My Car Quest

July 25, 2024

The Best of France & Italy-2022: A Quick Buzz Through

by Wallace Wyss –

I think this is a near perfect car show as far as being free of awards and judges fretting about–worrying over such details as did those wing nuts come in brass or aluminum? The Best of France and Italy is presented by the same folk (Owner of Aerobooks-Autobooks in Burbank) who also have the Queen’s English all British car show in the same location–Woodley Park in Van Nuys, CA where the 101 freeway meets the 405.

Best of France & Italy

A Sprint Speciale. I owned one once, actually twice, first the one with the hot engine then the one with the tame engine. Beautiful car but parts are hard to find…never even got to drive either. Like a marriage never consummated….

It is a run-what-you-brung and what I particularly like about it is that some of the cars look like they emerged from dusty barns or garages–they might not even be currently licensed but somehow they get there. That gives the barn finders (me a former one) a chance to discover new treasures.

In each marque enclave there was at least one spiffy car to show you, yes this is what they look like when going to Pebble. Such as Earl Waggoner’s Ferrari 250GT Lusso Berlinetta in Rosso Corso. Mentioning Earl reminds me why I like this show–you see friends that you only see once a year but continue the conversation you last had. Earl reminded me of the time I forgot to set the parking brake outside his hilltop house. All I can say is I think that BMW reached a new altitude record as it headed downhill toward the sea!

Best of France & Italy

MG with Italian body? Not sure but I believe Arnolt was behind this.

The French cars are a smaller part of the show but there was even a Bugatti or two, though mostly Citroen and Renaults. The Panteras were there in force, right next to the Ferraris, among the Ferraris was not only the Lusso but a rare 250GT (Bertone?) and even one of Jim Carpenter’s 288GTO inspired cars. That’s the good thing about this event, too, nobody chides you for modifying your car.

The Ferrari club thought to bring a scrumptious array of breakfast dishes and I was almost tempted to rejoin once I saw that, but there were food trucks there for those who didn’t pack their own. The show charges those displaying their car but for spectators it’ free-free-free.

Best of France & Italy

Fiat Abarths were promoted in the U.S., partly by a guy whose last name was Roosevelt. Yes, that Roosevelt as in FDR was his dad.

The Alfas had a few very rare ones, one Sprint Speciale hurt me (didn’t I have two of those that never got restored? Sigh). The Swap meet part was El Primo, here were a few rare books that had equally rare pictures. Those around $20 up but alas, in the throes of moving–I can’t buy new books when I’m still sorting out the old ones. For the first time I saw art there–turns out the painter was an art director and this is his hobby. I wonder if the Automotive Fine art Society would consider this as a venue? It’s not Pebble Beach (see they once had their own tent) but it gets to the grassroots enthusiast.

The Swap also had hard to find Marchal and CIBIE headlights and fog lamps and thousands of other misc. parts. The model cars were impressive too but I’d pass those displays covering my eyes to avoid temptation.

So if you missed this show, see if you can attend the Queen’s English show next spring and start to recover your fanboy status.

Ciao and au revoir.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss is co-host of KUCR FM’s Autotalk show where weekly he pontificates on new cars and old.


Best of France & Italy

Bitz-o-sleazy? Bits-so-reen-e? The guy said the name so fast, I’m not sure if I caught it. If ever a car qualified for the adjective French word “louche” this is it. Just short of obscene on four wheels.

Editor’s note.

This is one of my favorite car shows probably because it was the first event where I took my Bizzarrini GT 5300 in 2008. There were many great cars there and I met Jay Leno for the first time and was interviewed and filmed for the TV show, My Classic Car With Dennis Gage (you can see that episode here).

The Best of France and Italy is held the first Sunday in November at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, California. This event is a fun day even if you are not on TV.

Mike Gulett

The Best of France & Italy-2022: A Quick Buzz Through
Article Name
The Best of France & Italy-2022: A Quick Buzz Through
The Best of France & Italy is a near perfect car show as far as being free of awards and judges fretting about and worrying over such details as did those wing nuts come in brass or aluminum?


  1. Absolutely the best local show I ever went to. When I first visited the US in the 80-ies I planned my trips to coincide with this show and it only got better since.

    BTW, the pictured “louche” Bizzarrini Strada DID get an award there: Most Outrageous Car!

  2. lennox mcneely says

    Wallace –a nice show, but I write with an idea to spread your knowledge and make Xmas shopping easier.

    My daughter’s boyfriend is into classic cars and a BMW enthusiast–what better Xmas present than

    getting him a subscription to your wonderful BLOG –maybe you can put together an Xmas Present from myself (the prospective father in law) to the prospective daughter or son in law and it would be started off by the father in law
    contributing $100 U.S. or whatever you deem as fair.

    All the best Lennox McNeely. up in Whistler, Canada

  3. wallace wyss says

    MyCarQuest doesn’t charge for fans to read , so no Xmas present possible for der Walmeister there. How ’bout I make a painting of your choice of Bimmer or even
    your Austin Healey BN7 (which i found on the Net) and you can give the prospective in-laws a 11″ x 17″ print of it for me to qualify for that offer. Be aware those pesky canucks charge duties for wares from south of the border. .You can reach me at I trust when you are driving the Healey you are dressed in a flat cap, tweed hacking jacket, Merino sweater , dress shirt, bow tie, pleated trousers, Clarks, and string back driving gloves.I am a big Anglophile….This is me in tweeds

  4. wallace wyss says

    Oh it censored me in tweeds. Here I be…

    • Daughter did a great painting of the Healey–will send down when return from Mexico. Should I make it to Goodwood will seek your advise on my Duds. Impressed you found my car–no secrets in the streets–Lennox

  5. wallace wyss says

    Haven’t made it to Goodwood so far–Though there I’d have to worry about the weather, though England is experiencing climate change now so maybe it’s sunny and warm all summer.

    As far as British dressing British, I checked what they wore at Ascot 2022, first day of thoroughbred racing season, and was disappointed to see no Ascot ties. Maybe Ascots are forbidden at Ascot? But at least they had double breasted waistcoats (vests) I’ll never go as far as a top hat…not sports car wear. I am glad the Lord that runs Goodwood puts out clothing guides, strongly hinting you wear is recommended styles at his event.

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