Fiat Club America 124 Spiders 

Fiat,Heritage | June 29 2017

Fiat FreakOut headed to Milwaukee

There is something big “brewing” in Milwaukee this summer for Fiat enthusiasts.

Fiat owners, and those who love all things Fiat, will gather in Milwaukee, July 19-23

Fiat FreakOut attendees took great care in showing their cars.

Fiat FreakOut attendees took great care in showing their cars.

for Fiat Club America’s annual Fiat FreakOut.

This year’s event, hosted by the Cream City 500 Club, features a variety of events, including visits to an automotive museum, a drive on a legendary racetrack and, of course, the annual awards banquet.

“Every FreakOut is … or should be … considered special because it’s an opportunity to discover, and for people to ‘Get Their Freak On’ in, a new part of the country,” Cream City 500 Club founder and president Amado Rodriguez wrote in an email. “For me, it’s all about showing off Cream City, aka Brew City (Milwaukee), to people who never thought about traveling here. We have a different brand of passion. We’re very much working class people driving working class cars … in STYLE.”

Landing this event was a bit of a coup for Cream City 500 Club (CC5C), which was established four years ago as the first Milwaukee-based FIAT club. Since it was founded, the club has grown both in the number of physical events and online with its Facebook fans and blogs. These online venues have followers in over 22 languages.

At the urging of a local member and his mother, Rodriguez submitted the bid for the event months before Fiat FreakOut 2016 in Auburn Hills.

The new Fiat 124 Spiders attracted admirers at the Fiat FreakOut.

The new Fiat 124 Spiders attracted admirers at the 2016 Fiat FreakOut.

“I love my town. I love my car (a 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth). Both impact my life in different, but connected ways. I knew I wanted to bring the national convention to Milwaukee … I just didn’t think it would happen so soon,” said Rodriguez, who learned during the Michigan event that Milwaukee would host the next FreakOut.

Some of the events planned for this year’s Fiat FreakOut include:

  • An “anchor event” with dedicated time on the legendary Road America race track. The primer for that event is a member-guided tour around the historic Elkhart Lake road course. This is happening the same weekend as a vintage car race.
  • A backroad trip to the Wisconsin Auto Museum that shows off the state’s place in automotive history.
  • There is also a Pizza Bus tour and a GeoDash scavenger hunt for families.

    Fiat FreakOut attendees personalized their vehicles.

    Fiat FreakOut attendees personalized their vehicles.

This year’s FreakOut also takes place at the same time as Fiesta Italiana in Milwaukee. This has led Rodriguez to use the unofficial tagline of “The Italian Invasion of Milwaukee and Road America.”

The Fiat FreakOut started in 1983 when a small group of Fiat owners met on the infield of the Pocono International Raceway for a one-day gathering. Since then, the event has been held in Poughkeepsie, New York (site of Fiat’s first American operations); Niagara Falls, New York; Nashville, Tennessee; and Chicago among others.

It has grown to attract more than 500 people over four – or more – days, and expanded from a car show to include events such as an awards banquet with guest speakers, driving tours, track days and local sightseeing visits.

FIAT enthusiasts gather at the 2011 Fiat FreakOut convention in Nashville, Tenn.

FIAT enthusiasts gather at the 2011 Fiat FreakOut convention in Nashville, Tenn.

Learn more about this year’s Fiat FreakOut, and register to get your “FreakOn,” by visiting the Fiat Club America’s website.

Edward Cardenas

Hello from the Motor City! I’m Edward Cardenas and I’m multimedia editor for FCA US. As a lifelong Detroiter, I have been surrounded by the automotive industry. I’ve had members of my immediate and extended family work in the industry. I’ve covered it as a journalist and advocated for it
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Hello from the Motor City! I’m Edward Cardenas and I’m multimedia editor for FCA US. As a lifelong Detroiter, I have been surrounded by the automotive industry. I’ve had members of my immediate and extended family work in the industry. I’ve covered it as a journalist and advocated for it as a communications professional. I have also experienced the thrills of the industry while riding in a race car at nearly 200 miles per hour. Having this breadth of experience, I look forward to drawing upon my experiences to bring a wide range of stories, photos and videos about Chrysler, FIAT and Alfa Romeo to FCA Digital Media. When I’m not covering my brands, I’m spending time with my wife and two boys.