Year by year, the dates and essential moments that have contributed to writing the Italian motor history.
From the creation of the first motors to the present day, Italian history has gone hand in hand with the technological development and the changes regarding design experienced by the motor, motorcycling and aeronautics industries. In the Motor Web Museum timeline, a year by year history develops of the passionate bond between the Italian Peninsula and the motors and production and industrial excellences it has generated. A unanimous and fascinating history, involving all the realities connected to the "National Network of Motor Cities".
While the world begins to discover the wonders of the combustion engine and the first vehicles we can define as the "ancestors" of automobiles and motorcycles, personalities are emerging in Italy who, in the first decades of the new century, will mark important steps in motor sport and in the construction of sophisticated vehicles, able to make the memory of the first noisy and dangerous prototypes fade.
on November 16th, Tazio Nuvolari was born
A Castel d’Ario, nel mantovano, vede la luce il futuro, leggendario campione di motociclismo e automobilismo.
Thirty years of impetuous development. Therefore we can summarise the first glimpse of the twentieth century in the motor and aeronautics industry. The growing interest of all the social classes for the marvels of quick mobility and with mechanical propulsion and the active policies of governments in this period throughout the West, lead shortly to a continuous succession of new inventions that uninterruptedly change paradigms.
There is also a World War in the middle of it bringing investments and a strong demand of increasingly evolved and efficient vehicles; very soon, the new technological solutions become a part of the motor industry even in peacetime, enabling prodigious steps forward. The transition from the first aircraft with wooden structures to planes with high-performing steel structures is quick; from the first racing car prototypes, motor sport starts to invent circuits to hold ever more frequent and diffused races between modernly -organised stables, able to put fast and stable cars on the track; from the first still awkward models, motorcycles become elegant and powerful, true pieces of industrial design.
Giovanni Agusta founded the “Agusta” company for the production of aircrafts
Il conte Giovanni Agusta fonda a Cascina Costa di Samarate la società Agusta per la produzione di aeromobili.
Pontedera became headquarters of an air station for zeppelins
Grazie alla sua posizione e ai suoi collegamenti, la città toscana viene scelta per far atterrare dirigibili.
Rosina Ferrario is the first Italian woman and the eighth woman in the world to obtain a pilot license.
La milanese è la prima donna italiana e l'ottava al mondo a ottenere il brevetto di pilota di velivoli.
Foundation of SIAI Marchetti, a military aircraft manufacturer
Apre la fabbrica varesina che legherà il suo nome a famosi velivoli da guerra, come lo Sparviero e il M 345.
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Il futuro designer di automobili Flaminio Bertoni comincia la sua carriera presso l’antenata di Aermacchi.
Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali opened a head office at Pontedera
La casa con la quale debutta come pilota Enzo Ferrari sposta la sede produttiva nella cittadina toscana.
Races started again on the Mugello road track, and will continue for another nine years.
Riprendono le corse sul circuito stradale toscano dopo la guerra: si correrà per i successivi nove anni.
Vittorio Emanuele Parodi, his son Giorgio and their friend Carlo Guzzi found the “Società Anonima Moto Guzzi” (Anonymous Moto Guzzi Society): the debut is very promising.
Il 15 marzo Carlo Guzzi lascia Genova e sposta il suo stabilimento nella tranquilla Mandello del Lario.
The car designer Flaminio Bertoni began his career at Carrozzeria Macchi, the ancestor of Aermacchi
Il futuro “stilista di automobili” della Citroën inizia a lavorare alla Carrozzeria Macchi, poi Aermacchi.
Tazio Nuvolari meets Enzo Ferrari
Due leggende si conoscono in pista: sei anni dopo, il Drake lo vorrà come pilota della sua neonata scuderia.
Rinaldo Piaggio transferred part of his aircraft company to Pontedera
L’azienda, dal 1884 a Sestri Ponente, inizia a produrre nei locali delle ex Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali.
The first motorway in the world was inaugurated, the “Milano – Laghi” designed by Piero Puricelli
Viene inaugurata l'Autostrada dei Laghi progettata da Piero Puricelli: è l’inizio di una rivoluzione.
Agusta begins to produce motorcycles
Alla morte di Giovanni Agusta, la moglie e il figlio decidono di convertire la produzione verso le due ruote.
