Villafranca, 18th May 2012 – The competition is called “The Villa d’Este Elegance Contest” – And it is no surprise that this exhibition of some of the most beautiful vintage cars in the world built between the 1920s and 1970s, has been taking place here since 1929. This enchanted place in one of the most spectacular and romantic corners of Lake Como, is the best setting in which to admire the extraordinary patrimony of beauty, culture and tradition that these cars represent.
Luxury with no qualms, impeccable service, elegance, efficient organisation, these are the known qualities of a show that, every year, attracts an exclusive public of enthusiasts, collectors and press from all over the year.
Among the 50 designer cars that will be posing this year in front of a Jury and an admiring public is the 1947 Maserati A6 1500 belonging to Museo Nicolis in Villafranca. A car that not only has the technical requirements, beauty and elegance to compete with the so many noble rivals but one that has also written an important chapter in the history of Italian motor racing. It is a story that goes back to the winter of 1939 – 1940 when the Modena industrialist, Adolfo Orsi (owner of Maserati since 1937), decided to transfer his company from Bologna to Modena. In 1940 design work started on the first Maserati to go “on the road” but was unfortunately put on hold by the Second World War.
In 1947 the first prototype, a coupé with retractable headlights designed by the great Pinin Farina was presented at the Geneva Show.
In October 1947 the Museo Nicolis’ car, the second to be built, was put on show by the Pinin Farina Body Shop at the 1st Italian Bodywork Exhibition at the Triennale in Milan.
This model has some differences compared to the original 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 collector and founder of the Museum, Luciano Nicolis, who restored it perfectly and gave it back its original features, right down to the tiniest detail. He therefore not only returned an authentic jewel to Italian motor-racing, but also a piece of history which otherwise would have been lost forever.
Competing in the “Villa d’Este Elegance Contest” with one of the Museum’s star attractions (the vintage car collection in Villafranca now includes over 200 vehicles, all in perfect working order) proves that Museo Nicolis not only plays a cultural and collecting role in the vintage car business, but also wants to pay affectionate homage to Luciano Nicolis, who passed away just a few weeks ago and who took part in innumerable races and vintage car rallies.
The 1947 Maserati A6 1500 was chosen for the opening exhibition of the new Casa Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena as one of the most outstanding vehicles produced in Modena.