Martin Philippo is thoroughly enjoying the first signs of spring. Vibrant colors and sweet sounds, your reporter is on a date, courting Giulietta.
When Autumn shakes of the last leaves from the trees, there is no way back, winter is here and here to stay. People cover up in warm woolen sweaters, cars are laid up inside. A rag over the bonnet, the trickle charger watching over the battery. Protected against the dark season, hibernating until spring finally arrives. After what looked and felt like eternity, winter is now over. Snowdrops are succeeded by crocuses and daffodils, they are the messengers of spring, popping their colorful heads above ground to tell people spring is definitely here. Trees bring joy with the fresh green of their sprouting leaves. Cows dance frantically in meadows, stretching their legs, grazing on the fresh green grass. No more long and weary days packed up in a barn. Freedom at last. In town, people gather outside to enjoy a good glass of chilled white wine. Underneath the skirts of women who can’t wait for summer to arrive, the sun cherishes the first bare legs. It is pretty obvious, spring has arrived. Time to leave the dark times of winter behind and rejoice the beautiful seasons ahead of us. As the Dutch say, today it’s ‘rokjesdag’, skirts day.
Like everybody else, drivers of classic cars can not escape this spring fever. Laid up classics are reborn. Revved up carefully, as the oil is still cold and thick. Tires are pressurized, dust wiped from the hood. A rag is used to give the body a quick polish, some fresh fluids and we are ready to go. Away from the workshop, looking for those great country roads where driving is such fun. Dancing in to spring. The members of the Dutch Alfa Romeo Giulietta Register rejoin at their annual spring meeting. They shake hands. ‘Long time no see, how are you?’ Cars are looked at and scrutinized with open faces. Those who spend their long winter nights in the workshop want to show the results of their labour. An engine has been overhauled, the polished rocker cover is shining right at us. A first timer is here to meet the rest of the group, proudly presenting his new ride. Everybody is cheerful, no wonder, it is time to ride again. What is more exciting than riding out together for the first time in spring? Those who can, put the roof down, temperatures are great. The inevitable little spring shower is commonly ignored, ‘as long as you keep going, nothing happens’. On their way to the meeting point, where the Spring Drink is accompanied by typically Dutch deep fat fried snacks. A last convulsion of King Winter on his way out. That’s when the chairman raises his glass, with a sounding ‘Viva Italia, Viva Giulietta’ the new season is heralded in.
Those who own a classic will recognize this story. They will have resurrected their precious darlings from hibernation or will do so really soon. Because classics, like all cars, were made to drive, to enjoy. Enjoyed on roads lined by daffodils and crocuses blooming, telling you spring is here. Viva la primavera!