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Museo Stanguellini ...Modena is also the birthplace and home of another renowned Italian marque

Stanguellini Sports Racing Cars

Stanguellini Sports Racing Cars


Modena 30 November, 2018

In the motoring world Modena is famous for being the birthplace of Ferrari and of the Ferrari marque, but is also the birthplace and home of another renowned Italian marque, Stanguellini, which competed very successfully internationally in the smaller race classes between 1937 and 1963. In fact, the Stanguellini name and business in Modena dates back to the late 19th century, when company founder, Celso Stanguellini, formed the company to produce drums for orchestras, before it moved into the automobile world in its formative years. His son Francesco owned the first car registered in Modena, a 1908 Fiat Tipo O, which carried the first Modena licence plate MO 1, which is still with the family today. He was also one of the pioneer racing drivers of the time, initially competing on motor tricycles and then in cars, also establishing the first Fiat dealership in Modena, which exists to this day. He died young in 1932, leaving his only son Vittorio, who at the time was only 19 years of age, to manage the family business. Despite his youth, he proved very adept at running and expanding the business, and in 1937 he formed the first Squadra Stanguellini to go racing with Stanguellini modified Fiats and a Maserati also modified by them.

The Stanguellini story would fill a book, and in fact it does, “Stanguellini – Piccole Grandi Auto da Corsa”, published by Giorgio Nada Editore. However, suffice to say that in the post war period through to 1963, the Fiats modified by the company, and then the cars produced by themselves, featuring their own twin cam engine of varying capacities, enjoyed a multitude of race victories both nationally and internationally. To celebrate and guard this great heritage, in 1996 the family established the Museo Stanguellini within their Fiat dealership on the Via Emilia Est in Modena, which was open by appointment only. The museum has recently moved into the adjacent building, which has been renovated and redecorated to accommodate the exhibits. The museum tells the story of the development of the company from one of the drums produced in the 19th century, through the family’s 1908 Fiat Tipo O, the monoposto and sports racing cars bearing the Stanguellini name, to the family’s collection of predominantly sports and GT cars of other makes. 

However, there is far more besides the cars, with numerous artefacts spanning many years, along with an impressive engine bay display, examples of the 750cc and 1100cc twin cam engines that they produced, and even a “F1 Maserati” child’s car with a 49cc Vespa engine that Vittorio Stanguellini built for his son Francesco. There also self designed dynamometers, a period lathe and work bench amongst the mass of items on display, and one is in awe at what they achieved with this relatively primitive machinery compared to today’s high tech computer controlled machinery, particularly in the early post-war years of widespread austerity. 

As with its previous incarnation, the museum is open to visitors by prior appointment only, between Monday and Friday, and entrance is free.


Further details can be found at www.stanguellini.it


Keith Bluemel         

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