In Italy, the “Motor Valley”, the fertile land of supercars

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Visitors admire a Ts Automobili M67 in Modena, Emilia-Romagna, during the Motor Valley Fest luxury car show.

Photo: AFP / VNA / CVN

Rich agricultural plain, “Land of the engines” (Terra dei motori in Italian), a small territory that stretches for about 1,000 km² mainly between Bologna and Modena, so Ferrari’s roasting horse and Lamborghini’s bull rush over its fields of barley and wheat.

Manufacturers Maserati and Ducati were also born there, as well as other lesser known and much more elite, automakers Pagani and Dallara – official supplier of cars for the US Indycar Championship – or even the Energica group, whose electric motorcycles run in parallel GP championships.

Every year – with the exception of the COVID-19 pandemic – all these brands exhibit their creations in the squares of Modena for a weekend to the delight of the many fans who take selfies next to a fast-moving car, two or four wheels. In the pantheon of supercars, Pagani stands out especially by its price: 2.6 million euros excluding options …

The brand was founded in 1998 in San Cesario sul Panaro, near Modena, by the Argentine Horacio Pagani, who previously worked for Lamborghini, and is aimed at an extremely limited niche clientele. The establishment is located on the outskirts of the small town of a few thousand inhabitants, near agricultural fields and includes a museum and the production workshop.

“It takes us between eight and nine months to build a car, and we produce a total of about 40 a year”explains Christopher Pagani, son of the founder and communications manager of the brand.

The space where these cars are produced is not named “factory” but “workshop”. A few dozen technicians and engineers, mostly young people, work, producing a steering wheel that cleans the molds used to model the bodywork, in a cozy atmosphere in a pharmacy where everything is in order and immaculate.

A Ferrari F150 on display in Toronto, Canada.

Photo: Xinhua / VNA / CVN

Forty types of carbon fiber, titanium, aluminum, everything is designed to make a Pagani as light as possible “but the reflection is engaged in the customers” on a possible future heavier electric Pagani
because of the batteries, Christopher Pagani points out.

Lamborghini against Ferrari

In this post-war breeding and plowing country, mechanization, tractors and agricultural machinery came into being. Ferruccio Lamborghini owned a tractor factory and … several Ferraris.

Legend has it that one day the manufacturer told Enzo, head of the ladder brand. “Enzo, I’m having problems with your cars”to which he replied: “Just make them yourself if you do not like mine”.

This exchange, which no one today knows whether it is authentic, gave birth in 1963 to the Lamborghini car factory, 15 years after the tractors’. Ferrari is no longer alone. Emilia-Romagna is gradually building its reputation as a center of mechanical expertise.

“It’s a success that comes from far away, it’s the fruit of several generations”informs Andrea Corsini, “Minister” of Emilia-Romagna for Transport, Infrastructure and Tourism, who came to Modena.

According to the Riparte l’Italia Economic Observatory, “Motor Valley” includes more than 16,000 companies, four circuits, six advanced fitness centers and employs more than 90,000 people.

“In terms of job opportunities, contacts with companies, here it’s best”assures Emilio, 24, a car engineering student who came from the south of the country to continue his specialization in Modena.

The sector has a turnover of 16 billion euros a year, including 7 billion for exports, and exhibits a rude health. In 2021, Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley or Porsche, among others, all recorded record results.

The legendary Bugatti also had its heyday in the region, producing the famous B110 GT model in the early 1990s, sold at the time for the modest sum of 500 million lire (about 260,000 euros).

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