As I write, the Bologna Motor Show is either heading for a definitive failure or a possible rebirth. It is still an interesting show that forgot what it was and hasn't come up with a new plan. Not yet. This year, I believe, it is brilliant again. Just edit things out.
The last editions of the Bologna Motor Show have been shocking. The Shambles, in empirical terms. In 2012 nobody showed up, in 2013 and 2015 it was cancelled altogether and 2014 was even worse. The Motor Show is supposedly an international event but in 2014, with only a handful of makers turning up, it looked like a local festival in, I don't know, Boonville, Missouri.
The Bologna Motor Show is stuck in a limbo. It isn't Geneva or Tokyo or Shanghai or Los Angeles or Frankfurt. Big names choose big venues and big events to present their latest creations and I'm sorry but Bologna, quite frankly, no longer is a big event. The automotive world has changed and the line between press and fans is now a bit thinner than it ever was. It is increasingly difficult to get press cars to drive. A very well known international maker had 34 cars in its Italian press fleet in 2013. That number went down to 14 in 2014. So it is, you understand, quite tricky to get cars. Especially when you consider that big press names and now even web stars get priority. But it is easier to be around a supercar, or indeed drive one, than it has ever been in the history of cars.
Take Jaguar for instance. They've been touring Italy with a fantastic road show where, provided they're over 25 and with a valid license, anyone can drive a 550 HP F Type.
Which brings me on the question of accessibility. The Bologna Motor Show has been outshone by Parco Valentino in Turin. An open, entry free, car event in Parco Valentino, a public park, in Turin. Last year absolutely everybody showed up. Pick a big name and it was there with its latest models. The Motor Show opens today for 7 days. I went to the press opening and I liked it. Ferrari and the Germans aren't there but then you do have Aston Martin Racing, Lamborghini, Pagani, Maserati and an incredible collection of classic cars. I suggest you go. Which, by the way, brings me on to the point I made with the title. Whatever you do, edit things out.
I am, much like almost everyone else, obliged to post updates on social networks and yesterday I posted a picture of the VANQUISH by ZAGATO, the wonderful new GT (which is so big you could fit 3 old Ford GT40s in it) and, errr, I think that's it. Whereas on my feed, I kept being bombarded by colleagues who were there at the same time as me and were photographing absolutely every single car in the show. Don't.
I'll help you with that. By all means, do explore, but here are the highlights: FORD GT, DS E-TENSE CONCEPT (which is incredible), PAGANI HUAYRA and then please do pay a visit to the Renault stand. Anna Maria is there. She's a nice girl from Russia and you'll see her standing next to a Captur or other. And she looks, as the Americans would say, a million bucks. You're welcome.