Sunday, April 16, 2017

Photo Shoot at Pima Air & Space Museum 15 April 2017


We had a great time at the Pima Air & Space Museum for a photo shoot.  PA&SM allowed us to enter before normal museum hours and take some fantastic shots of cars among historical aircraft.  Quite the unique opportunity!  We had participants from as far away as San Diego, CA and Scottsdale, AZ.  The field had 8 DeTomasos, 1 Alfa Romeo, 1 Fiat, 1 Ferrari, 1 Cobra, and 1 Cunningham for a total of 13 cars - a very nice and manageable turn-out.

After taking photos our host provided us with a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum's rehabilitation / fabrication department and then surprised us by extending our visit to include an open tour of the rest of the museum's public exhibits!

After we finished touring the museum we headed over to Brooklyn's Beer & Burger for lunch.  We had a great gathering with some really good food.   Our server mad sure the group was well taken care of with prompt service and a great can-do attitude.  The collection of Panteras caused a mini car show where people came by just to see the cars and some even stayed for lunch.

Special thanks go out to:
  • John Bezosky and the Pima Air & Space Museum for making this opportunity available to us.
  • Kylie at Brooklyn's Beer & Burger for prompt and courteous service for our group.

Photo albums: (check back once in a while as more will be added as they become available)
  • Marco Signorini Photography Album - click >here<
  • F.I.A.T. Album - select >here<
  • AZPOCA Album - click >here<


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Madera Canyon Run & Picnic PLUS Drive to San Xavier Mission - 18 March 2017

Cunningham C-4R
Our March event was a casual run up to Madera Canyon located east of Green Valley.  A few of the participants met up at the American Legion Hall (Post 109) in Corona de Tucson and then trekked to Green Valley where we met up with other participants and had a rest stop and beverage at Posada Java.


After our respite in Green Valley we headed up to Madera Canyon where the temps cooled to just about perfect.  We had a picnic lunch at the Mt. Wrightson picnic area at a nice shaded table. Parking there was at a premium but we managed to get just enough spaces for our group with a little bit of good timing and patience.

Picnic lunch in Madera Canyon
After lunch we went back down into the valley and then north among the man-made mesas west of Green Valley to San Xavier Mission.

Photo: National Park Service
Plaza on north side of San Xavier Mission
Check out the story on the Cunningham C-4R you see posted at the top of this article on the AZPOCA site (click > here <).  It is quite interesting and we are honored to have had such a rare and historical car join us!  We hope to see more of the car and its owners at our future events (even if it isn't Italian).

For a few more pictures of the event click >here.<

The pictures of the event from the AZ POCA members are available >here.<

Sunday, February 5, 2017

2017 Il Giro di Phoenix Write-Up & Photos

Photo:  S.Schaefer
Many thanks to S.Schaefer for the following write-up and photos of his participation in the 2017 Il Giro de Phoenix held on Saturday 28 January 2017.

The 2017 Il Giro di Phoenix scavenger hunt/car rally saw a great turnout with around two dozen participants in about half as many vehicles. The Giro was organized by the Phoenix Sister Cities, Catania Committee. For those unfamiliar with the organization, Phoenix Sister Cities is a non-profit cultural exchange program partnering with cities across the globe to organize unique cultural and artistic events. Special thanks go out to Wendy Rozov with Phoenix Sister Cities and Enrico Sini with the Catania, Italy committee for this event.

The rally was a points-based competition to complete 30 tasks. The rally began at 9:30 AM sharp with a clue sheet being distributed to participants. The tasks fell into one of three categories: simple question-and-answer; fetch item, wherein participants were required to bring an item to the finish; and snap photos, which required participants to seek out landmarks and take their photo with them. With a 12:30 PM finish time and 30 challenging clues to solve, the scavenger hunt required intimate knowledge of central Phoenix and military-precision planning abilities. A fully-charged smartphone and reliable cell reception were a must!
Photo:  S.Schaefer
As a Phoenix-area neophyte without a dedicated navigator by my side, I decided the best course of action was to team up with another driver. Russ and his black & blue ’80 Fiat Spider were veterans of earlier events, and such a distinctive car would be hard to lose in the Saturday morning traffic, so I hitched my hopes with him. The morning was chilly with temperatures in the high 30’s, but being the stalwarts we are, we opted to go top-down the entire way. With the sun shining on one of those crisp, high-resolution AZ winter days, we soon warmed to the task.

Photo:  S.Schaefer
Some drivers opted to immediately peel out of the parking lot at Park Central in pursuit of their first objective, while others (such as my team) opted to carefully study the clues before taking our first steps. Such an approach proved fruitful as we were able to knock two tasks off the list before departing the lot! A carefully-planned route saw us hit five of our objectives in quick succession after getting underway. The clues became more difficult to fulfill as time ticked on, however. From time to time, either Russ or myself would dive off the main roads in pursuit of targets of opportunity, requiring “creative” traffic maneuvers to regroup.
The final and most important clue required us to seek out a north-central Phoenix coffee shop to ask the barista for a clue to our final destination. Unfortunately, this 30th clue proved too tough for our team to crack, and we were unable to identify the coffee shop! This would have left us in the lurch were it not for the previous experience of Russ, who (correctly) wagered the rally would end at the Italian-American club of Phoenix.

