• Article by Tina Tinkham, Jim and Joanne Hyldahl.
  • Photos by Rich Fatuzzo & Doug Gates Photography view event photos

To our 2016 Bella Italia Exhibitors:

A very special THANK YOU to all of you who chose to brave Saturday’s “10% chance of precipitation” and make Bella Italia #16 a success!  After many hours of detailing effort, there’s nothing more terrifying, next to a nuclear attack, than driving to Spanish Landing in the rain.  Of course, every jacked up pickup truck owner in San Diego feels the need to blast by you and provide additional road spray.

After sixteen years, it’s apparent that while the cars, the bayside setting, the music and the food, all combine to make this event special; the real source of enjoyment is the camaraderie all of you generate among yourselves.  It may be seeing a familiar face you know from other car events or perhaps it’s someone you see only once a year.  Maybe it’s making a new acquaintance with a friendly smile and with similar interests.  As one walks the field, the sense of friendship and genuine goodwill permeates the air.

Bella Italian 2016
Bella Italian 2016

Authors: Jim and Joanne Hyldahl, Bella Italia Co-Chairs

Saturday, April 30th highlighted the FOC San Diego Region’s 16th year for the Bella Italia Concours ‘d Elegance at Spanish Landing in San Diego. Directors Jim and Joanne Hyldahl again chaired this special event that began as the dream of past San Diego Region President, Mickey Miller.  The first year a tiny handful of volunteers stood under one canopy in an early morning rain storm to set up and execute the first Bella Italia.  The rain stopped the sun came out and it was a success. Approximately 64 cars were exhibited this year.  The event showcased an extraordinary line-up of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis and Alfa Romeos.  A feast for the eyes. FOC Board Member Rhonda Migliaccio was the recipient of the honorary Mickey Miller Memorial Award for her many contributions to the club, as well as putting in hours of time coordinating and  facilitating the Raffle/Silent Auction at Bella Italia with all proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House which supports families with seriously ill children.  Rhonda and her team, consisting of Wynda Scott, Marlene Ettari, Lynne Wheeler and Gloriaann Putnam brought in $5,000 to go to this worthwhile charity. Congratulations Rhonda!


The morning weather was chilly with wind and rain…ugh ;  however, as in past years, the sky opened up to sunshine the rest of the day.  Volunteers arrived at 6:00 am to set up the venue.  Photographer Doug Gates from Gates Photography was on the scene to photograph cars, with San Diego yachts in the background, as they began to arrive at 8:00am.  The Boy Scouts, as they do every year, helped set up tables and chairs then lended a hand during lunch.  Sponsor tents were displayed and the sponsors began to arrive with gorgeous cars of their own. This year’s sponsors were O’Gara Coach, Symbolic INTL, Modern Image and Vespa Motorsports.  Also, our sponsor list included Gate’s Photography, Bobileff Motors, Capri Blu, La Jolla Audio, UBS Financial Services, Lockton Insurance Brokers and Sheraton Hotels.  All gave either monetary donations, goods or services.

It was the fifth year for Capri Blu to cater the luncheon buffet.  Club Director Roy Silver, co-owns this fine restaurant.  The buffet consisted of two delicious pastas, salad and garlic bread followed with Tiramisu for dessert.  The on-site staff was friendly and professional.  There was plenty of food for the 200+ people who were served.  The conversation was lively at the 16 round lunch tables that held the hungry crowd; groovy background music was provided by Tres the Band.

What would a car show be without Judges and Trophies.  Our fine panel of judges included Gary Bobileff, Katherine Partain, Steve Wheeler, Dennis Pinn, Joe Charles, Bruce Breneman, Rocky Gallo, Rich Fatuzzo, Ben Constantini, Jim Migliaccio, Chuck Ettari and Steve Murphy.    Trophies were designed and provided by Joe Charles.


