The Bay of Islands is preparing for an Italian invasion next month. More precisely, the incursion will be by Alfisti, the collective noun for a group of Alfa Romeo enthusiasts.
A large contingent of the 500-strong Alfa Romeo Owners Club will converge at Waitangi for their annual general meeting on the weekend of October 14-16.
Nearly a fifth of Alfisti registered with the club are from the Bay of Islands and club spokeswoman Dot Louie expects a strong local presence alongside the dozens of owners who will be there from other regions.
"One of our club members, John Wilson, has a 1971 GT Junior which was previously owned by Laurie Le Grice, who still lives in Kamo," she said.
"The GT Junior is a rare Alfa and John is hoping to complete his restoration in time for the AGM and to be able to show it to Laurie at Waitangi."
Some of the cars expected at Waitangi include Alfa GTs, GTVs, Giulias, Spiders, Breras, Suds and Alfettas, which Dot Louie says "is sufficient to make an Alfisti weep".
The club runs its own Trofeo racing series and the marque, which has a strong sporting history, celebrated its centenary in 2010.
It's the first time the club has chosen the Far North for its AGM. There will be a public display of classic and modern Alfas on the lawn of the Copthorne Hotel in Waitangi on Saturday morning, October 15.