Automotive experiences, 2nd part – Italy.

Quer ler em português? Acesse AQUI.


In 1989 Brazil was through a lot of things. The Military Dictatorship finished four years before but still many brazilians didn’t have the feeling of choosing their own president. The new 1988 Constitution was already working, overtaking the 1967 one, fueled with the outrageous AI’s. But still freedom wasn’t full. Only going to the polls and choosing the new president would make these braziliand feel free for real.

The first democratically elected brazilian president in 29 years was Fernando Collor. Collor, as far as I’ve studied – because I can’t remember it – was young and he was “chosen” by the brazilian mass press to be the president. And the Media did it.

I don’t want to create any polemics, so I won’t express my opinion about him. The fact that he was the president is something that has changed my family’s life completely and that’s important for the understanding of the story.

In the previous post I’ve commented that in 1989 my mom was working in the public sector and my father was the owner of a small building supply store. We were facing Hyperinflation and deep economic instability. People weren’t constructing houses of building at all at that time.

So it was that the store bankrupted. My father and his brother-in-law sold everything they could and with the few bucks the made out ot it they invested in the private asset. Also, the Brown Brasília was a part of the payment my dad got from the new owner of the store.

With the little money on the private asset, almost nothing in our hands and an undesirable car in the garage, we entered in 1990. And Collor, aware of our great situation, assumed the chair in March 15. On the very next day he announced the so called and unforgettable Plano Collor. 80% of all the private assets were blocked without any warning. So, literally, from one day to another our situation was from awful to unsustainable.

Without any cash, with the few we had blocked, my father unemployed and my mom with an underpaid job, we were thrown to our own luck of the “neo-poor” of the Plano Collor.

We sold the car, which gave us some relief for a while. Time enough to trace the escape plan. In 1989 some relatives from Italy came to visit Brazil and my father, who knew how to speak italian, helped them.

These relatives were cousing from a far degree from my Grandmother, who came to Brazil in the beginning of the last century and never gained brazilian citizenship. So my father (and me as well) was born already with two citizenships, brazilian and italian.

The friendship between us and our relatives in Italy was very high and as soon as they knew what was going on here, they called us to know how we were doing. My father told them the bad news and they offered us a helping hand. What a help!

First the paid us all, me, my sister, mom, dad and my grandmother, tickets to go visit them in Italy. Once there, they made the offer to us: they would arrange a house for us close to them, a job for my parents and all the assistance we needed until we could go back to our own feet.

My father didn’t even come back, he stood there. We came back and while my mom was seeking someone to rent our house, me and my sister were getting used to the idea of moving to completely new country.

Before we go, we received a letter from my father with the good news. He had found a job in a furniture industry, rented a house close to the factory and even bought a car for us. How fast!


(In the picture my father is the one in front of the car. An Autobianch A112 from 1975)

In the end of the year we were all together in our new hometown, Pasiano di Pordenone, in the Friuli region, Italian northeastern.

My father at his new job, my mom working as housemaid, me and my sister making new friends in school. We were well, happy, free. We were only missing out beloved tropical and naturally blessed country.

In Italy I started to get interested about cars. There they live it. And me, a sponge as all kids, was absorving this culture.

Between posters of Rijkaard and Frank De Boer from my sister, I had mine from Formula One Cars, Ferraris, Maseratis and so on, on our bedroom wall.

My passion for F1 and, of course, Ayrton Senna, started there. I remember to have some diecast models from Bburago. I had a F1 green car that, now I know, was a Benetton. But I also had the blue one from Williams. Unfortunately I struck them all against the wall pretending they were crashing while racing. Sorrow.

The Autobianchi A112, besides its size, was a great car. We travelled a lot with it on our weekends. We spent Christmas in Munich, went until Salzburg and even to some caves and lakes in Slovenia. With snow without chains and everything worked out great.


(Us in our Autobianchi somewhere in Italy)

My father wanted to have two cars and bought a Fiat Duna 1987. Even newer, bigger and stronger than the Autobianchi, this car just gave us trouble and didn’t last long. We don’t miss it at all.

Whilst, the Autobianchi was strong and steady. My father even tried to bring it with us back to Brazil, when we decided to come back in 1993, when the Plano Collor was finally over. But unfortunately he couldn’t.

Nowadays this car is a rare piece in the countries where it was sold. The brand was bought by Lancia.

And then, after two and a half years living in Europe, we came back to Brazil.

It continues…


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