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October 12, 2023

Young vintage lover takes Bay to Birdwood

Vintage cameras, clothing and cars, oh my! Vintage collector Giulia Carrocci and her Tibetan Spaniel, Pepino will ride in style at the Bay to Birdwood on Sunday, 22 October

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  • Words and pictures: Helen Karakulak

Giulia Carrocci has always been obsessed with Beetles. If she could, she’d have a whole fleet, one from every year. And she knows exactly who to blame for the obsession: her dad, Bruno.

“You said you had a chat with people at work, complaining about how I want to buy so many cars, but it’s kind of your fault!” Giulia tells her dad, who happily takes the blame.


Bay to Birdwood
Sunday, 22 October
National Motor Museum, 9 Shannon Street, Birdwood, 5234


“Yes, it’s my fault,” Bruno says with a smile.

For now, Giulia has three Volkswagen Beetles. Two are her daily drives, not vintage, but on brand for Giulia’s addiction. One, her 1955 Beetle (which is currently nameless), is entered in the Bay to Birdwood for their Preservation award.

The Preservation award requires the vehicle’s original condition to be substantially unaltered from its original delivery. Since buying it in great condition, Giulia’s been able to easily maintain her “survivor car”.

“I have always been obsessed with Beetles and I think they’re an integral part of our motoring history because they were the first car that was easily accessible to the general public… it was the people’s car,” Giulia says.

“They look so cute and fun and they are easily recognisable to everyone.

“There’s lots of unique cars that come [to the Bay to Birdwood] but everyone knows a Volkswagen, everyone knows a Beetle.”

Pepino playing hard to get


Giulia will be driving on the day with her fluffy sidekick, Pepino.

Pepino is a Tibetan Spaniel who posed very politely for CityMag. Giulia tells us he likes to sleep in the footwell of the passenger seat, but if her partner joins her on the day, Pepino will sit in his lap eager for the ride.

“I’m sure all the kids on the lined street will be looking at the dog and not me.”

Giulia’s love of vintage cars started in her primary school days, when she first went to the Bay to Birdwood with her father and her Nonno. But before it became a family tradition, Nonno needed some convincing.

“He had these cars and some of them he had bought new, so he didn’t really appreciate that they were vintage,” Bruno says.

“We were trying to tell him, ‘This is really cool, you’d love it’ and he’s going ‘yeah, yeah, whatever’ then he went one year and was like ‘this is really fun, shall we do it next year?’”


Have an idea of what to name Giulia’s beetle? Let us know on our Instagram

Now 22 years old, Giulia remembers the Bay to Birdwood as a highlight of her childhood and has loved seeing it grow over the years.

“We went in our car seats in the backseat and everything, which people still do, bring their kids along with car seats in the back,” Giulia says. “It’s definitely grown from just a car meet to fashion, and to history, and music… it’s got so many different facets now which is great.”

The Bay to Birdwood Finish Festival in particular has a variety of entertainment for all ages, and the late-classic cars on display are an affordable entry point to historic motoring, drawing in younger enthusiasts like Giulia and continuing the event’s legacy.

Dane Wilden, the Major Events Manager at History SA says childhood memories like Giulia’s play a fundamental role in the success and longevity of the Bay to Birdwood.

“Like any trade or craft, the art of historic motoring is at risk of being lost to the annals of time if not passed on to younger generations,” Dane says.

“That’s the mission of the Bay to Birdwood – to ensure that the art of historic motoring continues to be shared and enjoyed by future generations; as living, breathing, moving objects with which we can interact, share old memories, and create new ones.”

Steering slay


Giulia’s vintage obsession extends beyond cars, with fashion and décor closely following. This became obvious as Giulia and Bruno welcomed CityMag into their home.

A glass cabinet displaying vintage cameras, a stack of luggage, a vinyl collection and a pile of colourful outfits from the 50s and 60s surround us as Giulia takes us through her collection.

“I love interior design of mid-century modern and clean lines and how a design from the 40s can still be considered modern today,” Giulia says.


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Giulia has always dressed up for the Bay to Birdwood and is a prior winner of their Fashions on the Field event, which awards best fashion across categories for men, women and groups judged on accuracy, style and presentation.

“I think growing up and being a kid around it and looking at all the people dressed up and dressed to match their car, it was so cool and different to your everyday life.

“I was like, ‘wow, well I could do that too’, everyone in that sense is very open and there’s no judgement.”

Having not won the Fashions on the Field title in 2022, Giulia’s determined to reclaim the award this year, and always gets positive feedback from the other attendees.

“Especially the older people there, they appreciate when they see someone dressed up,” Giulia says.

“They’re like, ‘oh I had something like that,’ I get that every time.”

Girl put your records on


In the future Giulia is sure her vintage collection will expand. In particular with some dream vintage purchases which include — aside from more Beetles of course — a Junghans Starburst Clock, Pyrex pink dishes and a mink coat.

While she’s at it she’ll keep entering the Bay to Birdwood.

“I would love a vintage house I can deck out and have a vintage car in the garage.

“I hope 10 years down the track I’ll have my own kids I can introduce to this and get them into it and pass on the tradition.”

The Bay to Birdwood takes place Sunday, 22 October, starting early at West Beach and finishing at the National Motor Museum at 9 Shannon Street, Birdwood.

Connect with the Bay to Birdwood on Instagram.

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