Photo:  S.Schaefer
Upon arriving at the club around 12:40 PM we were relieved to see the other drivers gathering. We presented our clue sheets to tally the points, then headed inside for a meal of Italian salad, spaghetti, and meatballs (the best I’ve ever had, full stop!). Despite our best efforts, my team came up short in the final awards to two teams who succeeded in completing nearly all the tasks, a truly Herculean achievement. An extensive raffle drawing followed with a wide variety of prizes provided by local businesses on offer. As proof positive that buying more tickets increases your chances of winning, the majority of the prizes went to just three participants.

Photo:  S.Schaefer
The 2017 Il Giro di Phoenix lived up to the billing as a whirlwind tour through Phoenix with great company. This was a fantastic “driver’s event” that emphasized the scavenger hunt experience and a sense of community over the actual cars themselves. The Giro was a challenging exercise in problem-solving and navigation, but I highly recommend it to any interested drivers in the Phoenix area, or to anyone willing to make the trip up to Phoenix.

To view the rest of the photo album of the event, select > here.<

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Calendar of Events Posted


The 2017 F.I.A.T. Calendar of Events is posted and can be found > here. <  

Top Tip:  Once you see the calendar, select the Week, Month, or Agenda tabs (upper right) to see different views that may better suite your preferred viewing style.

A couple of good drives this year include:
  • Kitt Peak
  • Bisbee Day Trip
  • Annual Wine Country Cruise
  • Run to Globe
As part of our activity plan members are coordinating some interesting and fun events:
  • Automotive design studio and car collection tour in southern California (October).
  • US Grand Prix viewing party
  • Participation in the Mt. Lemmon 4th of July Parad
  • Photo Shoot at Pima Air & Space Museum
All events are pay-as-you-go as we do not collect dues.  RSVPs are very appreciated.  Check the calendar often as we will be adding events of interest and making adjustments throughout the year. No Italian car? No problem - all are welcome to join us, just use the contact form on the front of the blog (bottom left) to acquire more information.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tucson Auto Museum & 2016 Wrap-Up 17 December 2016 - Photos


Our December 2016 event was a trip to the Tucson Auto Museum (aka Wayne's Toys) followed by lunch at Brooklyn's Beer & Burger.

Dave K., Stephen S. Dave C., Wayne, and Chuck C. at
Wayne's Toys
Photo: Wade M.


Wayne's Toys is in the warehouse district near the train yard in Tucson.  This collection is an unexpected and very welcome site!  Lots of great examples of classic American styling can be seen here along with some examples of unique vehicles like an Amphicar, Isetta, and Delorean. They even have a classic Fiat 500 Abarth.  Chuck captured the event with a great write-up which is posted on the Pantera International forum.  Click > here < to see Chuck's write-up.

Photo albums of the event are available through the following links:
  • F.I.A.T. - Select > here.<
  • AZ POCA (Southern Region) - Select > here.<
After visiting Wayne's Toys we headed over to Brooklyn's Beer & Burger for lunch.  Fresh draft beer and hand-formed burgers!  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we had some interesting and lively discussion about cars, clubs, and events which culminated into an outline for our plans for 2017.  The group calendar will be updated by 01 January 2017 with the events identified so far.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

4th Annual Wine Country Cruise 19 November 2016 - Photos


Ready to Go at Sonoita Junction
We had a great time on our 4th annual Wine Country Cruise that took place on Saturday 19 November.  In our run this year we had an '03 Ford Thunderbird, '74 Alfa Romeo Spider, '65 Shelby Cobra, '73 DeTomaso Pantera, and an '82 Fiat Spider.  We started out with a breakfast meet-up at the Vail Steak House Cafe & Diner after which we departed for a quick sprint down AZ-83 to Sonoita where we met up with another member participating in the event.  You can check out a map of our route by clicking > here. <

Tasting & Taking in the Views at Callaghan Vineyards
We ran east on AZ-82 with a turn on Upper Elgin Road through Elgin and then west on Elgin Road to our first winery, Callaghan Vineyards.  The staff was friendly and very helpful.  They had a nice selection of wines to sample.

Tasting & Lunch at Sonoita Vineyards
We departed for a little drive through the southern end of the region on by heading west on Elgin Road to AZ-83, then north on Elgin Canelo Road to our second winery, Sonoita Vineyards.  We commandeered a table outside where we had lunch and took in the great views across the hills over to the Huachuca Mountains.  Several participants opted to just get a glass of wine to accompany their lunch while others took advantage of sampling various offerings provided by this vintner.

Italian Car Fans at Elgin Distillery [photo: C.Huber]
After lunch we departed for a short jaunt north on Elgin Canelo Road for our third and last stop on this year's cruise, Elgin Distillery in the Village of Elgin Winery. Mixing things up a bit we opted to sample offerings of gin, rum, and whiskey provided by one of the region's award-winning distillers.  We were very pleased with the samplings and learning how the distilling process works.  All of the ingredients are sourced right here in Arizona with the exception of sugar cane for the rum - and that is sourced just a few miles away on the other side of the border.

After our stop in Elgin we headed west on Elgin Road to AZ-83 where we headed north back towards Tucson or in one instance, west on AZ-82 back to Tubac.  Everyone seemed to have a great time enjoying all this region of southern Arizona has to offer.

To see more photos of this event check out these albums:
  • AZ POCA (southern): click > here
  • F.I.A.T. click > here <

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Karts & Crafts Video

The September co-sponsored Fun Italian Automobiles of Tucson (F.I.A.T.) and Southern Arizona Panteras event "Karts & Crafts" held on Saturday 17 September 2016 was captured on video.  Check it out!

Special thanks to John Lawson for capturing and producing this video!