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Museo Stanguellini (Modena)

Big Little Race Cars

Stanguellini Colibrì

The oldest of Modena's car dynasties, the Stanguellini had mechanical aptitude in their blood. In 1879 Celso Stanguellini patented mechanically tuned kettle drums and founded a company in Modena to build them.

In the early 1900s, his son Francesco became the first person in Modena to register a car, and later drove in some of the first automobile and motorcycle (on Modena-made Mignon motorcycles) races in Italy, founding the Stanguellini Racing Team and serving as the local Fiat agent.

After his death in 1932, his 19-year old son Vittorio inherited the company and the passion for engines and cars, turning Fiat bodies into premier roadsters, often competing against his friend and rival Enzo Ferrari. Pre-war victories in the Mille Miglia race across Italy made Stanguellini famous.

Right after the war, Vittorio continued where he left off; he became known as 'The Transformer'; his workshop in Modena was nicknamed the 'Courtyard of Miracles' as he made Stanguellini into one of the best of the 'Etceterini' (small Italian handmade racing cars, using Fiat running gear but building their own chassis, hand-hammered aluminium bodies, and engines).

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Science, Technology and Cars

Modena Museums and Galleries

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Aiace90, Creative Commons License