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.
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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