This year’s edition of the Giro d’Italia -best described as the Italian Tour de France- started in the Netherlands on the sixth of may. A while ago I received an invitation from the Toyota dealership nearby to join the Giro d’Italia festivities on saturday the seventh of may, the day of the second stage.
The dealership is situated alongside the route of the stage, so a perfect occasion to organize a saturday afternoon party, together with some neighboring companies. Invitation accepted ! Luckily the weather conditions just couldn’t be better on that day.
The Italian buffet is already set out for later in the afternoon. We were early so I had enough time to take some pictures before the real action began. And since we’re visiting a Toyota dealership means that there were plenty of cars -of all ages in this case- to photograph.
At the entrance to the parking lot for the visitors was this new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
A 1976 Toyota Corona Mark II 2000 Hardtop De Luxe. The car belonged to the late father of the dealership’s owner. The owner’s father started the Toyota dealership back in 1965, at a short distance from the current location.
Imported from Canada, a 1956 Oldsmobile 88.
A 1931 Essex Super Six.
Still going strong, this 1992 Toyota Land Cruiser 2.4 turbo diesel. I’m sure it can handle the trailer very well.
Three more recent Land Cruiser models. From left to right a 2006 120-series, a 2007 120-series and a 2013 150-series. All of them are powered by a common rail injected 3.0 liter 4-cylinder turbo diesel with an intercooler.
The latest A-, B- and C-segment Toyota models in a row.
The main reason that Nissan is still alive in Europe, the very successful Nissan Qashqai crossover. Pictured is a 2010 Qashqai+2 with a 2.0 liter gasoline engine. The Qashqai+2 has a longer wheelbase than the standard model and can seat 7 persons, which explains the model name.
A new Toyota Auris wagon with a hybrid powertrain.
Toyota doesn’t offer light trucks in Europe anymore, hence a 2014 Fiat Ducato car transporter with a 177 hp 3.0 liter diesel engine.
A 2012 Toyota HiAce panel van with a 2.5 D4D engine. This is the last HiAce model we got in Europe. Toyota recently unveiled their new ProAce van, which is the result of a PSA-Toyota joint venture.
Since 1997 the Avensis is Toyota’s D-segment model in Europe. Above a second generation Avensis, a 2005 sedan with a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine.
A 2011 Volvo V60.
A 2011 Toyota RAV4 with a 2.0 liter gasoline engine.
A 2004 Skoda Fabia wagon, powered by a 1.4 liter gasoline engine.
A first generation Toyota Auris, this one is a 2007 5-door hatchback with a 2.0 liter turbo diesel. The Auris replaced the Corolla hatchback in Europe.
The little red Citroën C1 is essentially the same car as the Toyotas parked next to it. Another PSA-Toyota joint venture: the Toyota Aygo, the Citroën C1 and the Peugeot 107 (108 nowadays).
Here’s the current Toyota Aygo model.
The neighbor of the Toyota dealership runs a taxi company. Above a 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 311 CDI. Coachbuilder VDL-Kusters was also involved in the production of this bus, it’s registered as a vehicle accessible for wheelchairs.
Much smaller is this 2011 Volkswagen Transporter T5 2.0 TDI.
King-size Mercedes-Benz bus.
Ah yes, the granddaddy of the taxi business: the Mercedes-Benz E-Class diesel, and all of its predecessors. Pictured a 2011 W212-series 200 CDI.
Across the street the last taxi of the series, a 2011 Volkswagen Crafter 2.0 TDI. The Crafter is a rebadged Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with Volkswagen’s own powertrain. On the left we see a 2015 Citroën C4 Cactus.
It’s time to join the party now, with some music. Italian style.
More music. Dutch style.
Let the good times roll.
Meanwhile, let’s see what happens on the temporary race track before the professional cyclists arrive. These guys in a van with Italian plates -well of course it’s a Fiat Ducato- sell the official kit of the Giro d’Italia. That’s what I make of it.
A young CC-senior editor can tell us everything about this vehicle.
Farmers always have work to do. A Fendt tractor towing a Schuitemaker self-loading forage wagon.
Volkswagen Golf Variant Mk6 police car.
Another police car, a 2014 Volvo V70 powered by Volvo’s own 2.4 liter 5-cylinder turbo diesel, 215 hp.
The cyclists will come from this direction.
And will race further in this direction. The pavement on the right is a two-way bicycle path.
No, no, these guys are not the leaders of the Giro d’Italia stage.
The professional cyclists can arrive any time now. Look, a rare Honda Civic !
The crowd is getting a bit nervous…
There’s the first Giro d’Italia cyclist I got a picture of. Can you see him ?
There’s the main group.
And the tail of the peloton. All gone in far less than 60 seconds…
Right behind the cyclists a whole convoy of wagons with spare bicycles on their roof.
And other followers, like ambulances…
The guys who take care of the traffic signs and roadblocks…
And the police on their motorbikes.
Well, that was a well spent and pleasant saturday afternoon. We end the show with this appropriate set of wheels.