The wonders of the Righini Collection

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Mario Righini keeps a collection of 350 vehicles and vintage motorcycles at the Panzano Castle. Among them, an Auto Avio 815 and an Alfa Romeo 2300 driven by Tazio Nuvolari.


The Panzano Castle in the municipality of Castelfranco Emilia is a great place to see some exceptional vehicles in a charming location. Here, halfway between the Ferrari plant in Maranello and the Lamborghini plant in Sant'Agata Bolognese, less than 100 km away from the historical cars of San Martino in Rio, there is a small collection that will get the hearts thumping of every vintage cars fan.

The Righini collection came into being thanks to Mario Righini, who keeps his wonderful pieces inside the medieval castle (open by appointment). The ancient walls, now private accommodation of Righini, are testimony of his deep passion for vintage cars, resulting from assisting in the demolition of state-requisitioned automobiles as a young man. Since then Mario Righini holds to his vow of collecting and keeping as many cars and historic motorbikes as possible in order to tell a part of our country’s history.

There are around 350 exemplars on display, automobiles and motorcycles. Among the most important models there is an Auto Avio 815 from 1940, the first vehicle built by Enzo Ferrari in Modena before he had the privilege of being able to name his four-wheeled creatures or supply them with the famous Cavallino Rampante (Prancing Horse) brand name. This is the model that Emilio Storchi, known as Barighin, transported to San Martino in Rio in 1958: this very car was then bought by Righini himself from the museum in Castelfranco Emilia.

However, there are also other vehicles with their own exhibition. For example, the Alfa Romeo 2300 8C, on which Tazio Nuvolari won the Targa Florio of 1933 and the Monza Grand Prix. Then, the one-off Fiat Chiribiri from 1912: it looks like a cigar on four wheels and is able to achieve extreme speeds, a surprising result for that time. The exhibition also shows other models such as Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Isotta Fraschini, Rolls Royce: the crème de la crème of automotive history.