Last week was epic for Italian cars enthusiasts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Following the opening of the Fiat of San Francisco dealership in San Francisco, which took place last Tuesday at the new automobile showroom, vintage and modern Italian cars invaded the Bay Area on Sunday, October 20, for the “Streets of San Francisco” tour organized by Fiat America Car Club, founded in 1969 and based in Mountain View.
The drive that recreated a legendary scene in the movie Bullit (1968) followed the same route covered by Steve McQueen on his famous chase scene through the most famous neighborhoods of San Francisco.
The event was first held two years ago, and was so well received that Fiat America decided to do it again.
The group met early in the morning in Brisbane, south of San Francisco, and under the coordination of club member Jeff Trimble, the drivers crossed the San Bruno Mountains State Park, Colma, Daly City, and approached Lake Merced where a detour was needed to avoid the Nike Women Marathon arrival off the Golden Gate Park.
Twenty Fiat models of old and new Fiat Cinquecento—as well as 500 Carlo Abarth, 124 Sport Spider, 131 Brava, Fiat 2000, and X1/9—reached Twin Peaks, where the enthusiasts stopped to regroup and take photos of the best panoramic views of The City.
The second part of the tour passed through the hills of the Castro, the flats of the Mission, and then ascended Potrero Hill, where the cars zigzagged the less known Vermont street, by many considered more desirable than tourist favorite Lombard street.
The route continued towards downtown San Francisco, climbed steep California Street, and reached the iconic Nob Hill and Russian Hill where, between cable cars and a distant view of Alcatraz, the Italian cars approached the top of Lombard street, the “crookedest street in the world.”
What a better finish for such a wonderful tour than Little Italy? The Cinquecento parade captured the attention of the locals in North Beach while riding along Columbus Avenue to Broadway.
Eventually, the re-created chase ended with a communal lunch hosted by the new Fiat of San Francisco dealership on Van Ness Avenue, thanks to the hospitality of Drew Ginsberg, and in collaboration with Fiat America Club members Edgar de Leon and Kristy Duncan.