Emilia-Romagna - The Muse of Mechanical Arts
A prancing horse, a fiery bull, a trident… How three prestigious brands and five enthusiasts of engineering, design and automotive luxury have placed Modena, Maranello and Bologna in the Pantheon of beautiful and chic Italian sports cars.
Ferrari - From the test track to the sky
Born in Modena on February 18, 1898, Enzo Ferrari became a test driver and then a racing driver. In 1937, he designed his first racing car for Alfa Romeo and founded his company Ferrari Automobili in Maranello in 1942. Renowned for their speed and artisanal design, his cars won numerous F1 Grands Prix and constructors' championships. Its luxury models excelled in their speed and maneuverability. In 1969, he ceded 50% of the group to Fiat, but remained its chairman until 1977, retaining control of its racing team. In 1982, he prepared for his retirement with a final creation, the F40: the thoroughbred, nonconformist, “Spartan,” which has since become a legend as the fastest and most powerful production vehicle in history. When he died on August 14, 1988, he left one of the most influential marques in the world.
“According to legend, around 1960, Lamborghini visited his neighbor Enzo Ferrari, and asked him to build more reliable production cars. “Il Commendatore” refused.”
Lamborghini - From tractor to super sports cars
Ferruccio Lamborghini was born on April 28, 1916, in Renazzo de Cento, near Modena. A wealthy tractor manufacturer, he enjoyed driving powerful vehicles on the road. According to legend, around 1960, Lamborghini visited his neighbor Enzo Ferrari and asked him to build more reliable production cars. “Il Commendatore” refused. Lamborghini, therefore, decided to manufacture his own prototypes, setting his fiery bull to compete with Ferrari’s prancing horse brand. In 1963, he created the Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini, launched the 350 GT in 1964, before engaging in “hyper-sporting” rivalry with Ferraris for more than 60 years. Faced with a crisis of the 1970s, Lamborghini ceded its automotive flagship. The marque passed through several hands before being bought by Audi in 1998. The brand of the fiery bull continued to produce sporty and luxurious models after the death of its father on February 20, 1993, in Perugia.
Maserati – Spark plugs to grand touring
Originally a manufacturer of spark plugs, Officine Alfieri Maserati was founded in Bologna in December 1914 by the brothers Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati. Equipped with the trident, inspired by the fountain of Neptune in the city, Maserati released its first car and entered a competition in 1922. In 1937, the Maseratis joined forces with Adolfo Orsi - an industrialist passionate about racing - and set up the company in Modena. After the war, Maserati developed high-performance, luxurious and spacious grand touring models and F1 champions. But the competitor to Ferrari and Lamborghini experienced financial difficulties and was bought by Citroën (1968), Chrysler (1983) then Fiat (1987). Maserati merged with Ferrari in 1997 and 2006 formed a sports partnership with Alfa Romeo. It remains Fiat-Chrysler's luxury brand today.