FIAT FreakOut 2012

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For four days and three nights this past week, the Wintergreen Resort in Virginia became the hub for all things related to FIAT. From all over North America, hundreds of FIAT owners converged on the mountain resort for a weekend of vintage cars, test drives and an overall sense of community and brotherhood. 

To kick off the event, FIAT “freaks” were invited to participate in a track day at Virginia International Raceway. The Phil Wicks Driving Academy hosted this once-in-a-lifetime experience for FIAT enthusiasts to take turns and straightaways with all that their FIAT vehicles had to offer. Once they got back to the resort, the theme of “all FIAT, all the time” had plenty in store for them. From an open house to a Concours Show to the final Awards Banquet, this was a weekend truly crafted for FIAT enthusiasts, young and old.


The FIAT Brand North Americawas also well represented. We kicked off the newest feature to our blog “Your FIAT Story” with a station in our Olympic Lounge where people could come, chat with us about the brand and share their favorite memories from their history with FIAT. Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand North America, capped off the final evening by giving an overview of where the FIAT Brand has been in the past year and a glimpse at where the brand might be heading in the coming years.


Overall, we had an unforgettable time at the 2012 FIAT FreakOut. We had the opportunity to see and feel the love from some of our most passionate owners, and hear what FIAT really means to them. We’ve captured a few of our favorite stories from the weekend below, and don’t forget, you have the opportunity to tell us about your passion for FIAT in our “Your FIAT Story” section here on FIAT Backstage!   Jody Farr “In 1998 I was driving home from work and found that the usual entrance to my apartment complex was under construction, so I went in the back way, which went through a housing plan. As I came around a bend that I'd never driven before, I saw a man place a For Sale sign on a bright green '73 850 Spider. I locked up the brakes and put the car sideways on his street. It was a beautiful little car and the man wanted to get rid of it because he couldn't make it run right. I bought it on the spot and drove it home, then spent some time online looking for a solution. Turns out that the car only needed a carburetor rebuild, and a woman in Sydney, Australia, sent me instructions. It was my first attempt at anything mechanical and it fired right up immediately afterward. I was hooked from that moment.”   Sam Richardson “When I was six, my father & I bought our "NEW" 1972 Fiat AR-59 ‘Campagnola’ from a junk yard in Naples, Italy. The Campagnola is a Jeep-like vehicle used extensively by the Italian government, but never imported to the USA. As far as we know, there is only one other in the country. When I was little, it was my family's daily driver, but being a military family, we spent many years stationed away from it. Years later, I started working on it to get it on the road again. I've had a lot of fun and at least as much frustration working on it, but I'm devoted to it. Last year my family got a Prima Edizione FIAT 500 (#31). I couldn't be more satisfied with the car, and I look forward to many more years with FIAT.”   Jerry Cucchiara “My 1974 Fiat 500 L was purchased in Rome. The original owner was 84 when he passed away and his grandson, who was given the car, sold it to me. There was one issue: there was no title to the vehicle. When we arrived in Italy the grandson was on vacation! So I went to the department of motor vehicles and asked what was required to get the title. I was told I needed the name and birth date of the previous owner, but in order to get this information we had to visit the local cemetery and retrieve the information from the tombstone. As you can imagine, it was extremely awkward being questioned by the curator but it was worth the adventure to show the passion that I have to obtain my dream cars. Some may call it an addiction but I call it a (F)ascination (I)n (A)ll (T)ypes…FIAT!”  
  • Kevin Gault

    I just bought my first Fiat in June and hope to have a long affair with it. I’ve always admired the Spiders but the 500 Sport is so cool and the compliments I’ve received just enforce my reason for owning this little beautiful vehicle.

  • Itsa Rivera

    My mothers Fiat was just like the boxy style dark blue in the second picture…It Was fast! lol loved it! I always wanted one…

  • Rgknyc

    I am heartbroken!! Ordered my adorable Yellow Fiat Lounge from Tx. in June but when the dealer delivered it to me in La. the car had a crooked steering wheel.  Its been in and out of the service center for 8 weeks now.  My happy little car is making me very sad now.  Hope to be as satisfied as Kevin is soon 🙁

  • Loretta

    A very good friend of mine drove a Fiat in the early 70’s as the evening wore and she could no longer drive ,I took over the wheel . I loved this little car, alot of speed in the day and the quality it had. I always told myself someday I will own one!

  • Martha Beavers

    had a 1971 Fiat 124 Special…green was THE best car..and still 40 yrs later…STILL the best I’ve ever owned..went thru creek beds, mountains, and would hug ANY curve…remarkable and would ALWAYS say..there IS NO OTHER car…first car I ever purchased in Atlanta, Ga….first off the showroom floor…and it was a beauty!!!  SURE wish I still had it!!!!



  • I LOVED the Spider

    • kari

      I too loved the spider. I had a 1969 fiat spider convertible; my favorite car of all time. I really want either the new 500 t or the abarth. Don’t mind the manual; I learned to drive one and now I can teach my daughter to drive a stick. p.S. I am a girl..some of us women know how to drive a stick…Does anyone love the fiat commercial where the italian woman slaps the guy in the face, as much as i do? So well cast and produced..bellisima!!! Kari

  • Mitchell Constantine

    ASK JESUS to FORGIVE YOU & GIVE HIM YOUR LIFE.  THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING I EVER DID !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BC

    I need a car

  • tk

    The FIAT FreakOut is the National Convention for club FIAT Lancia Unlimited

  • I filmed a video of my friend Jon’s FIAT story. It’s here:

  • Raf

    the commercial make me very excited when I see the 500 go around the coast of Maiori………very excited I love the 500……

  • I have loved the Fiat for more than 25 years, we were in Italy three times and each time we owned a fiat and you can do almost anything to them as well they will care almost anything also. We are so happy that they are now here with new ones that we can win in the sweepstakes they have now for us all.We would love to drive a new Fiat 500. We had the fiat 127 and the 124 also 650 we really love them and we are looking forward to winning one on line, so please let us win OK?

  • Patricia Wasel


  • i remember fiat , wen i was like 9 , my family went to visit my grandparents and my grandpa ,had the 500 , the 1st time i was in it was a trip 2 the beach , i loved it , ……|WE’VE……

  • WE’VE

  • WE’VE

  • My first Car was a Blue Fiat 850 Sport

  • we’ve kicked

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© 2012 FCA US LLC, FIAT, FIAT 500 POP, and ABARTH are registered trademarks used under license by FCA US LLC.

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© 2012 Chrysler Group LLC, FIAT, FIAT 500 POP, and ABARTH are registered trademarks used under license by Chrysler Group LLC.