Enzo Ferrari opens the “Scuderia Ferrari” (Ferrari racing team) in Modena, a branch of Alfa Romeo, for which it will adopt the symbol of the “Prancing Horse”.
Enzo Ferrari fonda come filiale di Alfa Romeo la scuderia che entrerà nella leggenda dell’automobilismo.
Once more, a World War and subsequent peace - this time, much longer lasting in the Western world – is the driving force of a new season of technological developments in the motor industry. The period spanning the conflict is a golden age for the flourishing of manufacturers and products destined to become global brands. Italy discovers it can not only apply its technological knowledge to the motor industry, but also its special talent for creating beautiful and appreciated things, which, several decades later will be indicated with the term "Made in Italy".
At the end of the 50s, the motor world has changed forever: the mass production of four and two-wheeled vehicles starts, motorising Italians, projecting them into a previously unknown dimension of independence and freedom; luxury sports cars are an increasing market in which Italian manufacturers dominate, car and motorcycling competitions become real world championships where great international companies challenge each other and the new adrenalin and speed stars shine: the drivers and racers.
Approval of the first helicopter: the D'AT3, designed by Corradino D'Ascanio and equipped with a seven-cylinder, 150 hp FIAT A 50 radial engine (6,600 cc)
È il D'AT3 progettato da Corradino D'Ascanio con motore radiale FIAT A 50, sette cilindri 150 CV e 6600 cc.
Enzo Ferrari moves his business to Maranello, which at the time is called Auto Avio Costruzioni.
A causa della guerra, la Auto Avio Costruzioni si sposta da Modena a Maranello: inizia un legame leggendario.
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Dai cancelli di Maranello esce la 125S, prima vettura prodotta ufficialmente con il marchio Ferrari.
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La Scuderia del Cavallino corre il suo primo gran premio nella massima categoria automobilistica a Monaco.
From the gates of Via Abetone Inferiore emerges the 125 S, first car with the Ferrari emblem.
L’argentino vince il Gran Premio di Gran Bretagna, il primo per la Ferrari, davanti a Fangio su Alfa Romeo.
Maserati retires from the races.
Il Tridente dice stop alle corse per problemi finanziari e nell’ultima corsa Fangio trionfa al Nürburgring.
The formidable "sixties" are a division in the history of motors: a decade of technological and design innovations, while the winds of modernisation that blow in society influence even the choices of car manufacturing companies and the image of motor sport. For the first time, Hollywood takes an interest in the racing world, celebrating the adrenalin and the glamour side, while new brands and models emerge, destined to change the concept of a sports car forever. There is also no lack of great two-wheeler challenges, as the famous 1966 African crossing, made by the journalist Roberto Patrignani riding his Moto Guzzi.
Alongside the challenges and new ideas that open new frontiers to explore for the motor world, the Sixties is also a moment in which enthusiasts begin to reflect on the history and on the existence of a motor culture. It is exactly in this period that the first examples of museums collecting vintage cars emerge, with the aim of preserving and handing down the events of the pioneering era of motors.
The Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari High School is inaugurated at Maranello under the patronage of Enzo Ferrari. It still supplies specialised technicians to the company.
Enzo Ferrari fonda la prima scuola in Italia per formare tecnici specializzati nel settore dei motori.
The old Monza high speed ring is used as set for the ‘Grand Prix’ movie.
Sulla storica pista di alta velocità dismessa si gira Gran Prix di John Frankenheimer, vincitore di tre Oscar.
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Il Drake cede al gruppo Fiat il 50% delle azioni per sostenere lo sviluppo dell’attività industriale.
The seventies is an indefinite period: the explosion of the motoring market recorded in the previous decades tends to slow down and the car manufacturers face the change by studying new models and developing that distinctive design that decides the success of Italian productions worldwide. This decade is however a golden age for motor and motorcycling sports: great designers challenge each other on international circuits with experiments and bold innovations and the duels between drivers and racers thrill the Italians.
At the same time, a type of generational change takes place: several great founders leave the scene, as Ferruccio Lamborghini who sells the control of his creation, while new ambitious businesses that have a future of successes ahead of them on the circuit and in dealerships, make their debut, as Aprilia, a little artisan factory in the Venetian province destined to become the owner of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing in just two decades.
