Category Archives: Shows and Exhibitions

Trip Report – 1/43 and Others in Italy, Part II

By Karl Schnelle

Continuing my car journey across northern Italy started in Part I

After being inundated with Ferraris in Modena and Maranello, we moved out into the Italian countryside. The Maserati museum collection was sold in the 1990s when they went through a restructuring, but a private collector saved it with the help of the local government.  It is open to the public at his dairy farm.  Cows and cars – what a combination!  A side benefit is that you can also taste and buy their cheese!   Inside the museum, I could not get close enough to his 1/43 display cabinet, but he had a few Masers in there!

The original highlight of this trip, the reason I signed up, was a visit to the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo.   Ever since I had my 1976 Alfetta, I have wanted to visit.  Then in 2011, it closed down and I was bummed out.  Re-opened in 2015, it was back on my bucket list!

A funny story – I walked over to the Carabinieri in the Subaru and asked if they had any Alfas in their fleet.  One of the four said they have one in Milano, but he never got to drive it!  I guess they were parked there in the back to be on call if needed.  It was a big day at the museum because the 400 classic cars of the Mille Miglia were passing by out front!

After the overload at the museum, we headed to Lake Como for a little non-car downtime. That meant time for me to search out any model shops.  Just 5 minutes from the hotel was this jam-packed store.   Previously, the one in Bologna was already closed, the one in Maranello was at 3-hour lunch, and the two in Milano were closed on Sunday like every store, so I was happy to get to at least one store during business hours.  Many 1/43 Alfas were examined, but none that I needed…  Prices were about the same as the internet in the US, but it’s always nice to see them in-person and up-close.

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Up next was the second private collection:  really amazing ‘Pebble Beach’ quality Alfas and Lancias in a nondescript warehouse outside Milan.

For some reason, the owner had a case of 1/43 Gulp handbuilt Alfas there.  Perhaps, they are there because they made his rare Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Carrozzeria Aprile!

By happy coincidence, the private Vespa museum was nearby and the owner was around to open it up for us.  It pays to have a tour guide who speaks Italian. Of course, he had the requisite partworks in his display cabinets.  There must have been 100s of full scale mopeds on display above his Vespa parts business.

Next day, it was off to Turin to stay at the ex-Fiat factory at Lingotto.  Their 1923 test track is still on the roof!  Did you happen to see the original Italian Job?

A short walk from factory is perhaps the best automobile museum in Europe, the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile.  Redesigned in 2011, it is a fun place for any car guy or girl to visit.  But why do they have a boxed Dinky Toy BMW Isetta;  Dinky never made one!  I think they previously had ‘Dinky’ 24L Vespa 400 in there that must be out on a temporary exhibit somewhere!

The other 1/43 mystery was why they had a large Brooklin Model display.  After further investigation, the new silent partner (or owner) at Brooklin is Nicola Bulgari, and two of his newly-restored American cars are on display in this Turin museum now!

Another fun display is the new Fiat 500 covered with >500 500s!  I think they are 1/55 Majorettes…

And finally because our esteemed Editor has been writing a lot about Atlas and DeAgostini lately, we zipped by this place on the A4 Autostrada on the way back to Malpensa airport to end our long, glorious trip.

I hope that these two posts has not been too much for you.  However, if you would like more details or photos from anywhere we visited, please let me know via the contact info below. Arrivederci!


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Trip Report – 1/43 and Others in Italy, Part I

By Karl Schnelle

I have been home from Italy a couple weeks now and just got my 500 car photos organized.   It was a trip of a lifetime, I have said several times!  The Alfa Romeo Owners Club (USA) had organized a tour of Italy, and I happened to see their ad.  I immediately signed up and then asked my wife.  Not as bad a mistake as you may think, as she happily added on four extra days (with absolutely no car activities)!

The plan was to see the Alfa Romeo Museum (naturally), the Ferrari museum, the private Maserati museum, Lamborghini factory, Ducati factory, and 2 private collections.   In hindsight now, I don’t know which was more amazing.  Perhaps that we timed it just right to be at the start of the Mille Miglia was the highlight!  [Click to enlarge the photos,]

I did hunt out some model car stores and looked for any 1/43 Alfas to add to my collection, but that was really low priority compared to all the other sights to see!  What follows then is a photo travelogue of some of my model car sightings over the ten-day trip.

We started our tour with two factory tours near Bologna (‘no photos please’); both Ducati and Lamborghini had museums attached to their factories.  The Ducati gift shop had lots of nice motorcycle models for sale, but I am more of a car guy. Lambo strangely had no gift shop or models for sale.

Next stop was a private collection at a farm out in the countryside, truly amazing pre and post-war cars. mostly Italian.

We had time for an extra stop in Modena at the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari.  They had a nice 1/43 display of Enzo’s first workshop – when he worked for/on Alfa Romeos!  Is that a Brumm Bugatti out front???

In the display cases were two vintage, large scale models: a Ferrari liquor container and a Maserati wind tunnel model.

The next day we were off to Brescia for the start of the Mille Miglia.  While we were there, we also saw the Mille museum.  They had a few 1/43s for sale, but had 2 full cases of 1/43 Mille cars inside the museum: handbuilts on wooden bases as well as the Italian Hachette Mille partworks series!

Later we also went to the Ferrari museum in Maranello near the current factory.  A recreation of Enzo’s office had a few 1/43s on his cadenza.

My favorite full scale might have been this gorgeous 250 Europa.

