An epic classic car collection

Mauro Bonaccini’s guest

You may call them coincidences, but when the search for “Wise Hands” is a priority, how can you say that it was just luck. An immediate connection, where you don’t need too many words. You can promptly organise an evening amongst friends. First, we satisfy with “Mr Mauro Bonaccini’s Temple” and then, during the dinner, you feel the pleasant sensation that you are part of a close group, even if it’s just for one evening. The passion for classic cars isn’t the only thing in common. At the table, we enjoyed the pleasure of a real, honest friendship, based on collaboration, jokes and admiration. We laughed very much. Thank you for the warm welcoming to the two Mr Mauro.


He’s there, with his toys and a clear gaze.
A child, who remained such, who has now grown up and is able to create them with his own hands.
He was a panel beater all of his life, he was well-known and is still being sought after.
If you don’t know metal sheets, they always trick you, when you least expect it.
You may be excellent, but a phone call to Mauro Bonaccini may be the remedy which saves you from big trouble.

Now that he’s retired, he can finally do just what he likes and live with his models, in a nice world made of the things that he dreamt of.
Little models? No, they’re not little models, they are Prototypes.
The temple is spread over three rooms, which are full to the brim with car models, in all scales.

He considers one to seven to be congenial, but one to two is the masterpiece: the Maserati 250, half the size of the real car; if he wanted to, he could even create that one, he did it all of his life and he knows all of the secrets, in fine detail.
I’m photographing those nearly real cars. One by one, Mauro takes them out of their display cabinet and he places them on the set.

And they’re re-checked one by one for the umpteenth time. “That hub has slackened”,
“I need to tighten that screw”, “do you know how I made that profile?”, “do you know where I found that piece?”
“Can you see how it’s detailed there?”.


I try to imagine the mind’s and hands’ acrobatics. I observe him and I remember Gianni Rodari’s words “a stone thrown in a pond… produces surface and depth waves, it causes an infinite series of chain reactions, and while falling it involves sounds and images, analogies and memories, meanings and dreams in a movement which involves the experience and mind, imagination and subconscious”, yes, this is Mauro Bonaccini.

And it is small, thin metal sheet, worked just like the large metal sheet. You need to build the tools too, you need to invent them or steal them from other areas, no offence to Benvenuto Cellini and all of the goldsmiths.

And it takes hours, and hours, and hours. How many hours? You never know, but it takes many months to work on just one prototype.
He’s obsessive, even now that they’re finished, “that handle doesn’t shut as it should – can you see that the fuel door opens properly? – wait, there is a screw which doesn’t fit in quite right – there is a bolt to adjust and the springs which work, can you see them?”.

“Look at how nice the seats’ fabric is and what do you think about that light?”
“Do you want to open the bonnet or the boot?”


He whispers, nearly to himself, while he touches, cleans, adjusts, tests, tightens. He’s playing.

Jaguar verde intera 1

But it’s a dream of real cars, legendary, achingly beautiful. Morgan, Bugatti, Maserati 6CM, Maserati 420/M/58 Eldorado, Cisitalia, Ferrari 250GTO.
He has a way of enchanting you too with his prototypes.
This is called Passion.

Author and photos: Angelo Rosa for International Classic © 2018