(To Gianluca Celentano)

Here we have often talked about military conductors making a comparison between their demanding duties and those of civilian drivers who, in turn, carry out tasks where a lot of intuition is needed and where a license in your pocket is not enough to consider yourself a driver, especially in a context unpredictable like the road. If we reflect, the activity of the latter is the basis of a large number of indispensable services such as the supply of supermarkets or the movement of people.

During the lockdown for Covid, civilian drivers, as well as doctors and nurses, were considered our angels because they managed to make us lack for nothing, despite the numerous victims of the virus also in this sector. Currently, it is the private buses in connection with Ukraine that represent salvation in the complex situation, especially for women and children, while it is the trucks that bring tons of medicines and basic necessities to the war zones.

The commitment of the Army and its conductors and logisticians

In the field of emergency and solidarity missions, it is above all our Army that takes first place. In fact, even before the constitution of the National Civil Protection (Law 225 of February 1992), the armed forces have always played a role multitasking for society, sometimes also to make up for the défaillances of the public administration. It is precisely the ability to deploy specialized personnel and equipment that require professionalism and constant training in a short time to make our Army feel useful and close to the country. We recall the approximately 500 soldiers and 137 vehicles mostly of the Engineers employed in 2016 for the 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Central Italy, the use of the "Pozzuolo del Friuli" logistics regiment for the earthquake in Zagreb in December 2020, the trucks of the department belonging to the NRDC.ITA used for the transport of wheeled benches in Nembro (Bg) in 2020 or the refueling of diesel fuel in the bus depot of Tavernola (Sa) offered in August 2021 by the Southern Operational Forces Command at the helm of General Giuseppenicola Tota, which made it possible to restore the bus line from the Phlegraean coast to Mondragone.

But there are also numerically smaller entities, but equally worthy of being remembered for their voluntary commitment as Assoarma and as a small reality that I have recently met. Born in Taranto by soldiers, citizens and collectors sharing the same passions, it gave rise to a functional and useful initiative that has become a real non-profit organization.

Stars and fans united for solidarity

It is an association that combines, just think about it, the vintage of historic cars in uniform with works of solidarity towards children with disabilities and people with physical difficulties. To be part of it there are military and law enforcement, but above all enthusiasts and private collectors who even come from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and who count on the social page as many as 16 thousand members.

I met Mr. Fabrizio Carriere, president of the non-profit organization and one of the creators of the "Club ALFISTI IN PATTUGLIA ONLUS" based in Taranto, who is a profound connoisseur of all the unknown or forgotten peculiarities that gravitated around the historic Alfa Romeos in the service of police or even fire fighting.

While talking with Fabrizio, I sense that he has a link with the institutions and, above all, such expertise in the sector that he could be consulted by some director for a lively detective film set in the last century.

An alternative Alfista Club

As its president told me, the Club ALFISTI IN PATTUGLIA ONLUS basically follows two ways to rigorously refurbish historic Alfa Romeos: buy historic icons and make perfect replicas in livery or save the school vehicles destined for the wreckage of carriages. .

The historic cars available to them for events and beneficial carousels are largely recovered from being abandoned in the garage and subsequently reconditioned by body builders and mechanics who are members of the non-profit organization. Here once again the drivers engaged for solidarity purposes enter the scene, in fact in the many carousels the historic cars in livery are conducted in suggestive maneuvers by personnel with years of service in the police forces and therefore well aware of the limits and safety, more theme addressed by the Club within schools.

The members' fees are used for restoration costs and registration taxes, while the subsequent proceeds from the events go to the statutory benefits.

The vintages of this historic vehicle fleet, also made up of private properties, start from the 70s up to 2000, retracing the evolution of the automotive emergency service.

In the possession of the Club members there is so much to see and obviously there is no shortage of the legendary Alfette "Carabinieri gazelles" with a wide shield on the grille, the Giulia Super and Alfette "police panthers", in gray-green or post-'75 livery in blue and white livery. All exclusively under the sign of the Arese brand where an Alfa Matta appears but also the Alfa 33s including those of the Fire Brigade.

Fabrizio informs me with satisfaction that he has recently saved from the press a rare Alfa 156 Q4 Crosswagon in Guardia di Finanza livery which is now awaiting restoration.

The vice president of the Club, Salvatore Arcadio, underlines that since the birth of this non-profit organization, the cars in livery have given countless smiles to children with disabilities, becoming beyond all expectations a reference for collectors of memorabilia and details such as unobtainable switches or pieces spare, transforming the Club into a real traveling museum open to the public.

Some curiosities

A day would not be enough to collect details and curiosities in these exhibitions, but something I have noted. Do you remember the whistling sirens of the legendary Giulia Super also adopted on the Alfettas up to '75? During the Club's folkloric carousels they are perfectly functional, but I was told that the siren could be activated at a fixed sound with a button on the gearbox tunnel but, via a switch, also intermittently by acting on the horn buttons on the steering wheel ( the Alfa had buttons on the three spokes).

To stop a car on the run with dangerous robbers on board, in the early 70s the spiked band could be used, which was then abolished for obvious safety reasons.

About the famous white V placed on the roof of the panthers and never used by the carabinieri, I learned an interesting detail. Applied at the turn of the 60s and 70s, a period in which the panthers were in green gray, it was initially used only by the traffic police with the aim of making the police helicopters in support understand the direction of the vehicle. It has also been associated with the numbering which was initially experimental, hence the term airplane number. Instead the term "Pantera" comes from the black Alfoni 1900 of the police, but with the advent of blue / white it has become more current to call cars with the term flying.

There is also some curiosity about healthy competition between carabinieri and police, as in the case of the swinging inspection light on the roof used by the CC and not set up on the police cars, as well as the double flashing lights for the weapon and the choice of the individual. (or bar) for PS.

Older people will associate the term gazelle to the carabinieri cars and Fabrizio tells me that the look of the gazelle it is always oriented forward, therefore against the wind like the flame, frieze and symbol of the weapon.

Between photos and postcards the eye falls on the atypical Arma cars in livery (Thema and Croma) in service at the Bank of Italy, or the Giulia Super armored cars with three-segment windshields. In short, if you are passionate, it is worth a visit to the Club.

Conductors and beneficial opportunities

The Club Alfisti in Pattuglia Onlus association will be engaged on Sunday 12 June 2022 in Locorotondo (BA), one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, in the third edition of the "I Love Motors" event. Here, many historic Alfa Romeos in uniform will converge from all over Italy, available to carry around the children who will attend the event.

Photo: web