Alfa Romeo 1st Antonio Arcaro San Diego, CA 2015 4cLE
Maserati 1st Ian & Irma Johnston San Diego, CA 2013 Gran Turismo Sport MC
Lamborghini 1st Allen Korneff Downey, CA 2008 Murcielago
Ferrari Late V-12 1st Barry Walker & Kim Hart Olivenhain, CA 2007 599 GTB Fiorano
2nd Dr. Steve & Lynne Wheeler Rancho Santa Fe, CA 2000 550 Maranello
Ferrari Late V-8 1st Brad Milligan Rancho Santa Fe, CA 2016 458 Speciale A
2nd Don Blaskiewicz San Diego, CA 2015 458 Italia
Ferrari Mid V-8 1st Andrew & Elisa Chan Encinitas, CA 1998  F1 355 Spyder
Ferrari 360 Class 1st Howard & Diane Bentley San Diego, CA 2004 F360 Challenge Stradale
Ferrari Early V-8 1st Chuck & Marlene Ettari Solana Beach, CA 1997 308GTB (owners from 1976)
Ferrari Early V-12 1st Michael & Rose Keefe San Diego, CA 1986 Testarossa
Circle of Excellence 1st Armando Flores San Diego, CA 1975 365 GT4 2+2
Judge’s Choice 1st Brad Milligan Rancho Santa Fe, CA 2016 458 Speciale A
People’s Choice 1st John Etchart Hemet, CA 1972 DinoGTS
People’s Choice Winner – John Etchart
People’s Choice Winner – John Etchart
Judge’s Choice Winner – Brad Milligan
Judge’s Choice Winner – Brad Milligan
Circle of Excellence Winner – Armando Flores
Circle of Excellence Winner – Armando Flores

Thank you to our volunteers! A core group of people assisted Jim and Joanne in creating this outstanding car show. Behind the scenes, Rocky and Alice Gallo designed the badges and organized the check-in system. Alice was in charge of the check-in table, not an easy job. Her assistants were Gloriaann Putnam and Caesar Oriol. Joe and Doris Charles designed trophies, plus the hats and T-shirts for sale at the show. Doris organized and managed the apparel sales table along with her assistant, Linda Miller. Gloriaann Putnam contacted numerous publications and media outlets to market the event, Tina Tinkham was in charge of equipment rental and along with Rich Fatuzzo, Katherine Partain and Carolyn Gerard, set-up the tables, tents, chairs, etc; Scott Cairncross of La Jolla Audio, provided a sound system and generator. San Diego Region President Gary Peterson and Scott Cairncross helped Jim Hyldahl in acquiring sponsors and Gary worked directly with the Port Authority to secure this coveted venue. All other duties were handled by Jim and Joanne Hyldahl personally. Ron Tinkham again designed the entire layout for the cars to be placed in their particular categories. On the actual day of the event volunteers arrived at 6:00 am and gave of their time to get the event set up and ready to receive exhibitors and participants upon 8:00 am arrival.

Also a valuable contribution to the event is the Parking Team who worked with Master Course Designer Ron Tinkham. A handful of men were there to help with this crucial job; setting up the course and guiding the cars to their designated parking spots. These valuable men are, Rich Fatuzzo, Wayne Weisman, Rob Quisenberry, Mike Morgan, Dennis Pinn, Chuck Ettari, Joe Charles, Bob Gerard and Rocky Gallo. Thank you for your help.

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to Jim and Joanne Hyldahl for again taking charge of this entire event. The many hours that they have put in to finalize all details in the most professional way assured that this is always a show that people look forward to year after year. The beautiful park at Spanish Landing is not to be surpassed and Ron Tinkham is ready to extend the layout design as far as the event will take us. We look forward to next year……mark your calendars 2017 Bella Italia awaits!

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Our active and large Board of Directors is constantly putting on tried and true events that we do every year and adding new fresh events to make the club more entertaining and interesting for our Members. If you love Ferraris (and who doesn’t?), then you’ll love our club!