TURIN -- About 15 years ago, flying back to Italy from my first (and sadly only) attendance at the UK's Goodwood Festival of Speed, I felt angry.
The event, which is staged in a beautiful corner of southern England, was really stunning, but I felt Italians could have organized something even better based around the Monza racetrack near Milan.
Since it was first held in 1993, Goodwood has grown steadily in popularity and has become a venue for product debuts from automakers that have shunned traditional auto shows in recent years.
The Italian answer seemed to come five years ago when Turin relaunched an open-air auto show using the city's Valentino park, which hosted car races from 1935 to 1955, including Formula One. The event was an attempt to demonstrate the public's desire to view cars up close and attract automakers with a low-cost approach.
Could the Turin show have become a viable Italian answer to Goodwood?
The first steps were promising, but since the third show in 2017 the city's new administration has started to resist the event's use of the park as it seeks to reduce traffic in Turin.
The prosperity of Turin, home of Fiat, has been dependent on the auto industry for over a century, to the point that it is referred to as 'the Detroit of Italy. ' This has now become highly ironic.
Despite this, and the fact that the show had attracted over 54 brands displaying over 2000 new and classic models, together with assorted design and engineering companies, Turin has lost the show -- and with it the 500,000 visitors it attracts annually together with the 4 million euros they bring to the city.
It is not all bad news. Those thoughts I had on the flight back from the UK are about to come true. From next year, Milan will welcome the Milano Monza auto show, which will open with a parade in the city's Duomo square and include the famous Monza racetrack and its adjacent park.
On paper, the new show has everything needed to properly rival Goodwood. The ticket prices are just 20 euros a day (17.75 pounds), almost a quarter the cost of Goodwood's weekend tickets (70 pounds).
A cheaper price alone does not ensure success. To see if that is forthcoming, we must wait until June.