Abarth was married three times, but little has been written about his first wife. So, we shall move on.

I consider the definitive book on Small but Wicked to be ABARTH: The Man, The Machines. Featured prominently throughout the first half or so of the book is Sr. Abarth's second wife. Much is known about her due, in large part, to the social and historical stature of her family. So, we begin with Nadja "Nadina" Abarth-Žerjav.... daughter of famous Slovene-Yugoslav lawyer-activist-politician Gregor Žerjav... who was born in Gorizia, 1912. Sra. Nadja came from a highly educated and successful Slovenian family. She met Karl "Carlo" Abarth in the early '40s and married him in 1949... the same year ABARTH & Co. was founded.

So, how is it possible Nadja Abarth Žerjav is scarcely mentioned in global motoring circles? How, indeed.

The fact she was a humble person and did not make dramatic public appearances with the maestro may have something to do with the lack of mention (regarding her contributions). But... given her social status, the powerful contacts she had throughout Europe and the [7] languages she spoke, it is easy to imagine her a unique asset for any post-war industrialist. In fact, Abarth-Žerjav was/is quite well-known (as Nadina) in Turin Italy for the circles in which she freely moved and the part she played in the European automotive revolution. She brought the Austrian, Italian and Slovenian worlds together in much the same way as the most beautiful European mountain ranges.

The mind boggles at the value add a person/woman like Sra. Nadja would be for even the most modern business. Hers was a key role in the most early formation and successes of Compagnia Industriale Sportiva Italia a/k/a CIS-Italia or Cisitalia, the Squadra ABARTH racing team and the wild track & road models don Carlo would create until their divorce was finalized in 1979. We are honored to remember her, in this way, here.

Nadja Abarth-Žerjav passed in the year 2000 and was buried in the family plot at the Žale state cemetery (Ljubljana, Slovenia). We thank her for the smiles per mile owed to her great support of - invaluable service to - Sr. Abarth.

The loving memory and awe-inspiring legacy of Sr. Karl "Carlo" Abarth is survived by the commercial exploits if FIAT S.p.A. a/k/a FIAT Chrysler Automobiles and the diligent personal work of Anneliese Abarth. Sra. Anneliese, born in Austria 1939, began her professional life as a model with a special interest in Motorsport. She met don "Carlo" in 1964. The two became romantically involved and [later] married in 1979. He, with Anneliese at his side, consistently contributed to the democratization of the race car and beyond until sadly he returned to the stars... the Scorpius Constellation... later that year. But the story has only begun.

Sra. Abarth, an enthusiast, continues to focus her energies into the split-second thrill that is the motoring world. She co-founded FilmGo and produced racing films for Formula 1 and America's Cup for German television. She created Motorsport documentaries and still regularly appears at events. These activities put Sra. Anneliese in a position to continue the work to which her late husband devoted his entire working life as well as create a unique name for herself in the arena of speed. She continues to passionately promote the world of land & sea sports today and is the founder of the Carlo Abarth Foundation. Check out the website and the accompanying Facebook page today. You can also keep up with/follow the passion-filled life adventures of Anneliese Abarth by visiting her personal Facebook page.

So, you see, female FunctionForm are, in more ways than one, the crucial cornerstones and successful commercial future of the Cult of the Scorpion.





Cream City FreakOut!

Benvenuti amici!

When John & Lapo Elkann, Roberto Giolito and Sergio Marchionne reintroduced the Nuova 500 they could not have imagined the splash it would make… or the fevered passion their joint Labor of Love would inspire. The latest generation of the greatest runabout on the planet splashed on to North American shores in 2011 (earlier for Mexico) and the lives of people across Canada, Mexico & the US have never been the same since then.

Although FIAT America & FIAT Club America have been around for decades, the clubs weathered the vast majority of their fevered fan years without new model introductions. The 2011 relaunch of the brand, here, inspired a generation of enthusiasts, and venerated both [inter]national clubs with a spike in new membership.

While FIAT America holds club meetings, as well as other Race-Rally-Tour activities, throughout the year, FIAT Club America is made up of smaller "local chapters" sprinkled throughout the US and Canada and meets en masse once a year. The FIAT Club America gathering is called FIAT FreakOut (FFO). Cream City Cinquecento Club (CC5C) members have attended FFO since the 2014 Chicagoland Area gathering. Twenty-sixteen is the first year we attended as a chapter of FIAT Club America.

FFO2016 was held in Auburn Hills: Home of the FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Headquarters. The Detroit Area happening included activities like a visit to the breathtaking W.P. Chrysler Auto Museum. The museum is located on the FCA campus and offers an explanation as to why FIAT S.p.A. chose to save Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram (CDJR) from certain industry death. The museum also offers a solid argument for CDJR fitting perfectly into the FIAT Famiglia. But I digress.

