The Italian Happening Happened Again

The Italian Happening happened again, this time on Sunday June 11th at the M1 Concourse’s “yuge” 1.5 mile racetrack and car condo facility next to Woodward Avenue where it runs into Pontiac straight as a spoke from Detroit.

Car Displays at the Italian Happening 2017

This Happening outgrew the residential BBQ by an Alfisi decades ago, then was adopted by GM at their Tech Center by Chuck Jordan during his tenure as V.P. of Design. It was then kept alive by the Detroit Alfista of the Alfa Romeo Owner’s Club (AROC). Now it’s partly sponsored by FCA US LLC, a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., an Italian controlled automobile manufacturer registered in the Netherlands (including Alfa Romeo) and their local retailers including associated marques, Ferrari, Maserati, plus competitor Lamborghini and next year Bugatti. Hagerty Insurance also got involved, offering subsidized e-ticketing.

Parking was convenient and it was well-staffed. So was paying for tickets (or, in my case, scanning the QR ticket from my iphone) at the first tent on an eighth-of-a-mile walkway of fresh wood chips to tents with displays by new car dealers, food vendors, and an Italian wine distributor. The Happening’s car show was on the lower level, on a large and hot skid pad surrounded by the race track. If you want to know more about the racetrack, here is the link. Shown above is a colorful quarter view from the middle and the photo below shows a fraction of the retail level.

Alfa Romeo at the Italian Happening 2017
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider in the vendor display area.

The 39th annual Concours d’Elegance of America was represented and promoted by Diane Flis-Schneider, Executive Director, and Larry Moss, Concours Chairman. Please visit for all the information you need to attend the traditional warm-up for Pebble Beach, now in Plymouth, Michigan on the last weekend in July. Ralph Gilles, Head of Design for FCA Global, will participate and receive their Enthusiast of the Year award. He drove his dark blue 1969 Alfa Romeo GTV (super stock) to this Happening. I heard that he is also having a GTAm tribute TransAm racer built by Roman Tucker because he’s an amazingly good driver on a race track. I’ll never forget seeing him remove all seats but the Sparco from his white Minivan on Viper wheels and brakes then proceed to collect Porsche 911s on Waterford Hill’s 1.5 mile race track, reminiscent of the 1960s when Mini Coopers used to collect Mustangs there. And, just like the design staff at GM, he has always loved Italian cars. He is multi-talented for sure, but his luck is incredible because his employer married into the greatest Italian car family at the pinnacle of his design career!

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