Biturbo Club Italia
1° Raduno Internazionale Biturbo
Modena 2003

"Maserati, Maseratisti, Modena, Musei, Mangiare e Bere!


My sincere thanks to Mike Hofer and Augusto Marcucchio for their help in producing this page.


In March, I received an e-mail from Rossano of Reparto Corse informing me of the forthcoming 1st Biturbo International being held in Modena, Italy. Having expressed an interest, this was followed by another e-mail from Sig Augusto Marcuccio of the Biturbo Club Italia giving the proposed itinerary for the rally. The itinerary looked exciting and I noticed that the dates of this event coincided with my impending birthday.

Now what I am about to tell you may come as a big surprise to you, but my wife doesn't like Maseratis. I know it's difficult to understand, but you can begin to appreciate my dilemma. How do I talk my wife into attending this Maserati rally, when I have failed so often in the past? Fortunately, like me, my wife enjoys good food and when I explained that the rally would be taking place in Modena, the heart of the Emilia-Romagna province, famed for its gastronomic delights, the task became somewhat simpler. I duly completed and sent off my application form and we were off!

One of the advantages of running this web site is that I come into contact with Maserati enthusiasts from all around the world and when I informed Boris Jerbic from Croatia that my wife and I would be attending the Raduno in Modena, he insisted on joining us. Boris and I have been in constant communication ever since I set up this web site.

I planned our outgoing journey to Italy to include a visit to the Rosso Bianco Collection in Aschaffenburg, Germany, and after two days of 'sedate' motoring on the German Autobahns, we arrived at our first destination, Lake Garda in Northern Italy.

Given that I was now in Italy and the timing belt on my Ghibli was due for replacement, I made an appointment with Sig Candini in Modena. Whilst there, I took the opportunity of taking a close look at some of the exotic cars being restored. Unfortunately client confidentiality made the taking of photographs impossible so my camera stayed firmly in its place. I strolled over to the Carrozzeria Campana workshop across the road and noticed a Maserati Coupe pace car and a couple of Trofeos undergoing minor body repairs after the last race. I politely asked if I could take some photos for my web site but was told that that would be impossible. That evening I returned to Lake Garda with a Ghibli that drove like a dream. It really does pay to take your car to a Maserati expert as only they know how to tune them properly. Did I mention that I had a very very nice lunch in Modena?

Friday afternoon after another good pranzo at La Scaiola, near Brescia, we set off for the Hotel Executive, Fiorano Modanese, and parked our car alongside those Maseratis that had already arrived. We were greeted by event organiser Sig Mike Höfer of the mh-team who gave us our information pack and after a quick 'freshening up' I returned to the Maseratisti.

I learned from Mike that some 35 cars in all were expected, understandably mostly Italian some from as far as Naples, Sicily and Sardinia. Cars were expected from the German Biturbo Club, Austria, Switzerland, one from Croatia and you know who from England!

Maseratis outside the Hotel Executive, Fiorano Modenese

Boris's 360 bhp Ghibli!

In the hotel car park I chatted with my fellow Maseratisti; including an unhappy Richard from Germany, who, having failed to start his Biturbo, arrived in an Alfa Romeo. Together we discussed the cars on view including one rather curious Ghibli GT sporting a V6 Evoluzione badge on its rear but with a Modena Performance modified engine under the bonnet.

After a short while a loud exhaust note greeted the arrival of Boris in his very special Ghibli, see Boris's Brute, who had driven all the way from Croatia to meet us.

After almost two years of e-mails, faxes and a fortune in phone calls, we finally got to meet! My wife and I spent most of the weekend in their company as this had been a meeting that we had both been looking forward to.


Ghibli by Modena Performance

An extra 'Cup' fuel filler

Neat vents on the front bumper

Note the red silicon hoses

Note the neat rear brake light

Metal dump valves.

Friday evening the Maseratis, except one Ghibli that wouldn't start, made their way in convoy fashion, well at least part of the way, to a picturesque restaurant on the hills just outside Modena, Ristorante Il Castello at Castelvetro di Modena.

Now you may well have gathered from these pages that I do enjoy my food, and on this trip I wasn't about to change.
On our arrival, we were greeted with a glass of Prosecco and laid out before us a wonderful display of appertisers. Some of the German enthusiasts had been delayed by heavy traffic on the Autostrada, so a few more glasses of Prosecco were comsumed. Everyone having arrived, organiser Mike Hofer proceeded to welcome us (Mike speaks fluent Italian, German and English) and set out his plans for the weekend.
Buon appetito!

