Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Nuvolari Targa Florio

Mario Righini Collection – Photo Gallery

Sports Car Digest recently toured the Mario Righini Collection, one of the more exceptional private car collections in Italy, if not the world. Located outside Modena in Castello di Panzano Castelfranco Emilia, the Righini Collection is remarkable for many reasons.

To call the Righini Collection unique does not do it justice, as the setting alone – a 15th century castle set among Lambrusco vineyards – is incomparable as are the cars and the circumstances surrounding their addition to the Righini family.

As the story goes, Righini’s family owned a scrap yard that, in cooperation with the Italian government during World War II, was used to tear down “obsolete” vehicles for their raw materials. Fortunately, Righini’s family had to foresight to recognize that not all cars are created equal and they kept the significant vehicles that passed through their scrap yard.

After the war, Mario Righini took over the successful family business and began adding to the collection, ultimately ending up with more than 350 cars, motorcycles, trucks, tractors and other automobilia that we see today. As imagined, the collection favors Italian forms of transportation, but goes well beyond the borders of Italy.

Within the grounds of the castle, the Righini Collection is housed principally in two former horse stables and grouped by pre and post-war. While the pictures do their best to tell the story, it is still difficult to convey the amazement over seeing dozens of incredible cars parked bumper-to-bumper. Please do not think that means the collection is not well attended or appreciated because most are in strong working order and have been wonderfully preserved or restored.

As amazing as the collection was to experience, we are a little worried about what comes next. Similar to the feeling after climbing Mount Everest (or so we hear), how on earth can you top the Mario Righini Collection?

Highlights of the Mario Righini Collection include:

AAC Type 815

Auto Avio Costruzioni (AAC) Type 815, the first car Enzo Ferrari built after leaving Alfa Romeo. Ferrari built two AAC and this particular car was raced in the 1940 Mille Miglia by racing legend Alberto Ascari; only surviving AAC

Ferrari 500 Mondial Pinin Farina Spyder

Ferrari 500 Mondial Pinin Farina Spyder

Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Tazio Nuvolari

Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 that was owned and raced by Tazio Nuvolari to victory at the 1933 Targa Florio and Monza Grand Prix

7 liter Fiat Chiribiri

This 7 liter Fiat Chiribiri reportedly broke the world speed record for the timed kilometer from a flying start in 1912.

BMW 328 at Mario Righini Collection

BMW 328

Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 312 T4

Ex-Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 312 T4

Lancia Stratos

Lancia Stratos

Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato

In addition to the highlighted cars, the pre-war stable includes ex-military Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Colonial Torpedo Militare; Alfa Romeo RL SS Corto Torpedo; Salmson racing car; 1894 Velo Benz (first in the series); plus several Bugatti, Fiat, Lancia and other Alfas.

The post-war collection includes a row of Alfa Romeos, starting with a modern SZ, followed by a Giulia TZ, Giuletta SZ and Sprint Speciale. The same room also featured a De Tomaso Pantera; Maserati Mistral; Ferrari 275 GTB and 365 GTB/4 Daytona; ASA 1000 GT Spider; Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster; Lamborghini 350GT and Stanguellini Formula Junior Race Car.

Mario Righini Collection Picture Gallery (click picture for larger image)

[Source: photos: Sports Car Digest]


    • says

      From what we understand, the majority are in running condition although we unfortunately weren’t able to verify. We can report that several of the more significant cars had fairly recent Mille Miglia Storica decals and/or what appeared to be fairly recent fluids underneath.

  1. Lou Galanos says

    Is the collection open to the general public or do you have to know someone who knows someone in order to get in?

  2. Lorenzo says

    Cars are not in shampooed Pebble Beach condition. Most serious Italian collectors do not care that much about chroming and nickel plating but run their cars hard, very hard. There mechanics are usually of the period hands-on type that have not necessarily a college education (but I can guarantee you that these Tony’s know their stuff very well, often much better that the much heralded USA restoration shops).

  3. CJ Miller says

    It is an amazing collection that I had the priviledge of touring with Phil Hill back in 2002 during the week of that year’s Monza Gran Prix. It was refreshing to wander among row after row of unique and impressive automobiles and motorcycles each with their own story. Thanks for the reminder of a wonderful trip.

  4. says

    Just came back from Italy with Frank Mandarano’s Car Guy Tour. It really was amazing to see all those cars…but more amazing to see many of them literally “buried”


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