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Featured: The Spirit of the Scorpion Part 2 – London 2022

The Spirit of the Scorpion Part 2 – London 2022

Abarth enthusiasts Angelo Eugenio and his friend Geoffrey Fernandez whizzing down The Strand with two big grins pretty much summarises how all Abarth owners feel when they put their foot down and accelerate! Timed perfectly with "Bella Italia" in the background this translates to "Beautiful Italy", another moment captured complimenting the roots of the Italian hot hatches and paying homage to its founder Carlo Abarth, this was further proof "The Spirit of The Scorpion" was with us again

Playing catch up was the rest of the convoy; Rosa The Shrunken Ferrari, Mini Hulk, The Dark Bee, and Arbart parading with The Union Jack flag, it doesn’t get more British than this!   

Fun fact number 7 –  The name “Strand” comes from the Old English ‘strond’ which means “beach” or “rivers edge” given its location adjacent to the River Thames the name makes perfect sense!

Stuck at the lights and led by a traditional London black taxi as if it was a pace car, the Abarths patiently waited for the light to turn green in close proximity of the world famous Savoy Hotel! 

Fun fact number 8 – The entrance and road markings to The Savoy Hotel are back to front, if this has confused you, then what that means is that the road is on the other side, similar to how European and American roads are laid out, PERFECT for any left hand drive car!

Fun fact number 9 – “Remember remember the 5th November” Guy Fawkes and friends allegedly co-conspired the Gunpowder Plot from a tavern on The Strand, called Duck and Drake. The exact location is unknown, but the story of Guy Fawkes is long embedded in the country’s history! 

As the convoy made their way from The Strand, it was yet another iconic London location, Aldwych. Famous for being on the outskirts of Covent Garden and also another one of London’s entertainment districts. If Hollywood ever create a movie called “The London Job”, then this picture has every right to be the official poster! 9 Abarths, two double-decker buses, 2 London black taxis and several travel for London signs. 

Look carefully  between the trees and you will see the phrase “Mamma Mia”, despite it being the name of a famous Abba song, and a long playing musical the phrase “Mamma Mia” is an Italian saying that literally means “My Mother”, and is used to express surprise. We like to think the Spirit of The Scorpion was echoing those words also “Mamma Mia EH-BARTS”

From Aldwych it was a quick turn in to Fleet Street, one of London’s oldest roads and historically famous for being the home of British newspapers. 

Standing out in the distance is St Paul’s Cathedral. Fun fact number 10 – The dome at the top is the second largest in the world, after St Peter’s in Rome. Famous historical events at the Cathedral include the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. The Abarths respectfully drove past, paused for a moment to say a prayer, and got blessings from the Bishop of London (The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullaly DBE), as we continued on our spiritual journey across London. 

Slowly but surely the convoy made their way through the small roads of London and arrived at Lime Street, located in the “City of London” 

Fun fact number 11 – the name derives from the lime burners of London who once upon a time sold lime from there to be used in construction. 

Causing a traffic jam sometimes annoys people, but in this case plenty of people embraced the moment and took pictures of the convoy. 

In the background looking as shiny as ever was another iconic building designed by Norman Foster “The Gherkin” skyscraper, although its official name is 30 St Mary Axe, it is usually referred to simply as “The Gherkin”.

Fun fact number 12 – “The Gherkin” has lifts that are capable of going 6 meters per second and is covered by 24,000 sq meters of external glass (the equivalent of five football pitches). If that failed to impress you, well over 35km of steel was used to construct the building.  

After a quick pit stop we were once again on our way. Lime Street is partially pedestrianised, so a quick turn to the right and made our way to Leadenhall Street. 

Fun fact number 13 – The area of Leadenhall dates back to Roman times. In 1803 a Roman mosaic was discovered 9 feet below street level and portrayed Bacchus – the Italian God of celebrations, wine and commonly referred to as “The Liberator”.  In today’s world what you would call the life and soul of a party!  It was only right the Abarths caused commotion and “partied” their way through these streets. 

The next location was rather special with great historical significance and once again “The Spirit of the Scorpion “led us to a location that represents London’s strong connection to Italy. 

Fun fact number 14 – Ten Trinity Square is amongst London’s elite addresses, but 2000 years ago the location of the building was also the foundation of Londonium, also known as Roman London. 

Designed by Sir Edward Cooper in the Beaux-Arts style the building was originally the headquarters of the Port of London Authority and officially opened its doors in 1922. 

Today it is now the Four Seasons Hotel and home to an exclusive members only club called “The Club”. Personally we don’t think its as cool or exclusive as the Abarth Owners Club!

‘The Dark Bee” looking as striking and majestic as ever outside the entrance of Trinity Square.

Head to head two Abarths staring at The Shard. Fun fact number 15 – The design of The Shard is modelled after a shard of glass and the total area of the glass facade is 56,000 sq meters, which to put in to context is the same as 8 football pitches!

