The 9th annual Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival took place on Saturday 16th April 2011. Located around Corn Street in Bristol's old city centre, the festival brings together Italian cars and motorcycles in a free display for the public on roads closed specially for the event. This year the celebrated marques were Ferrari for the cars and Benelli, celebrating their centenary, for the motorcycles. The event always draws large crowds who are treated to a spectacular sound display at one point in the afternoon, when the organisers invite all the participants to "Start their engines". The organisers reckoned that there were over 200 Four wheel entrants and a similar number of Two wheeled entrants to this years festival.
The 2 wheel brigade take over the lower part of Corn Street and side roads while the cars take the higher part of Corn Street and roads around the historic St Nicholas Market. Benelli are the oldest European motorcycle manufacturer still in operation and were proud to be the featured motorcycle marque, with many examples of their bikes on display. Ducati motorcycles were probably the most numerous on show, with examples of most other Italian bike manufacturers on display.
A superb line up of Ferrari cars took pride of place at the top of Corn Street with a beautiful Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona winning the best Ferrari in show award. In the centre of Corn Street there was a display of special cars. These included a Ferrari F40, a 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Supersport, a De Tomaso Mangusta ("Mongoose" or Cobra Killer) and a De Tomaso Pantera GTS, a Lamborgini Diablo VT and a couple of Fiat 500 Topolinos. Alfa Romeo owners displayed many examples of the classic Italian designs down one side street with Fiat lined up opposite, while Lancia and Maserati filled another side street with many examples of classic cars. Lancia had an impressive range of cars on show, including a Hawk copy of the fabulous Lancia Stratos Rally car, several Lancia Delta Integrale's, the Gamma, Montecarlo and a fine example of a 1950 Lancia Appia with front and rear doors opening out from the front and rear edges respectively to give a very large side opening. Maserati had several Quattroportes' on display alongside a Bora and a Merak SS.
By Simon Wright.