In the F1 room, they had a whole wall of 1/43 Ferrraris.  Here is the middle section.

Their gift shop was stocked with high end, handbuilt 1/43s. At that price, they could be BBR, MR, or Looksmart, or even better!

Of course, just go across the street to an independent store if you want more reasonable prices for the same cars!

I’ll take a break now and post Part II later.  Hopefully this has not been too many photos all at once.   If you would like more details or photos from anywhere we visited, please let me know via the contact info below.  Ciao…


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Autoclassica 2017

By Fabrizio Panico

Photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author.

Editor: From time to time we have articles  with pictures from Motor Shows to inspire our appreciation of the cars our models are based on. Our regular writer Fabrizio visited the Autoclassica 2017 Car Show in Milan earlier this month and has shared some of the photographs he took. This is a prestigious event occupying several halls of a large exhibition centre. Some of the cars pictured have been modelled whilst others should be considered by manufacturers for future production.

The Autoclassica 2017 seemed to be a smaller show than usual with more car dealers than clubs in evidence. The pictures below show some of the interesting cars on display.

AGIP Service Station

One of the set piece displays matching a nice race prepared Alfa Romeo with period AGIP Petrol displays.

 

Castrol Dispenser

A nice display of an oil dispenser from the earlier days of motoring.

 

BAKU Petrol

More transport ephemera. A nicely restored petrol pump from the vintage car era.

 

Buick Super Eight Coupe 1950

With custom detailing.

 

Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta 1950

Classic car beautifully prepared for the show.

 

Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta LWB 1957

A beautiful example of one of the most desirable Ferrari models.

 

Ferrari 250 GTO 1962

Another extremely scarce and expensive Ferrari.

 

Ferrari 512M 1970

The 512M was developed from the 512S and was used in Endurance racing in the early 1970s. Several found their way to the US for use in NART races and one famously ended up in Steve McQueen’s film Le Mans.

 

Ferrari Dino 246 Tasmania 1968

This V6 engined racing car was developed by Ferrari for racing at a time when most of the teams effort was being put into V12 cars.  It was aimed at Formula Tasman which was a big draw in Australia and New Zealand at that time.

 

Fiat 501 coupé 1923

The Fiat 501 was made between 1919 and 1926. The 501 was Fiat’s first model after World War and nearly 50,000 were made in several body styles.

 

Fiat 2800 Torpedo Special 1947

This open car was  derived from the pre-war cars widely used by the Italian State.

 

Fiat Campagnola Raid Alger LeCap 1951

In 1951 Fiat’s management decided to beat the speed record of Africa’s crossing from Cape Town to Algiers with a Campagnola AR 51. The journey was completed in 11 days, 4 hours and 54 minutes.

 

Ford USA Model A Tudor 1929

A classic standard sedan from Ford USA

 

Isotta-Fraschini 8b

Made with a keen eye on the US export market owners included 8B owners included the Aga Khan III, William Randolph Hearst, Rudolph Valentino and Pope Pius XI. Few now exist.

 

Lamborghini LM002

Based upon earlier military vehicles the LM002 was made between 1986 and 1993.

 

 

Land Rover 80 Stationwagon Tickford 1950

Rover developed a seven-seater Station Wagon variant of the Land Rover in October 1948 based on the 80-inch chassis and powered by a 1,595cc petrol engine. This had a body made by Tickford of Newport Pagnell, constructed in the traditional way with alloy panelling over a wooden frame. Due to the cost of the vehicle it sold in very small numbers.

 

Maserati A6GCS 53 Berlinetta Pininfarina 1953

The A6 was made between 1947 and 1956 and carried coachwork from the major Italian stylists of the time. This classic shape from Pininfarina being one of the prettiest.  Fitted with a two litre straight six engine it was fast as well as beautiful.

 

Maserati Bora

Produced from 1971 to 1978 the Bora was fitted with a V8 engine and had a top speed of over 170 MPH.  A classic car and looks good in the very period paint colour.

 

MG YA 1951

Proof that badge engineering started long before BMC was formed. A small MG saloon was formed by using the underpinnings of the Morris 8. Nicely fitted inside the car struggled with a small engine.

 

Minerva Land Rover 80

Belgian car maker Minerva found itself in dire straights after the Second World War. Unable to design and build their own vehicle for military contracts they approached Rover and made Land Rovers fro the Belgian forces from kits of parts under licence arrangements until 1958. Here the front wings seem to differ from the UK Land Rover’s – I wonder if this has been modelled?

 

Morris Eight Tourer 1935

Quite a pretty car in this form this was quite a basic vehicle aimed at the mass market opening up for family cars in this inter-war period. Fitted with a engine of 918cc performance was limited  but it was well equipped and aimed at people who wanted something a little bit better than the well established Austin 7.

 

Panhard 24 BT 1965

The final Panhard car produced as in 1967 Citroen ceased to produce Panhard cars. Powered by a boxer engine driving the front wheels its light body allowed quite a modest engine to produce very sporty performance.

 

Porsche 356A 1600 Coupe 1957

Classic 356A Coupe as modelled by many firms. A lovely example on show here.

 

Rolls Royce USA Phantom I Roadster York 1930

Rolls Royce had their own factory in Springfield Massachusetts from 1921 to 1931. These were then bodied by US Coachbuilders often featuring white wall tyres and more flamboyant styling than many UK Rolls Royces. This car is one of the later US produced vehicles.

 


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