[fellow]SHIP at Auburn Hills foto by Milacento

"From [126]Poland, with Love"

[be]LIEVER at Chrysler Museum foto by Milacento

The primary reason FIAT Club America-FFO exists and functions is the cold hard fact FIATisti/FIATeros and ABARTHisti/ABARTHeros love their runabouts. Give them a decent reason to gather in numbers and they are "all in". Whether  attending aficionados own a vintage (original, restored or replica) or a contemporary (stock, modified or replica) Alfa Romeo, FIAT, Lancia and/or Maserati matters not. It's the soul of a human being who appreciates the Latin flair of Italian automobiles that keeps FFO going.

"Going" is one thing Italian cars... and the people who drive them... do better than any other. So, every year the organizers (the smaller local host city clubs) of FFO include at least one group cruise in the itinerary. In fact, at least one cruise is a requisite to gaining board approval. These cruises can come in the form of a traditional "Poker Run", a backroads romp or impromptu procession down a legendary boulevard or avenue. FFO2016 took enthusiasts to the legendary Woodward Avenue. The sights, sounds & smells on "The Ave" are indescribable. Take a spin and one "feels" what Motor City is all about.

FIAT Freaks and their DRAG[centos] foto by Milacento

The Ave: WOODWARD[cruise]

The Ave: WOODWARD[cruise]

The next "must-do" at FFO is The Concorso.

Rain or shine... "The Show Must Go On." Although there are [later] prizes and trophies associated with a Concorso, the true pleasure is in experiencing the soul of the driver permeating through the metal, carbon fiber, rubber, plastic, leather, cloth, circuits, wires and/or petroleum of the vehicles. Study the factory details and/or personal touches of a given vehicle and one can learn a lot about the pilot of said vehicle. FFO2016 was well attended, but partnering with the local "Italian Happening" event and the larger Concourse helped up the ante.

2016: FreakOut or BUST

Italian Happening & FFO Concorso 2016

The Cult of the Scorpion - Concorso 2016

FIAT FreakOut is not a spectator sport...

One of these things is not like the others...

My pick for Winner of the "Bead" Award

Italian Happening-FFO Concorso Ferrari!

"All work and no play" would make life a bore

Rally. Beast. Mode.

"DRAGO" the Lancia

The Legend that is STRATOS

The Awards Banquet happens the evening of the Concorso. Dinner and a high ranking FCA speaker play a big part of the FFO experience. An awards ceremony happens after drinks, fine dining and the corporate presentation.

Entrants are given ballots at the Concorso. Some of the award categories make their way into the ceremony each year, but there is plenty of room for creativity and growth... a reflection of the evolution of FIAT Club America. The 2016 awards were good to CC5C. Mister Reiners, Sean Kane, Bryan Reiners and Duane Hand each drove home with a plaque. Joe Noto & I, pictured below to the reader's right, did not enter our cars in the Concorso.

The men of "La Famiglia" foto by Milacento

CC5C + FFO16 Awards foto by Milacento

"Preaching" P3 for FFO17 foto by Milacento

The final event of any given FFO is the announcement of the host city for the following year. Cream City a/k/a Milwaukee Wisconsin is the chosen home of FIAT FreakOut 2017. Sworn to secrecy until the BOD officially announced their selection, the CC5C planning committee has been biting our collective tongue for nearly a year.

The idea of taking on such a daunting task came about when Bryan & Pat Reiners asked me whether or not I would consider organizing a national event in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Anyone frequenting this blog and the sister Facebook page knows I already keep myself plenty busy. I sharply communicated a condition in my response... I needed enough local volunteers for all phases. Bryan Reiners, Duane Hand, Joe Noto and Pat Reiners immediately pledged their commitment. So, I began putting together a tentative "pitch" for the FIAT Club America Board of Directors (BOD) to consider and fired off an "email of intent".

The BOD... especially Tim Beeble... gave the blessing to fine-tune my pitch and I established monthly meetings with Bryan, Duane, Joe, Pat, Sean Kane and Willie Carter. Kevin Dwyer & Mark Friedel also offered their assistance in planning routes and contacting other groups/clubs to enhance our plan. I am unable to adequately express my gratitude to local club members. No one person (regardless of individual talent and passion) does anything worth mentioning driving solo. It takes an equally committed team that is firmly rooted in a solid work ethic and unified in positivity. CC5C has that in spades. But we could always use more help. Volunteers can contact me via Private Message on Facebook, email or in-person at a local event.

Mark your calendar/s for 19-23 July...