"Emotional connection to a past life is hard to beat."
Emigrating was, for the Italians of those years, a normal thing. People emigrated from South to North to build the cars that would fill the streets of Italy and that few at the time could afford. But Italians also went abroad, to Germany. Some of them working as truck mechanics. Like Giuseppe. Heavy vehicles, hard work.
Thirty years working under those beasts, and he even managed to make it a pleasant job - thinking that after all, the Italian trucks were no less good than the German ones. And dreaming of coming back someday.
The sacrifice of all those years working abroad has paid off and Giuseppe finally returns. Not to Sicily, his homeland, but to Piacenza, where his sister has moved in the meantime. Just enough time for him to settle in, and one day, passing in front of the town's historic Alfa Romeo dealer (one of the many that no longer exists today) he sees it in the spotlight:
Red, Gleaming, Coupe. Sprint.
He enters right away and asks for information, but is treated abruptly and without sufficient attention by the sales guy. He will lose a sale. Instead, the owner, who had seen the scene, will step in and conclude the deal. Apologizing to Giuseppe, he hands him the keys to the Sprint. No even the time to take it out of the showroom... and Giuseppe points the 4 headlight nose of the Sprint towards South, for the first trip to Sicily, with his new Alfa Romeo. This is how it was done back in the day. These were the satisfactions. Not posting photos on social media.
Piacenza, a summer morning. Giuseppe, in the meantime well over 80 and no longer driving, pulls up a pair of long trousers and a clean shirt. He calls his son to accompany him. He has to go out and do something important today. He has to put down his signature. The day has come.
That was the day, after 35 years, when the Sprint left its home in Piacenza's historic center for the last time, entering Marco's small collection. A lover of old stories and engines, it will be him to make the Sprint race on the town's streets and over the surrounding hills. Including a good participation in the “10 Hours of the Piacentine Valleys”, whose motto "on the roads of the great rally" is a clear reference to the European famous competition that took place over a 160 km course on these hills in the 70s.
Marco rings the bell. Giuseppe descends the stairs slowly. A quick glance at the car, his car. Shining like it was brand new. He sits behind the wheel. A long look, far away... For a moment it all comes back.
Someone takes a picture.