Some of you may remember this post from last year....
Well after the success of 2018, we had already decided to go again in 2019, so here's the write up, I hope you enjoy it.
On the 20th June we left Derby and headed down to Dover and over to Calais, staying in Champagne country for the first night. The following day we headed over to Mullhouse to meet up with 2 other cars. A cracking mk1 VIP limited edition and a french registered Panda owned by a fellow brit living in France. Mine is the white one.
We then drove through a thorough shitty and wet Switzerland over the St Gotthard Pass and into Italy in what became the european heat wave with temperature soaring to over 40 degrees in Pandino. Jeez it was BAKING!
The event is held in the small town of Pandino in a big castle type building in the centre of the town. The locals are just amazing, they are so proud that their little town can hold such an event, the Panda is so universally loved in Italy. So many people young and old come out to wave at the convoy, kids just love it. Its a crazy couple of days. This year there was a big party on the saturday night in the castle. The headline act is apparently famous in Italy but it just sounded like a load of noise with crazy dancing to me.
As with last year, the show was amazing, the most friendly car show i've ever been to. Some seriously rare Pandas for Panda lickers to drool all over.
Virtually all the cars go off on a convoy around the local countryside and villages, the reaction from locals is pure gold!
A total of 695 Pandas turned up, a new world record! This was up from 365 in 2018 and about 150 in 2017. The 2020 show is planned to be over 3 days with the whole town of Pandino being closed off for live music and general festival type stuff.
A guy called Jim Magill, well known in the Fiat world did a 5000+ mile european tour, taking in Pandino turned up in a 169 Panda that hadn't left Northern Ireland since being supplied to his local dealer. Great story attached to this car.
This Austrian car is from 1980, the first ever year for the Panda. The owner has had it from new and all the accessories are genuine original parts as fitted by the supplying dealer inc the grill and wheel arches (the Fiat badge is the owners add on though). The sponsor for the event chose this as their car of the show.
This is a France only 'Verde' limited edition with the 750 fire engine. The Verde was available either as mint paint with pink interior or pink paint with mint interior. Also available in the Uno range. It was a new one on me.
Another new one on me, the Panda 34. Perhaps a tax break special? I couldn't find the owner to find out more.
Obviously an example of worlds best Panda was present (The italia 90), who can argue with football wheel trims?
This was my car of the show though. Brought along by a mother/son team. The mum had owned it from new when her late husband bought it as a temporary car whilst waiting for his company car to arrive. It was then passed to the mum, a lady originally from Portugal. Its a 1982 Panda 30 with the 2 cylinder air cooled engine as fitted to the 126. She drove it back to Portgual year on year with photo albums that she loves to show you. The albums are pure shite heaven! Pictures of it on the road before all the motorways existed and some amazing stories. One year coming back through France it started running badly, but it still made it home. When they stripped the original engine it had a huge hole in one of the pistons but IT KEPT GOING!!! It still on a rebuilt version of its original engine at 200,000 kms! It has never been restored and ooooozes character and charm.
Super rare electric Panda the Elettra
Some other random fun stuff
Us leaving after another awesome year!
This wasn't the end of our trip though, we spent a week in the Italian Dolomites driving up via Lake Garda
Before heading into Slovenia for 6 days
Taking in Lake Bled, Bohinj, the Julien Alps and the Karavanke. Slovenia is just stunning, I really REALLY liked it there. Will be going back asap.
Then into Austria over the 2500m Timmelsjoch Pass. It was bloody cold up there after the mega heat we'd had. We spent 4 days in Obergurgl hiking.
We then did a 2 day run back home home via Lichtenstein, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and finally home for a bloody good wash!
In total we did 2978 miles in just over 3 weeks. Nothing went wrong, the car didn't burn any oil, used no coolant. It took the mountain passes and motorways in its stride. The 1000spi Panda really is a fantastic car, it is incredibly comfortable, great fun to drive, robust and consistently turns out 50+mpg. A truely brilliant piece of design that still stands strong 25 years later.
Hope I haven't bored you.