Fiat,Heritage | February 13 2019

FIAT’s annual FreakOut heading to the Carolinas

FIAT owners will have “Carolina in their mind” as registration opens for this year’s Fiat FreakOut annual event in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This year they will gather from July 10 -14 in Greensboro, located in the rolling hills of Carolina’s Piedmont, midway between the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains. The base of operations for the five-day event will be the Grandover Resort and includes activities at motor sports venues, picturesque locales and historic sites in the region.

The first full day of the FreakOut is Wednesday, July 10, and includes two optional trips. One of the planned trips is to the Richard Petty Museum and race shop for a tour followed by a stop at Fiat/Alfa Specialty before heading to Richard Childress Racing, the home of Dale Earnhardt. An alternate road trip will take attendees to the historic Pisgah Covered Bridge followed by lunch at the Westmoore Family Restaurant and a stop at the Southern Supreme fruitcake factory. (Organizers calculated that over a dozen fresh fruitcakes will fit in the trunk of a Fiat 124 Spider.)

On the event’s second day, attendees will be able to show off their driving skills on the autocross course at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds. For those who are seeking something at a slower pace, there will be a tour of downtown Winston-Salem. Both events are scheduled to conclude in ample time before the Fiat FreakOut 2019 welcome dinner, which features a menu of southern favorites.

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

Three different events are planned for the FreakOut’s third day. Organizers have planned:

  • A road rally through the North Carolina countryside
  • A go-kart challenge at the GO-PRO Motorplex where carts reach speeds up to 55 MPH
  • A late-afternoon excursion for a tour of the Red Oak Brewery

All three groups will return to the hotel in time for a drive-in showing of the 1969 movie “The Italian Job.” It will be interspersed with classic and contemporary Fiat commercials.

Saturday is the big day for the Fiat Freakout when attendees can show off their vehicles in the concours show. The gathering of Italian vehicles of all makes and models will be held just across the street from the hotel parking lot. There will also be tech sessions during the afternoon before the FreakOut’s award banquet.

The banquet will be held in the late afternoon to allow for a unique Saturday night of “racin.” Organizers have planned a trip to the historic ¼-mile Bowman Gray oval track in downtown Winston-Salem, known by the locals as “The Madhouse.” Attendees will be bussed to the track where they will have an exclusive reserved viewing area for the evening’s racing.

The FreakOut will wrap up Sunday with a raffle prize event during a continental-style breakfast.

The Fiat FreakOut is the largest annual gathering of Fiat and Lancia owners and their automobiles in North America, attracting hundreds of participants from across the country and around the world.

Fiat Freakout attendee.

The very first FreakOut was held annually in 1983, when a small group of Fiat owners met on the infield of the Pocono International Raceway for a one-day gathering. It has grown since the initial event, and has been held in various locations across the country including Poughkeepsie, New York (site of Fiat’s first American operations); Auburn Hills, Michigan; Niagara Falls, New York; Nashville, Tennessee; and Orlando, Florida.

For more detailed information about the Fiat FreakOut, and how to register for the event, visit www.fiatclubamerica.com.

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.