Abarth, Fiat, Motoring News

Fiat fans freak out in US for annual, er, Fiat FreakOut

  • Hundreds of Fiat fans at four-day Orlando bash
  • Main event Concorso showcased decades of Fiats
  • Special guest Anneliese Abarth, widow of Carlo Arbarth
FREAKING OUT WITH FIATS: Fiats and Abarths line up for the 2018 Orlando event. Image: Fiat America / Newspress
FREAKING OUT WITH FIATS: Fiats and Abarths line up for the 2018 Orlando event. Image: Fiat America / Newspress

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan – Hundreds of Fiat and Abarth owners from across North America gathered in Orlando, Florida, over August 16-19 to celebrate with Fiat Club America for its 35th annual Fiat FreakOut convention.

Steve Beahm, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat cars boss in the US, told Carman’s Corner: “The passion and loyalty of Fiat fans were on full display. With a full range of fun-to-drive vehicles spanning many decades it was the perfect annual event for owners to celebrate Italian heritage and design.”

It was held at Walt Disney World and was one of the most highly attended national conventions in the club’s history. A husband and wife even drove their 2017 Fiat 124 Spider cross-country from Tacoma, Washington, to attend.

FREAKING OUT WITH FIATS: Fiats and Abarths line up for the 2018 Orlando event. Image: Fiat America / Newspress
FREAKING OUT WITH FIATS: Fiats and Abarths line up for the 2018 Orlando event. Image: Fiat America / Newspress

The annual four-day event rotates across North America. The 2018 even included driving tours through Disney properties and a scenic trip through orange groves and into Florida’s backwoods. Meals were themed – one of them a pudding  party – but the main event a Concorso Di Eleganza vintage-car display, banquet and awards ceremony.

READ MORE Fiat features on Carman’s Corner

The oldest vehicle was a 1952 Fiat 500c Topolino. Others included a 1977 Lancia Scorpion, 1984 Pininfarina Spider Volumex, 1986 Bertone X 1/9 Dallarlra, a highly modified 2008 Fiat 500 Abarth Meifestofile and an original, factory-raced, Fiat Abarth 131 rally car.

Anneliese Abarth, widow of the late Carlo Abarth, was the keynote speaker and explained how she carries on his legacy by representing Abarth at classic-car events and international club meetings around the world.

‘THRILLING EXPERIENCE’

Doug Von Koenig, president of Fiat Club America, reported: “Every year we strive for the best Fiat FreakOut yet. For 2018 we achieved that by giving members a thrilling experience at Disney and having Anneliese Abarth as our keynote speaker.”

The next Fiat FreakOut will be in Greensboro’, North Carolina, over July 10 -14, 2019.

For more information visit the FiatClubAmerica website.

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