Varano Racetrack officially inaugurated on the 26th March: the track is 1,800 meters long.
Il 26 marzo apre ufficialmente i battenti l’autodromo nel parmense: il tracciato misura 1.800 metri.
Cagiva purchased Aermacchi and debuted in the world of motorcycles
La casa varesina acquisisce lo storico marchio dell’aviazione italiana e debutta nel settore motociclistico.
The 80s mark a new period of development for the Italian motor industry. After the contraction of the previous decade, in which the industry responded with the diversification of the supply of new vehicles, there is now a recovery in the Italian car and two-wheel industry. The great "Made in Italy" companies challenge each other on a new field, the so-called "concept car", all innovation and aggressive lines, while new factories that produce increasingly accessorised and equipped consumer models open their doors to a new motorisation of the country.
Ferrari buys the Mugello Autodrome
La casa di Maranello acquisisce la proprietà dello storico autodromo toscano.
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Papa Wojtyła, invece di salutare dalla "papamobile" bianca, sale su una Ferrari che messa a sua disposizione.
In the 90s, the "great founders" are no longer and the motor industry definitely enters into its mature era, especially because of the opening of numerous museums that celebrate the great Italian brands and their history. A need to remember that is also a way to take stock of the future developments of an industry where there is so much competition, but the "Italian touch" is still able to make the difference and direct the industry.
Along with "museumisation", the phenomenon of rallies and re-enactments of historical races is also established, which are true shows where the masterpieces of the motor industry are the protagonists that fire up the fantasy of thousands of enthusiasts.
Aprilia dedicates itself to the scooter sector with the "Amico", the first plastic model, followed by the famous "Scarabeo".
A Noale nasce Amico, il primo scooter urbano totalmente in plastica, cui seguiranno altri fortunati modelli.
The MV Agusta brand is relaunched by Cagiva, the “house of the elephant”
Lo storico marchio motociclistico torna sul mercato grazie alla conterranea "casa dell’elefantino", la Cagiva.
Umberto Panini buys 19 antique Maserati cars destined for auction: the Umberto Panini Museum Collection is born.
L’imprenditore modenese salva 19 auto d'epoca Maserati da un'asta in Inghilterra e le mette in esposizione.
The new Millennium witnesses a strong relaunching of great brands of the Italian motor industry, especially those in the highest segment that produce sports cars that today make us dream of the world more than ever. Factories expand and move towards new concepts and ways of interpreting factory work, while work continues to collect and re-propose historical memory, which has finally become a strategic heritage for the industry and country.
Italy continues to be a fertile cultivation ground for research and innovation in the motoring field and the custodian of skills that lead, sometimes, booking the trend, to the opening of new plants for all types of vehicles.
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L'Autodromo di Varano assume l'aspetto attuale: una pista di 2.360 metri con licenza internazionale FIA.
The instatement of a monument to Carlo Guzzi at Mandello del Lario
Inaugura a Mandello del Lario un monumento dedicato al costruttore, opera di Ettore Gambioli e Paolo Gambelli.
Dallara Automobili arrives in Indianapolis, where it opens an engineering and assembly centre for racing cars.
Dallara Automobili apre negli Stati Uniti un centro di ingegneria e assemblaggio di auto da competizione.
The new Gestione Sporiva (racing department) at Ferrari is inaugurated: the last act in a renewal of business space begun in the 90’s under the sign of famous architects.
La "Cittadella Ferrari" è il "miglior luogo di lavoro al mondo" grazie a innovativi interventi architettonici.
The Motor Web Museum's cultural offer wishes to meet the interests of an audience of families, enthusiasts, scholars and tourists towards the Italian tradition in the motor industry, offering an experience that is simple to use, captivating and customisable.
The National Network of Motor Cities was created to offer an innovative tourist experience to Italian motoring culture enthusiasts. The project aims at promoting Italy as the cradle of absolute excellence, recognised worldwide for technology, design and personalities and as protagonist of the technical and aesthetic development of one of the revolutionary cornerstones of the Twentieth century as the production of cars, motorcycles and more generally, motorised vehicles.