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The Stories and Glories of Motor Racing in Modena ... March 10 to October, 2012


Modena, October 15, 2012

“Modena is a land of revolutionaries and of restless people, the blood and the brain combine well here, creating men who are obstinate, capable and intrepid, the qualities you need in a racing car… the factory worker from this land, the worker who uses his arms and his intellect, is an extremely intelligent and active worker” Enzo Ferrari.

Why did such a strong and particular specialisation in the construction of racing cars, which later evolved into the construction of high performance GT cars too, develop in Modena of all places?

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Due to a combination of factors and events that emerged in that period: a land that gave birth to Enzo Ferrari but which also stimulated growing interest at the time for racing and for motoring, creating and stimulating attention that then generated the economic sector that was so strong and widespread in the local industrial fabric. Right at the beginning of the century, in 1909 and 1910, two editions of the "Record Mile" were organised in Modena and a world speed record was broken there. The crucial moment that put Modena at the centre of  the racing world was the day that Scuderia Ferrari was founded at the end of 1929.

Ferrari was the marketing agent for Alfa Romeo in Emilia Romagna and Marche. At the time, Alfa Romeo produced a limited number of racing cars for a select clientele: Ferrari had the idea of assisting the “gentleman drivers”, the name given to the rich motor racing enthusiasts of the day. Enzo Ferrari exploited his tenacity, passion and skill, eventually coming to manage the official cars.

In this same historical context, in 1926, in Bologna, 40 km from Modena, the Maserati brothers also began to produce racing cars. In 1937 Maserati was purchased by the industrialist Adolfo Orsi from Modena, who moved it to the city in 1940.

Enzo Ferrari built his first racing car in 1947, and this triggered fierce competition between the two companies from Modena, initially on the race track and then in the production of GT cars.

The exhibition aims to convey the history and opportunities of this territory, an area that has encouraged and supported the growth and development of this sector from the early 20th century, because of both sensitivity to the topic and a sense of belonging, and of the propensity and productivity of the industrial fabric of Modena.

Ferrari and Maserati grew up together, and competitiveness was the deciding factor. Technicians, workers and experts from Turin and Milan all contributed to the expansion and spread of knowledge and skills as they moved from one company to the other.

In the years that followed, in 1950 to be precise, the Aerautodrome was inaugurated, where cars could be built and modified, and their lap results measured just one hour later. Ferrari and Maserati played a strategic role, but so did the small manufacturers and tuning shops (Stanguellini, Alf Francis, Neri & Bonacini, and Tom Meade), coachbuilders (Fantuzzi, Scaglietti, Gran Sport, SportsCar, Campana) and racing stables (Centro Sud, Filippinetti, Serenissima, Tec.Mec.) that had established themselves in Modena and played their part in making Modena the Motor racing capital in the Fifties and Sixties.

Items and documents on display that represent the stories and glories of motor racing in Modena:

• The steering wheel of the Maserati 250 F with which Fangio won the world title
• The trophy of the Targa Florio won in 1939 by Gigi Villoresi in a Maserati 6CM
• The aerodynamic wind tunnel scale model of the Maserati 250 F streamliner
• The aerodynamic model of the Maserati Sport
• The Carcano single-cylinder engine
• The modular crankshaft for the Maserati 4CLT/48
• Documents and items belonging to Stanguellini, Fantuzzi, Bianchi Anderloni, De Tomaso and Rangoni Machiavelli,
• Documents and photographs from 1900 to 1970


Enzo Ferrari was a unique man, an Italian symbol of the 20th century, known all over the world for having reinterpreted the very concept of the sports car, who had a decisive impact on the choices made by great designers and carmakers.

His philosophy, his brilliance and his eyes set firmly on the future are described in the words of Leo Turrini that accompany a visit to the new Casa Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena, his home town, which he paid tribute to by choosing the town’s symbolic yellow as the background for his “prancing horse” logo.

Not only the life of the man, but also the history of motor racing: the mechanical solutions, the extreme performance, the simplicity of the construction, the aerodynamics that sustained the sophisticated engineering working closely with the form, and the styling that was always original, personal and recognisable.

Enzo Ferrari invented the idea of the racing car camouflaged as a GT. His revolutionary mind created the road car that was ready for the race track, with a few minor changes: from the Alfa Romeo of Scuderia Ferrari to the Ferrari 166 with a Touring Superleggera body. In parallel with Enzo Ferrari’s development and innovative ideas, the exhibition “The origins of the Myth”, curated by Giovanni Perfetti, which alternates between his Birthplace and the new Gallery, traces the history and evolution of a unique territory, a reality that is universally recognised, which has generated extremely significant technical ideas that are difficult to reproduce.

