Museo Dell'Automobile
di Carlo Biscaretti di Rufia - Torino, Italia

A visit to Italy's most celebrated classic car museum.

When I read the itinery for the Biturbo Club Italia's forthcoming International Meeting in September, my wife and I decided (did I really say "my wife and I"?) that the combination of good Italian food and Maseratis was the ideal way to spend our Autumn break.

So off we went via a cheap flight from Ryanair (only £90.50 for our return flights from London Stansted to Verona/Brescia). We picked up our hire car, this time a Peugeot 206, courtesy of Hertz (not so cheap though!) and off we went to our favourite holidaying location in Italy, Salo on Lake Garda. Unfortunately we couldn't lunch at our preferred restaurant, 'La Scaiola' at Nuvolera near Brescia, as it was their 'giorno di chiusura!' but as we were now in Italy, finding a suitable alternative was never going to be a problem.

As soon as we arrived at our hotel, I telephoned Claudio Ivaldi to let him know that we had arrived and he gave me directions to our rendezvous point, the Museo Dell'Automobile in Corso Unita d'Italia, Torino. I suggested that it might be a good idea to book a hotel in Turin for the Friday night, but Claudio assured me that as we were meeting up at around ten o'clock on the Saturday morning, the trip across from Salo via the A12 Piacenza-Torino autostrada would only take around two hours, plenty of time!

Claudio's directions were spot on, and we arrived outside the museum at around nine thirty, that Peugeot is pretty nippy, it's not a Maserati, but pretty nippy all the same!!

We were greeted by Claudo Ivaldi, Rossano and Antonio Scarpetta, who seemed really appreciative that we had made the effort to attend, coming all the way from England. Now I'll be the first to admit that Maseratis are not my wife's first love, funny that, and it was only the promise of some good Italian food that persuaded her to come in the first place. So, while she read her book, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, I wandered around looking at the Maseratis on display; a 3500GT Vignale Spyder, A Ghibli SS, A Quattroporte III and a wide range of Biturbos. Having paid the modest subscription of EURO 270 (for the two of us less hotels) we made our way into the museum. On entering, I asked the attendant if I could take some photos on behalf of the club and filled in the appropriate form.

In an Italian museum that houses a fine collection of automobiles from all over the world, it was rather disappointing to see just the one Maserati, even if it was a 1954 Tipo 250F.

Having completed our tour of the museum, we made our way across Turin in convoy, but not for long. When we eventually arrived at our destination, the old Fiat factory at Lingotto, I came to the conclusion that Ken Livingston must be the new Mayor of Turin, for the traffic lights in Turin were 'a la Ken!', only allowing four or five cars through on a green light.

It was lunchtime and Claudio had organised lunch at 'Al Pastificio' in the new shopping mall on the first floor of the old Fiat factory building. 'Al Pastificio' is a self service restaurant well known for its home-made pasta, I now know why!

Suitably nourished we made our way up to the next floor to visit the Agnelli Family's Art Gallery. Also on display was a photographic exhibition by Rodolfo Mailander, entitled 'FERRARI BY MAILANDER - The origins of a success story'. One photograph that was of particular interest to me was of Ascari in a Ferrari lapping an OSCA during the Grand Prix of Salo.

Photo by Rodolfo Mailander

Members of the BCI were now in for a rather special treat for Claudio had arranged for the Maseratis to drive up to the roof-top test track. Needless to say I was a little disappointed that my Maserati was back in England and I missed out on this unique opportunity on the roof of the the Lingotto factory.

The banked curve of the famous old Fiat test track

Unfortunately our 'Meeting' ended here at Lingotto as my wife was feeling unwell, her allergy to Maseratis had kicked-in again! We said our goodbyes and sadly headed back to Salo. During the return journey I could only ponder over the thought of my missed photo opportunity and of my fellow Maseratisti enjoying their gala dinner that evening at the "Il Mandracchio" restaurant in Rivarossa.

Ah well! There's always next time!

The return journey of 300 odd miles necessitated the replenishment of our fuel tank, so our experienced driver duly pulled in at a suitable service station, handed the keys to the attendant giving the appropriate instructions in near perfect Italian - "Pieno diesel per favore!" Moments later the attendant, of Eastern European appearance, knocked on my window with a puzzled look saying, "Diesel?" "Si signor, diesel!" I replied. "Questa macchina benzina, no diesel?" he said gesticulating wildly with his hands! Well I never, his Italian was even worse than mine! I was convinced that Hertz had given me a diesel engined car, but to be on the safe side, opened the bonnet knowing that if I spotted spark plugs, then this Peugeot would indeed require petrol. As luck would have it, it was impossible to see the plugs as most manufacturers today seem intent on hiding their engines, adorning them with huge plastic covers. Things got decidedly worse when the knowledgeable attendant pointed to the exposed intake manifold saying, "Ecco candele!" At this point I was an extremely worried man! He obviously knew even less about engines than I did, and that's saying something! He then ushered me around to the diesel pump and demonstrated that the diesel nozzle was too large and would not fit into the car's filler neck and then showed how the narrower unleaded nozzle would. I finally agreed and gave him the okay, "Va bene, pieno benzina!" I'm afraid that on this occasion I did nothing to dispel the myth of the 'Mad Englishman'.

That night in the bars around Cunettone, stories were being related about the 'Inglese Pazzo' who had insisted on filling his petrol engined car with diesel!!!

The sole Maserati on display - a 1954 Tipo 250F!

Maserati 250F

Maserati 250F

Maserati 250F

Museo Dell'Automobile - Turin

'I Tridenti a Torino'
A silver commemorative plaque!

Maseratis of the Buturbo Club Italia!

1996 ALFA ROMEO 155 V6 TI




Roland Leong’s “Hawaiian” Dragster

426 CHRYSLER Hemi Engine

1953 LANCIA Carrera Panamerica

ALFA ROMEO V8 engine

ALFA ROMEO V6 engine

1996 ALFA ROMEO 155 V6 TI




DUCATI 851 Superbike


1934 ALFA ROMEO 8C 2300

1931 CORD L–29


1969 JAGUAR 4.2 E-Type


1952 ALFA ROMEO 'Disco Volante'

1952 ALFA ROMEO 'Disco Volante'

MM! - Maserati and Mercedes


1925 DELAGE 'Grand Prix' engine

Museo Dell'Automobile - Turin

FIAT A12 Aero engine

Museo Dell'Automobile - ?

ALFA ROMEO 2000 Spider

LANCIA Aurelia B20 Coupe

1961 ALFA ROMEO Giulietta Sprint Coupe

1961 ALFA ROMEO Giulietta Sprint Coupe

1961 ALFA ROMEO Giulietta Sprint Coupe

1964 Formula 2 ABARTH Monoposto



1928 ALFA ROMEO 6C 1500 SS

1928 ALFA ROMEO 6C 1500 SS

1928 ALFA ROMEO 6C 1500 SS


CISITALIA 202SMM Spider Coupe


Museo Dell'Automobile

Museo Dell'Automobile

Biturbos - 2 and 4-door

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