Where legendary supercars are made
Italian Motor Valley is a name that, of course, we have all heard but of which, perhaps, we cannot understand the full meaning or even the greatness and it is one of those realities for which the whole world envies us.
But what is meant by Italian Motor Valley?
With this expression, we refer to a part of the Emilia Romagna region that, starting from the Adriatic Sea reaches the Apennines and in about 150 km concentrates the best motorsport companies, not only at Italian but international level. Here the most sophisticated and desired cars in the world and also motorcycles are produced: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Dallara, Pagani, Ducati. The story of Horacio Pagani best describes this desirability of Made in Italy.
This Italo-Argentine entrepreneur wanted to build cars since he was a child and realized that to follow his dream he had to return to the land of his ancestors. Why? Because Juan Manuel Fangio, five time F1 champion, had told him that “if he wanted to build sports cars there was only one place he had to go, and this place was in Italy, in the Modena area”. But in the Motor Valley, there are also four international race circuits: Imola, Misano Adriatico, Varano de Melegari, Marzaglia (Modena) and Fiorano (which is the private testing circuit owned by Ferrari).
There are also museums, both public and private collections, which are a very important part of what this area has to offer.
The public museums are the Ferrari Museum of Maranello (which first opened in 1990, and was housed, few people know, in the Civic Centre of Maranello. Here, on July 21, 1987, in what is now the Hall of Victories, Enzo Ferrari presented to the press the Ferrari F40, the car that celebrated the 40th anniversary of his company but also the last Ferrari automobile that he approved and personally presented), the the Museum of Modena, MEF (with its futuristic structure, the Museum envelops the house where Enzo Ferrari was born) and the Lamborghini Museum. There are about 15 private collections and just to name a couple: the Panini Collection and the Righini Collection.
The Panini Collection preserves a story within history. When Alejandro de Tomaso was selling Maserati to FIAT in 1992, he forgot to put among the company’s assets 19 cars that were about to be transported to London and sold, through an auction house, to collectors from all over the world. When the news spread in Modena, the city rose up and Umberto Panini, one of the co-founders of the homonymous manufacturer of stickers, bought them despite having no interest in cars but to retain in Italy that part of his city. The second private collection worthy of mention is the Righini Collection which owns an exceptional piece, the Auto Avio Costruzioni 815, the first Ferrari but which could not yet be called Ferrari. It was produced only in two units in 1940 when Enzo Ferrari left Alfa Romeo and founded Auto Avio Costruzioni because among the contractual clauses was that not to produce under his name for 4 years.
But why, was the Motor Valley born in this part of Italy?
Enzo Ferrari had his theory: his land was that area of Italy made up of rioters, of people who wanted to do something different, who wanted to succeed in life and who would not stop at anything, channelling all their energy into the creation of racing cars.
But that’s part of the truth! The Italian Motor Valley is located where it is now thanks to Enzo Ferrari who had been able to transform good farmers into good skilled workers, through his factory. Already in the mid-1960s, Enzo Ferrari had financed the opening of a Technical Institute in Maranello to train technicians. This initial step was continued with the establishment of MUNER (Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna), an international automobile campus that brings together the Emilian Universities of Bologna, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Ferrara, Parma with the most famous automotive companies in the world.