THERE is a car garage just around the corner from Murrayfield that ­specialises in combustion-engined exotica. In their shop window ­currently is a nice Mercedes coupe, a Rover P5B and an MG Midget.

Primarily they stock various ­Italian models from yesteryear – Fiats and varied array of Alfa Romeos, a marque close to my heart having once upon a time owned a very quick, licence-threatening Silverstone 155.

Fast and pretty durable, up to a point. That point was until something went wrong. Then it turned in to a bit of a clown’s car, with bits dropping off, breaking or going bang.

Actually, there are similarities ­between Alfas and the Italian rugby team.

For a brief spell in yesterday’s ­Guinness Six Nations opener for Scotland and Italy, the guests looked in their comfort zone, going about their business, playing to their strengths. Then the wheels came off. Down at the turnaround, they offered even less resistance after the turnaround. On a personal note, quite disappointing, and I don’t think I was alone among yet another 67,000 full-house.

The day, from an Italian viewpoint, started well. The visiting contingent, on the pitch and in the stands, were in good voice.

The Italian national anthem is refreshing cheerie. Flower of Scotland in contrast, is a TV producer’s dream. Find someone signing with great gusto, and pan in on them. One supporter, with Saltires tattooed on both cheeks, wore sunglasses carrying the same design. But she looked remarkably happy, not cross in the slightest.

Talking of crossing, it looked like the Scots had managed an early try. The TMO, once consulted, proved conclusively the ball hadn’t reached the Italian line. Still, it was enough to send some delirious. Do the know the rules, or just turn up for the party?

The atmosphere was turned down a notch – apart from the near-­hysterical Azzurri supporters, when Tommaso Allan slotted a penalty.

But the festivities were back in full-swing when the in-form local hero Blair Kinghorn went over, not once but twice. One player, one half, two tries. Hard to believe, there was a time – in fact several times – when that was our count for an entire campaign.

I’m thinking back here 2000, or 2004 and 2005. Or how about through 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012? And, lest we forget, 2014 or 2015. That was when Italy and Scotland contested the Wooden Spoon, almost year on year, without any outside influence. Unimaginable these days, isn’t it?

Allan – he of the Scottish father –disappeared momentarily during the first period. Whatever the reason, Dublin-born Ian McKinley deputised although, with his leather scrum-cap and goggles he looked like someone who had parked his Sopwith Camel on the bypass rather than an international stand-off.

His time on the ground was ­limited.Allan came back on, McKinley took off.

Scotland’s forwards laid the ­foundations for this win, but there is nothing quite like seeing one of the flying backs, leaving the chasers ­choking on his vapour trail.

Stuart Hogg, back to his Crackerjack best, got the merest of touches for Scotland’s third try. A diplomatic incident then ensued in the press box. The Italian press corps voiced their upset that the try stood, while Scottish fingers pointed in the direction of the TVs, with an offer to watch the ­replay. Or was it at the score, confirmed without the need of the video ref. I love old-fashioned technology.

The scintillating Kinghorn gained the biggest cheer of the afternoon for completing his hat-trick. Chris Harris, off the bench, scored a try and Scotland led 33-3.

Scotland had to make do with their haul, because, from nowhere, someone found a set of jump leads to spark the Italians in to life, scoring three tries – all deserved – to take some of the gloss from the Scottish victory, and, spare some of their own blushes. How typically Italian. Once you get them going, boy do they thrill. A bit like their cars.

And how typically Scots into the bargain. Five tries, running riot one minute, then next, folk looking at their watches, trying to make mental calculations to see if there was enough time left for the Italians to get level.

What a rollercoaster.

The stands emptied rather quickly on the sounding of the final whistle. Maybe the pubs and bars beckoned for a celebratory hawf, or a triumphant pint.

It was good fun yesterday. It was also Baltic.

Guaranteed, it will be red hot again come next weekend when the Irish ­arrive.