The exhibition focuses on the contribution that Modena has made over the years to generations of draughtsmen, engineers, carmakers, stylists, drivers and fans all over the world, with refined products that are elegant, well-constructed and stylistically impeccable. Modena, the land of the engine.


The house where Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898 hosts the multimedia installation that guides the visitor through that period: a video in 8 chapters that traces the salient events in the life of the great ‘Drake’.

Items and memorabilia that made Enzo Ferrari unique and famous throughout the world are exhibited in the rooms where he once lived: from his inseparable dark sunglasses and spectacles to the fountain pen filled with purple ink that he wrote and signed his name with, the 125 Sport of 1947 and the brands linked to the history of the prancing horse, personal documents (birth and marriage certificates) and his race licence, as well as some interesting documents about Scuderia Ferrari and Carrozzeria Touring.


The tour of the museum starts with the 815 Auto Avio Costruzioni of 1940.

Some of the cars raced by Enzo Ferrari: (from the Alfa Romeo Museum)

1914 Alfa Romeo 40-60 HP
4 cylinders in line 
Capacity 6088 cc 
Power delivery 82 bhp at 2400 bhp
Alfa Romeo Museum

1927 Alfa Romeo RL Super Sport Mille Miglia
6 cylinders in line
Capacity 2994 cc 
Power delivery 88 bhp at 3600 bhp

1935 Alfa Romeo Bimotore (Scuderia Ferrari and Record Nuvolari)
2, 8 cylinders in line
Capacity 3165 cc
Total capacity: 6330 cc
Power delivery 540
bhp at 5400 bhp

The Scuderia Ferrari cars

1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider Corsa
8 cylinders in line
Capacity 2336 cc
Power delivery 165 bhp at 5400 bhp

1934 Alfa Romeo Gran Premio Tipo B P3 aerodinamica
8 cylinders in line
Capacity 2905 cc
Power delivery 225 bhp at 5400 bhp

1936 Alfa Romeo Tipo C 12C
V 12
Capacity 4064 cc
Power delivery 370 bhp at 5800 bhp

1938 Alfa Romeo Tipo 158 Alfetta
8 cylinders in line
Capacity 1479 cc
Power delivery 195 bhp at 7200 bhp

1934 Fiat 508 S MM Coppa d’Oro
4 cylinders in line
Capacity 997 cc
Power delivery 20 bhp at 3400 bhp
Camellini Collection

The engines

Alfa Romeo 158 - 1938
8 cylinders in line
Capacity 1479 cc
Power delivery 195 bhp at 7200 bhp (Alfa Romeo Museum)

Maserati Tipo 26 - 1926
8 cylinders in line
Capacity 1492.6 cc
Power delivery 115 bhp at 5300 bhp (property of Maserati SpA)

Stanguellini (Bialbero) -1950
4 cyl. In line
Capacity 741 cc
Power delivery 40 bhp at 6000 bhp (Stanguellini Museum)

Later racing cars

1948 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta Touring
V 12
Capacity 1995.02 cc
Power delivery 140 bhp at 6600 bhp
Private Collection

1949 Ferrari 166 MM coupé Touring
Capacity 1995.02 cc
Power delivery 140 bhp a 6600 bhp
Camellini Collection

1948 Maserati A6 1500 Pininfarina
6 cylinders in line
Capacity 1488 cc
Power delivery 65 bhp at 4700 bhp
Nicolis Museum

1957 Maserati A6G/54 Allemano
6 Cil. in linea
Cilindrata 2000 cc
Potenza 150 CV a 6000 giri/min
(Collezione Panini)

1955 Maserati A6G/54 2000 Spider Zagato
6 cylinders in line
Capacity 1985 cc
Power delivery 160 bhp at 6000 bhp
Brandon Wang Collection

1961 Stanguellini Formula Junior
4 cylinders in line
Capacity 1489 cc
Power delivery 78 bhp at 6500 bhp
Stanguellini Museum

1947 Stanguellini 1100 Barchetta Ala d’Oro
4 cylinders in line
Capacity 1089 cc
Power delivery 45 bhp at 6000 bhp
Stanguellini Museum

1965 De Tomaso Vallelunga
4 cylinders in line
Capacity 1500 cc
Power delivery 135 bhp at 6500 bhp
De Tomaso Collection

Images Peter Singhof www.ClassicCarPhotography.de