Another visit to the Panini Museum

During a recent visit to Modena, I once again took the opportunity of visiting the Panini Museum to see the family's fine collection of historic and classic cars that includes one of the world's finest collection of Maseratis, and of course, buy some of their excellent Parmesan cheese.

I telephoned Matteo Panini and asked if I could visit the museum and take some photographs for the web site. Having made an appointment, I arrived early one morning and was greeted by Matteo who invited me to "take as many photos as I'd like !" Not being one to refuse such a generous invitation, armed with my Olympus E10, I entered the museum and the results can be viewed on this page.

It was back in the early 1996 that Alessandro De Tomaso contacted the Fiat Group to see if they were interested in buying his Maserati Collection. The collection, was at this time, housed in a museum within the factory compound. He gave Fiat an ultiumatum declaring that he would remove his collection if they did not buy it. It appears that Fiat were only interested in the Maserati engines within the collection, and declined his offer. De Tomaso took his collection from the Maserati museum, and shortly after contacted London auction house Brooks, and a deal was agreed for the entire collection to be sold in London in May 1997. Some of the cars were shipped over to the UK in 1996, and put on display at Brooks' London showrooms in readiness for the sale.

Meanwhile back in Italy, news of the forthcoming sale leaked out, and the thought of these rare Maserati racing cars and prototypes being lost to Modena and the nation, brought universal condemnation from the people of Modena, ex-racing drivers, the Registro Maserati, the Club Maserati, the Modenese Council, the local and national press, and even the Italian Minister of Culture. Such was the outcry that all and sundry looked for an amicable solution that would keep this important collection in Modena. It was at this point that Sig Umberto Panini stepped in, offered to buy the collection and house them in a purpose built museum on his dairy farm, Hombre, just outside Modena. De Tomaso agreed, a satisfactory deal was done with Brooks, and the cars were returned to Modena. The collection is now safely housed for the nation in a purpose built air-conditioned museum adjoining the family home just outside Modena.

"In Italian folklore, if a swallow (rondine) nests in your house, 'Good Luck' is sure to follow. This tale nurtured a tradition that encouraged young children to go out onto rooftops, and by waving white flags; usually a white cloth attached to a broomstick, would encourage the migrating swallows to nest in their houses."

This is the tale behind a charming cartoon shown to me a couple of years ago by Dott. Matteo Panini which pictures his father Umberto as a 'child' on his rooftop waving a white flag attached to an upturned trident. But, it is not swallows that Sig Panini is encouraging to nest in his house, but a collection of flying Maseratis.

The artist's tribute to Umberto Panini who, in response to an outcry of sentiment from the people of Modena, stepped in and purchased the entire Maserati factory's historic collection from Alejandro De Tomaso when there were fears that it was about to be sold off and dispersed at auction.

The collection has continued to prosper under the Panini stewardship and Matteo has now added a Tipo 250F, presently undergoing restoration here in England, to the collection and I am sure we shall be seeing him at the wheel competing in the Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge soon. Another new addition is a rare Tipo 6C 34 which is presently undergoing restoration.

I would like to thank Matteo Panini for allowing me to photograph his fabulous collection and for allowing me to publish these photographs on my site, I hope you enjoy the photographs as much as I enjoyed the cheese !!


Panini Collection

The Panini Museum

Tipo 6CM leads the way!

The Maseratis on display

Maserati - La macchina sublime
Maserati - The sublime car

Home to a superior Parmesan cheese

Matured for at least two years !

Tended by a master cheese maker

The trident on the A6G 2000

The static Barchetta

The static Chubasco

The Chubasco - rear

The Chubasco - side

Tipo 8CL supercharged straight eight

Tipo 8CL supercharged straight eight

The two Memini carburettors

The two Roots superchargers

The 4CL (dismantleable crankshaft)

Tipo C114 fuel injection engine

Tipo C114 fuel injection engine

Tipo C114.50.30 engine

Tipo C114.50.30 engine

Biturbo V6 18-valve engine

Inside the throttle body of the Biturbo V6

Cylinder liner of the Biturbo V6 18-valve engine

Tipo 61 'Birdcage' chassis

Tipo 63 chassis

The museum's workshop

Tipo 3500 GT engine - carburettor

Tipo 3500 GT engine - carburettor

Tipo 3500 GT engine - fuel injection

Tipo 3500 GT engine - fuel injection

Maserati T4 250cc motorcycle

Maserati T4 250cc motorcycle

Maserati L/125/T2 - Turismo Lusso

Maserati L/125/T2 - Turismo Lusso

A Maserati in name only!

Tractor collection

Trattore by ORSI

Another classic under restoration.
A6GCS 'Berlinetta' by Pinin Farina

A6G 2000 by Allemano

5000GT by Allemano


Ghibli SS

Ghibli Spyder


Tipo 124




Tipo 6CM

Tipo 420/M58 'Eldorado'

Tipo 61 'Birdcage' by Drogo

Tipo 63


The Tipo 6C 34 - presently undergoing a complete restoration

Maseratisti wishing to visit the museum, should first make an appointment by emailing or phoning +39 059 510660.

More information is avaiable at this site

Here is a map giving directions to the Hombre Farm (see attached image).

Motorists should leave the A1 autostrada at Modena Nord.

Once through the toll gate, carry on to the first round-about and turn right onto a dual carriageway, direction Modena Centro/ Reggio Emilia.

Carry on along this road, keeping to the right for about 400 metres and take the first turning on the right - direction Reggio Emilia.

Again carry on along the dual carriageway (this is the Modena ring road - tangenziale nord) for about 800 metres and take the first turning on the right - direction Reggio Emilia.

This leads you to a T junction (no left turn). Turn right at this junction and continue along this road for about a mile until you see a church bell tower on your left. Turn left at the church.

Carry on along this road; Biturbo owners watch out for a rather high speed ramp, under the railway to a T junction. Turn left here.

Carry on along this road to a crossroads and turn right. This road is quite narrow, so please be careful, remember you are in Italy now !!!

The Hombre farm is about a mile along this road on your right-hand side. There is a sign post on the left-hand side of the road indicating the farm. Go through the gates along a tree lined drive up to the farm. The office is on the left hand side, just past a private house.

The farm belongs to the Panini family and the museum is on the farm. Don't forget to buy your Parmesan cheese there, and make sure you buy the two year old variety. It's one of the, if not the best you can buy. Also buy some of their Balsamic vinegar, it's like syrup. It's not cheap, but it costs half the price you would normally expect to pay in the shops for that quality.

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