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Ran When Parked visits Rome, Italy

I recently took a few days off and flew to Rome, Italy, one of my favorite big cities in Europe. I’ve been going to Rome on a semi-regular basis for about 20 years (you can find a few of my pictures from 2005 and 2007 here) and I’ve witnessed the automotive landscape change drastically, especially over the past decade or so.

Ten years ago, vintage cars were a common sight in Rome, there was one on literally every single street corner. Today, many of the older cars have simply vanished from the roads and, for the most part, the few that are left have been restored at one point or another.

A bar owner I talked to one night explained that owning an old car in Rome is difficult because the safety and emissions tests have progressively become more strict. It could be worse – as some readers might remember, about ten years ago a few politicians proposed an all-out ban on classics in the city.

That’s not to say that vintage cars have completely disappeared the Eternal City. You can still see quite a few 500s, a couple of 126s and some high-zoot classics such as older 911s. There’s a jaw-dropping amount of smart fortwos buzzing around the city, I’ve never seen this many smarts in one place before. Finally, Piaggio Apes aren’t exactly classics but they’re always an entertaining sight.

8 thoughts on “Ran When Parked visits Rome, Italy

  1. as much as old 911’s are worth it is surprising to see one parked on the street. i am waiting for someone do a write up on the 2nd gen smartcar with a fully manual transmission. if they bring the manual to the USA i may be a buyer.

    • The new smart fortwo (2016) will come standard with a five-speed manual – they finally got rid of that damn automated manual gearbox. A dual-clutch will be available as an option.

      It’s got a decent engine, it’s the same three-cyl one used in the new Renault Twingo. I’ve never driven the smart but I’ve spent time behind the wheel of the Twingo (I attended the press launch event), it was surprisingly good to drive.

    • It was also awesome to see a 100% stock Beetle. All of the ones here have been tuned, lowered, repainted, etc, etc. I’ve even seen a few 1970s examples fitted with pre-1967 front fenders.

      Which reminds me, I’m going to look at an all-original ran when parked-style ’69 Beetle on Sunday.

      • Yeah, I’ve been looking for a stock, reasonably-priced Beetle for a while now. This one is supposedly somewhat rusty, that’ll either make or break the deal.

  2. Pingback: Four-Links – Roman holiday, Borgward’s Traumwagen, vintage racing games | Hemmings Daily

  3. Pingback: Four-Links – Roman holiday, Borgward’s Traumwagen, vintage racing games, Darrin’s Darrin | 3Buzz Now

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