Although both Abarths are red they are a prime example of how on the surface these cars may look the same, but they couldn’t be further from each other in terms of stance, style and even the shade of red used. 

Fun fact number 16 – Red is often a colour used on many Italian cars and forms part of the Italian tricolour flag. There are several theories as to what the flag represents, the green signifies hope, the white is for faith and the red is for charity.  As a country of philosophers there is an alternative theory that the green represents the hills, the white for the snowy Alps and red for the blood shed in the Italian war for independence. 

From Trinity Square the convoy made their way to a top secret location, this time south of the river. Captured below is Diane and Barry Webb in their Adrenaline Green Abarth followed by Dyanne Worle and Matthew Worle in their Modena yellow Abarth. 

Once at the top the convoy enjoyed the scenic views of both sides of London and took a moment to take a group pic. 

The stars behind the show – The Abarth convoy.

Sitting at the top of the car park and flexing his muscles was Diane and Barry’s “Mini Hulk”. The vision of proud owner Barry Webb, we can safely say this is one of the most unique Abarths we have come across. 

Continuing the theme of green on his car, Barry has had a custom made sticker underneath the bonnet in Lego theme of Captain America, Spiderman, Iron man and last but not least The Hulk! On the engine bay there is a green Lego piece that covers the battery and to complete the look its accompanied with a Hulk theme skateboard! 10 out of 10 for creativity!

At the front of the car are subtle changes, but also add to the unique look! Barry has opted for an Italian flag on the front splitter and a modified green Abarth badge with a private plate that reads ‘SLOW BW’. To be clear this is in reference to the car being so low and not slow!

In order to achieve the aggressive stance and make the “Mini Hulk” really flex its muscles, owner Barry has had an airride fitted in the boot directly under where the spare wheel would usually be found. This unique Abarth sits on an Airlift 3p system, and once fully aired out with the bonnet on display the admirers cant stop taking pictures. 

In addition Barry has had the car remapped from the 180bhp stock to 196bhp, but speed was not his main goal of the build. Like many Abarth owners the build is an ongoing hobby and Barry intends to re-trim the interior, change the wheels and make sure every blemish is removed, so its ready for taking to shows in the near future. 

Next we have a fairly well known Abarth, the vision of Youtuber, Seen Through Glass, this was Project Biposto. The car was painted by Logic Vehicle in “Logic Paint” and is the only Abarth in the world to be painted in Ferrari Fueco Red, a colour that is an $18,000 extra from Ferrari and is often found on Ferrari 488 Pistas or the LaFerrari. 

This one off colour changes according to the light, and the triple layer nature of it makes it shimmer in the sunlight, and accentuates the special curves and lines of the car. Between STG and Logic Vehicle they have been the only ones bold enough to put this colour on an Abarth, which makes this car a one of one in its own right. 

In the background is The London Eye – the fourth largest Ferris wheel in the world.  Fun fact number 17 – there are 32 capsules numbered 1-12 and 14-33, interestingly there is no capsule 13, but each capsule is said to represent each borough of London. On a clear day all of London is visible including Windsor Castle, now the final resting place of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

The Shard standing tall, crystal clear blue skys and Abarths lined up perfectly. 

Fun fact number 17 – The Shard is 309.6 meters tall (1016 feet high) and is Western Europe’s tallest building. This would be the equivalent height of roughly 85 Abarths!

Despite the glorious views. it was time to make another journey across the city and explore more parts of London.  

The convoy continued on their route and made way passing Big Ben and driving through Parliament Square. 

Fun fact number 18 – The square dates back to 1868 and was created by Sir Charles Barry who also designed the neighbouring Houses of Parliament. The square includes statues of Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Sir Robert Peel and Abraham Lincoln. 

Perhaps more relevant to the automotive world is in 1926 Parliament Square became the first roundabout in Britain and is the location of the first traffic signals in London.  

Too cool for the roads Nikko the dog posing with one arm out of the window and the convoy following suit as they they lined up on Waterloo Place and headed back towards Regent Street. 

Fun fact  number 19 – The lights at Piccadilly circus are rarely switched off and have only been off for an extended period during World War II, to mark the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 and Princess Diana’s memorial service in 1997.

As the eventful day came to a close the convoy made their way back to the starting point at Battersea Park for a mellow moment to reflect on the journey, and discuss the epic day. 

Fun fact  number 20 – Battersea Park opened in 1854, but it was officially opened by Queen Victoria in 1858.

The Abarth London takeover was truly a once in a lifetime event and wouldn’t have been made possible without the people who took part on the day. We hope that Abarth enthusiasts across the world are equally as proud of their pocket rockets as we are of this article. The Garage Queen would like to thank you for a fantastic event and look forward to turning heads again this Christmas. Long live “The Spirit of the Scorpion’!” 

Stay tuned for the Christmas follow up article!

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