Ristorante Il Castello - Castelvetro di Modena


Dinner at 'Il Castello'.

Punta di Vitello in Crosta!

A friendly informal atmosphere
Members of the Biturbo Club Italia. The Biturbo Club Deutschland.        Alessandro extends a warm greeting!

Photos courtesy of Mike Höfer and the mh-team.


Having enjoyed our meal and sampled the odd glass of Lambrusco with Boris, my new drinking partner, we made our way back to the hotel. Not knowing the way back, I simply followed the other Masers. Fine, that was until we were left at the lights. Suddenly I now found myself in front, and those unfortunate enough to be following me got a little more than they bargained for. Unknown to them, or me for that matter, we were about to take an unscheduled tour of Maranello that included a 'surprise visit' to the Ferrari factory; the result of yet another wrong turning! Somehow, I had led them to the front gates, much to the surprise of the security guards. "Sono proprio matti questi inglesi!" was just one of the choice phrases to be overheard. Eventually we found our way back to the hotel (more by luck than judgement) and surprisingly, no one wished me a good night, not even my wife. I wonder why?

On Saturday morning I thought it wise to go down to breakfast wearing dark sunglasses and a false beard; fortunately for me, my follies of the night before were all forgotten (I didn't say forgiven!). The itenary for the day had been announced and spirits were high in anticipation of what lay ahead.

We set off in convoy, (but not for long!), towards Modena and on the way pulled in to a Shell service station where we were greeted by two charming female police officers. We were all given tickets for speeding! Just kidding! We were about to receive a police escort through the centre of Modena to the impressive new Maserati factory in Viale Ciro Menotti.

Mike thanks Modena's Polizia Municipale. Mike poses with two of 'Modena's Finest'!

Photos courtesy of Mike Höfer and the mh-team.


We flashed our lights and blazed our air horns in triumph as we passed the prestigious new factory. At this point I should add that an agreed visit to the Maserati factory was originally on the itinery but due to circumstances beyond the organisers control this was not possible. I'd like to think that the forthcoming launch of the new Quattroporte had something to do with this.

Photo courtesy of Mike Höfer and the mh-team

Having waved goodbye to our police escort we 'cruised' through the winding roads for around 15 km to the Castello di Panzano, where thanks to Sig. Mario Righini, we were able to view the famous Collezione Righini.


Castello di Panzano

An early Biturbo S

Biturbos fill the courtyard

My Ghibli in the midst of it all!

The sole 3200GT

Vincenzo's Racing

Biturbos everywhere

Mike's Shamal leads the way!

Boris's Ghibli in the shade

Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza
#2211137 an ex-Nuvolari car

1926 Alfa Romeo RL SS
Corto Torpedo by Castagna

Cisitalia D46

Boris, Suncica
and the Fiat 'Chiri Biri'

1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750
Gran Sport by Zagato

Boris, Suncica
and a Model T Ford


The lucky participants of the 1st Maserati Biturbo International Rally 2003.

We spent most of the morning viewing this wonderful collection which could almost be described as a history of Italian automobiles. One car we missed was the Ferrari 815 which was being prepared for the following week's 2003 Mille Miglia. Built in 1940, the '815' was the first ever car built by Enzo Ferrari after he left the Alfa Romeo Race Team. Now it was time for another cruise through the countryside to Ristorante La Straffa at Pavullo nel Frignano. On our way we stopped for a quick photo session outside the Ferrari factory in Maranello to see their new state-of-the-art 'Wind Tunnel'.


Maseratis outside the Ferrari factory


My car outside the wind tunnel

Now you'll be delighted to hear that our rustic lunch, washed down with still more Lambrusco, was excellent.

The Ristorante La Staffa (The Stirrup) is situated between Modena and Bologna and is sited alongside a riding school. Having glanced at the menu, my wife and I intend to pay another visit the next time we are in Italy.

Buon appetito!

Ristorante La Staffa - Miceno di Pavullo


Excellent food!

Pina serves the 'Lardo'.

Good humoured!
Photo opportunities! Interesting conversation!             ... and throw in the odd comedian!

Photos courtesy of Mike Höfer and the mh-team.




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