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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Italian Automobiles Have Sex Appeal

    On Sunday, Sept. 14, Stony Brook’s Center for Italian Studies sponsored the third annual ‘Concorso d’ Eleganza,’ a display of ‘art forms on wheels.’ The car show displayed 46 Italian vehicles including; Ferrari, Maserati, and Alpha Romeo. The show took place on the lawn area opposite the sports complex on John S. Toll drive right behind the physics building. The cars were perceived as a fine form of art, rather than simply a mode of transportation. Dr. Mario Mignone, director of the Center for Italian Studies, explained how Italian culture is reflected through automobile design. ‘Beauty is not only [apparent] in technology, but in the sex appeal of the cars,’ he said. Italian cars have gained recognition through American films. ‘The Alpha Romeo may have become known to America because of the 1967 film ‘The Graduate,’ in which Dustin Hoffman is seen driving his Alpha around California,’ Mignone said. Jo Fusco, executive director of Italian Studies, was surprised there weren’t more students at the event. Owners of Italian cars stood by their precious prizes and discussed the highlights of their models. Lou Grasso, 65, drives his ’91 Alpha Romeo Spider Veloce every week and prides himself on keeping it extremely clean. He explained that his Veloce means ‘speed’ in Italian and that the car was originally intended for racing. Grasso said that the Alpha Romeo’s value is ‘about $15,000, while the value of a Ferrari can soar up to $60,000.’ Richard Prince, a race car photographer, commented that ‘they don’t make anything like this in the U.S.’ The event attracted many car aficionados and provided a complimentary coffee and biscotti. There was also entertainment provided by the Department of Music’s String Trio; consisting of Emanouil Manolov, Adiel Shmit, and Mario Gotoh.

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