Museo Nicolis in Villafranca pays homage to Enzo Ferrari
The 1947 “Maserati A6 1500” from the Nicolis collection
at the inauguration of the new Casa Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena
Villafranca, 8th March 2012 – Those who knew him remember him as a rough and straight man with a difficult personality. For many he was simply “the Drake”, the person who personified everything that implied any reference to the legendary corsair. For everyone, without distinction, he was an absolute legend, a symbol of what one is passionate about, if that passion should be cars. Racing driver, team manager and motor vehicle industrialist, of all his many titles, he liked the one of “mechanical engineer” the best. He said that the greatest victory was always the next; he wrote using purple ink in his fountain pen; he could not stand the number 17 on his racing car and it was he who put the rampant horse on the Ferrari, thus creating one of the most famous and loved brand symbols in the world.
The inauguration of the “Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari” in Modena is an event of world importance and for this reason, historians, collectors and Ferrari lovers will be paying homage to this legendary character.
As will the Museo Nicolis in Villafranca, now one of the most important private Italian museums with some of the most prestigious vintage cars among its collections (more than 200 cars, all unique and in perfect working order).
At the opening ceremony of “The Origins of a Legend” Exhibition, the new Casa Museo’s first staging, Nicolis will be participating with a 1947 Maserati A6 1500, another car that – meritably – can be included in the category of “legendary” cars.
In the winter of 1939/1940, the Modena industrialist, Adolfo Orsi (owner of Maserati since 1937) decided to transfer his company from Bologna to Modena. In 1940, the project to build the first road Maserati was put on hold due to the war. A prototype, a coupé with retractable headlights designed by Pinin Farina, was presented at the Geneva Show in 1947.
Museo Nicolis’ vehicle is the second one to be built and was put on show in 1947 at the Italian Car Show at the Triennale in Milan. It has some differences compared to the prototype, such as the headlights, the double side window, the rear window and the shape of the tail.
In 1950 the car was exported to Argentina. It came back to Italy in the 1970s and, in 2007, was purchased by the businessman/collector Luciano Nicolis, who restored it and gave it back its original features, thus returning a piece of history to Italian motor-racing which otherwise would have been lost forever.
Nowadays, the “Maserati A6 1500” is one of the crown jewels in the Museo Nicolis collection. It will soon be leaving its home to go to Modena to celebrate the opening of the Casa di Enzo Ferrari Museum where it will be on display for the entire duration of “The Origins of a Legend” Exhibition.
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