The pioneers of car racing in Emilia-Romagna
The following pages present an overview of the history of car
racing in Emilia-Romagna between the late Nineteenth century and
the first few decades of the Twentieth Century.
Ippolito Raimondi (Parma, 1898)
The owner of a small bicycle factory in Parma, in 1898 Raimondi built a small two-seater equipped with a De Dion & Bouton single-cylinder engine and belt drive.
Ciro Bonacini (Modena, 1898)
The owner of a machine shop located in Modena, at the end of the Nineteenth century Bonacini built a number of chassis designed for the general transportation of people and carriages from the Angelo Orlandi body shop in Modena.
Bugatti & Gulinelli (Ferrara, 1901-1903)
The company was founded in 1901 by Ettore Bugatti and Count Gulinelli to design and manufacture a sports vehicle equipped with a 4-cylinder 3,054cc engine which would reach a speed of 65 km/h.
The vehicle was exhibited and awarded at the 1901 Auto Show in Milan.
This was most likely the only model to be manufactured by the company, which broke up in 1903. Afterwards, Ettore Bugatti moved to France to work for De Dietrich.
Italia (Bologna, 1907)
The company was founded in Bologna in 1907 by Aurelio Gallottini and his son Renato with the intention to manufacture automobiles.
However, in 1908 the company moved to Ferrara, and after that no information about it can be found.
Vespa (Modena, 1913-1916)
Vespa, a company founded by Clemente Antonelli in Modena, manufactured a medium-powered vehicle which came in a single model from 1913 to 1916.
In 1914 two Vespa vehicles participated in the Parma-Poggio race, held in Berceto, and came in second and fourth position, respectively.
However, the WWI suddenly brought the company's racing activities to an end.
Zeta (Piacenza, 1914-1915)
In 1914 and 1915, the Zimbelli Brothers Mechanic Shop, located in Piacenza, manufactured a number of vehicles, called Zeta 1 and Zeta 2, which featured 4-cylinder mono-bloc engines.
Maserati (Bologna, starting in 1926, and Modena, starting in 1937)
Vittorio Stanguellini (Modena, 1929-1965)
Auto Avio Costruzioni (Modena, 1939-1940)
The company was founded in 1939 by Enzo Ferrari after the Ferrari Team broke up. As per contract, Ferrari was not allowed to name the company after himself for a period of four years. Auto Avio Costruzioni was originally created to manufacture machine tools; however, with the help of engineer Alberto Massimino, the company designed and manufactured two vehicles, ordered by drivers Alberto Ascari and Lotario Rangoni Machiavelli. The two entered the 1940 edition of the Mille Miglia but were rather unsuccessful.
Predictably, when Italy went to war the company had to stop manufacturing vehicles. However, at the end of the conflict, Enzo Ferrari resumed this successful activity and was finally able to name the company after himself.
Edited by Nunzia Manicardi
Source: "Marche italiane scomparse" ("Forgotten Italian Brands")
("Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia" Automobile Museum, Turin, 1972)