Museo Nicolis and the History of the Automobile

One of the most exciting private museum in Europe, Museo Nicolis in Verona tells the story of 20th Century technology and international design

By Museimpresa

10 collections including 200 classic cars and 110 steering wheels from sophisticated one-seater Formula 1 racing cars

Museo Nicolis - Museo Nicolis, a lifelong dreamMuseimpresa

A lifelong dream


Museo Nicolis - 1-cylinder Pia Engine “Enrico Bernardi” (1882/1882) by Enrico BernardiMuseimpresa

1-cylinder "Pia" engine by Enrico Bernardi, 1882

With this invention, Enrico Bernardi ensured Italy a great discovery in the motoring field; on 5th August, 1882 he patented the “Motrice Pia”, the first petrol fuelled combustion engine.

Museo Nicolis - Benz Patent Motorwagen "Modell 1" (1886/1886) by BenzMuseimpresa

Benz & Co. “Modell 1”, 1886

The Velociped is considered the first petrol-fuelled car in the world and was designed in three different versions from 1886 to 1888.

Museo Nicolis - Bianchi “Type C 20-30 HP” (1909/1909) by BianchiMuseimpresa

Bianchi "type C 20-30 HP", 1909

Edoardo Bianchi founded the company in 1885. Something new is on the machine: for the first time on this model, they adopted an electrical system for interior lighting.

Museo Nicolis - Benz “8/20 PS Jagdwagen”, Schebera (1914/1914) by Benz, ScheberaMuseimpresa

Benz “8/20 PS Jagdwagen” by Schebera, 1914

The most important automotive companies in the early 1900s sold both racing cars and touring cars, Benz was one of them. This car was ordered by an Indian Maharaja, that's why the speedometer is in mph, not kph.

Museo Nicolis - Baker, Rauch & Lang “Double Drive Coach”, Electric powertrain (1919/1919) by Baker, Rauch & LangMuseimpresa

Baker, Rauch & Lang “Double Drive Coach”, 1919

The electric car was silent, simple, clean and easy to handle: in fact it was the favourite car of high class ladies, who could use it without the help of the chauffeur who was necessary for the complicated petrol cars of the early 1900s.

Museo Nicolis - Ford “T Snow Machine” (1923/1923) by FordMuseimpresa

Ford "T - Snow Machine", 1923

Ford T “the universal car”: it could be really ordered with those optional and specifications more useful for buyers. One of the first example of a car that could be driven safely on the snow, by replacing, in a few minutes, the front wheels with two practical skis.

Museo Nicolis - Lancia “Lambda VIII series” (1928/1928) by LanciaMuseimpresa

Lancia "Lambda VIII serie", 1928

The Vincenzo Lancia's masterpiece: the first mass-produced car with a monocoque chassis. Another feature of the car, as much revolutionary, was the telescopic front suspension with independent wheels and hydraulic shock absorbers, designed by Falchetto.

Museo Nicolis - Isotta Fraschini “Type 8A”, Castagna (1929/1929) by Isotta FraschiniMuseimpresa

Isotta Fraschini "Type 8A" by Castagna, 1929

The Isotta Fraschini was founded in Milan in 1900 and became one of the most prestigious Italian luxury car manufacturers. The Type 8, presented in 1919, was one of the first production cars in the world fitted with an inline-8 engine.

Museo Nicolis - OM “Superba 665 SSMM”, Castagna (1931/1931) by OM, Carrozzeria CastagnaMuseimpresa

OM “Superba 665 SSMM” by Castagna, 1931

The 665 Superba was introduced in 1923 and produced in several series and models until 1932. It was the best known and appreciated OM production model because of its racing wins, culminated in the first three positions at the first edition of the Mille Miglia in 1927.

Museo Nicolis - Alfa Romeo “6C 1750 GTC”, Castagna (1931/1931) by Alfa Romeo, Carrozzeria CastagnaMuseimpresa

Alfa Romeo “6C 1750 GTC” by Castagna, 1931

The 6C 1750 was the car that drove Alfa Romeo to the Olympus of sports car companies. This lucky project, signed by Vittorio Jano, allowed Alfa Romeo to win the 1928, 1929 and 1930 editions of the Mille Miglia. 

Museo Nicolis - Maserati “A6 1500” by Pinin Farina (1947/1947) by Maserati, PininfarinaMuseimpresa

Maserati "A6 1500" by Pinin Farina, 1947

In 1947 Maserati presented the prototype of Gran Turismo, a coupè with pop-up headlights designed by Pinin Farina, at the Geneva Motor Show. This is the second one built (one off) and was on show in October 1947 at the ltalian Bodywork Show at the Milan Triennale.

Museo Nicolis - Fiat “1100 Sport Barchetta” Mille Miglia, Motto (1948/1948) by Fiat, Rocco MottoMuseimpresa

Fiat “1100 Sport Barchetta” Mille Miglia by Motto, 1948

The body of this Barchetta was done by Rocco Motto. The frame was modified by Stanguellini. This one-off took part in the 1948 Mille Miglia with Pedretti Alessio with #395.

Museo Nicolis - Fiat “1100 E Cabriolet Vistotal”, Castagna (1950/1950) by Fiat, Carrozzeria CastagnaMuseimpresa

Fiat “1100 E Cabriolet” by Castagna, 1950

This very rare cabriolet is called “Vistotal” for its particular windscreen fitted without side supports, as patented in 1936 by French coachbuilder Labourdette with the name "Vutotal”: it allows a total visibility of the road in front of the driver.

Museo Nicolis - Zanussi “1100 Sport” (1952/1952) by ZanussiMuseimpresa

Zanussi “1100 Sport”, 1952

The barchetta-type aluminum bodywork was the work of Carrozzeria Fratelli Vendrame. This one-off car is a wonderful example of the so-called racing specials built in Italy in the 1950s.

Museo Nicolis - Ford “Thunderbird” (1955/1955) by FordMuseimpresa

Ford "Thunderbird", 1955

The T-Bird series was the Ford reply to the Chevrolet Corvette. Since the beginning of its production, it was fitted with the V8 engine, available in various horsepower levels. It's of the series, produced from 1955 to 1957, today highly appreciated by the collectors.

Museo Nicolis - Maserati “3500 GT Spider”, Vignale (1960/1960) by Maserati, Carrozzeria VignaleMuseimpresa

Maserati "3500 GT Spider" by Vignale, 1960

Introduced in 1957, the 3500 GT coupè of the Touring body-maker was a great commercial success and so it seemed obvious to accompany the coupè with a spider version. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti produced by Carrozzeria Vignale.

Museo Nicolis - Ferrari “250 GT 2+2”, Pininfarina (1963/1963) by Ferrari, PininfarinaMuseimpresa

Ferrari “250 GT 2+2” by Pininfarina, 1963

The first production 2+2 Ferrari model: thanks to Pininfarina’s ability, it was possible to fit a 4-seater body on the 250 GT chassis without modifying the wheelbase. Enzo Ferrari himself loved driving the 250 GT 2+2, thanks to the sporty-comfortable feeling of these cars.

Museo Nicolis - DeLorean “DMC-12” (1981/1981) by DeLorean, Giorgetto GiugiaroMuseimpresa

DeLorean "DMC-12" by Giugiaro, 1981

John Z. DeLorean founded the DeLorean Motor Company in 1975; the DMC-12 was produced in 1981. This car became famous thanks to the 1985 movie "Back to the Future".

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps