A hub of gasoline culture in Los Angeles, the intimate and hidden parking lot of the Deus Emporium in Venice Beach is always full of surprises. Great ideas are synonymous with great coffee, and in our adjacent cafe plans and themes were brewing for our next Parking Lot d’Elegance. Why not a celebration of some of the most beautiful Italian cars ever built?
Early in the morning of February 8th, amidst the dense fog perched against the California Coastline, you could spot headlights. Pop-up headlights—those of the unmistakable Ferrari F40, followed by its turbocharged howl leading the way to the Emporium of Postmodern Activities. Enzo Ferrari’s final creation was the first to arrive, and placed center stage for our fifth Parking Lot d’Elegance. Close behind were the V12 heavyweights. Also from Maranello, a stunning 275 GTB in the classic Ferrari front-engine, long-hood grand touring layout. Born in the neighboring town of Bologna, Lamborghini’s HQ, was the 350GT and the marque’s first yet glorious attempt at a sports car. In addition to the genesis of Lamborghini was one of its greatest hits, the Countach. Oh, and there were two of them—one brought by Bryant Kreadon of The Car Shrink and the other by The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah.
Also in attendance were two cars from the eclectic collection of prolific American designer and producer of the film, ‘8 Mile’, Stuart Parr. The first, his Iso Grifo 7 Liter Coupe. While this car is powered by American muscle, its tailor is most certainly Italian, designed by Giorgetto Giugaro of Bertone. The second, was undoubtedly the show stopper—a funky Fiat 600 specially commissioned by none other than Gianni Agnelli as a luxury people carrier with plentiful greenhouse for dignitaries and VIPs touring Fiat’s Mirafiori factory. Just one of five ever built, and one of two believed to still exist, the presence of this car so far from home in Venice Beach was certainly beyond its creators wildest imagination.
Our Italian bouquet could not be complete, however, without Alfa Romeo. From a Giulia Super fitted with a picnic table, a 2600 Spider by Touring, to a colorful selection of GTVs, Alfa Romeos is both white and green represented two thirds of our makeshift Italian flag in front of our store welcoming enthusiasts arriving from all over of Southern California.
And the red in the Italian flag? A Ferrari Testarossa. Fitting, as Testarossa translates to ‘redhead’ in English. A yellow-black-yellow layout of Ferrari’s 355, 308 GTB and 308 GT4 completed our stable of prancing horses.
Our poster child, the Lancia Delta Integrale stole the hearts and minds as the icon of ‘80s and ‘90s. Behind, sat the genuine Lancia Fulvia ‘Fanalone’ of Retro Rally Group sampling Lancia’s rich pedigree in rally domination. Contrasting Lancia’s racing relics was the Lancia Appia, one of Italy’s predominant people’s car and an increasing rare sight on both sides of the pond. Playful pink and purple Fiats completed the spectrum of Italian design, spirit, and attitude.
While the cars were nothing short of magnificent, a Deus event is only as good as is the people attending it. Positive vibes and great crowd from all automotive subcultures made for an incredibly special gathering and atmosphere. The passion behind our ‘In Benzin Veritas’ philosophy continues to transcend both two and four wheels, keeping us at Deus Ex Machina excited in sharing all gasoline culture.
A special thank you to our partners Michael Rapetti of the Motoring Club, Luna Bondesan, and Shayan Bokaie for their support and thoughtful curation.
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