Tuesday Oct. 4th
Dear Family & Friends,
Our time in Venice is going by so fast.. Only two more days and it is back on the road and back on the motorcycle.. (no so bad. ;) )
Yesterday was an amazing day entirely planned by my thoughtful and loving wife.
We arose early and caught the train to Bologna where we were met by a personal guide and tour bus. We spent the entire day touring Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Pagani.. Does it get any better than that for a car love???
Three Italian super car builders that could not be more different!
First stop was Lamborghini. This is the mid size company between the other two. Also their design philosophy is to be more shocking and avant garde. The museum part had a good collection of classic models, modern models, and prototypes. I feel in design when pressing to always be the latest and greatest it is easy to pass by what the eye will accept and to be too radical. Some of the Lambos are to out there for my taste, but I give them A for effort and daring and they still have a lot of great successes. We then toured the actual Lambo factory (unfortunately none of the companies allow cameras in the assembly area). The Lambo factory is similar to a modern assembly line but in slow motion. Still lots of hand labor, especially in the interior, and a leisurely assembly pace. While we were standing along the assembly line a fully robotic cart came up to us and buzzed us to move. Behind it was a fully assembled V-12 motor and gearbox going to the assembly line for installation. Robots are even finding their place in hand built cars…
Each assembly line station had 55 minutes to assemble their part of the car and factored into that time was 15 minutes to correct any problems. The factory was immaculate, the technicians were beautiful dressed in Lambo uniforms, and they all seemed to take pride in what they were doing.. I think the one word that describes all three of these car companies is passion. They are building far more than a machine!
From Lambo we went by the original Ferrari factory, the new factory, the new F-1 technical center, and to the Ferrari museum. Our guide did not recommend the Ferrari factory tour. She said it is from a bus, you never get out, and your never get close enough to see much. So the museum was our next stop. Duane and I had been there three years ago on our last motorcycle trip but it is always worth a second look and for everyone else it was a first.
The Ferrari museum is beautifully laid out and informative. The museum certainly stresses the racing side of the company ( the passion!). There is a tremendous collection of Ferrari race cars and racing motors along with trophies and information about the history of the company. I would say the road car portion of the museum is weak. This is because all the road cars there are privately owned and only on loan to the factory. Most of the road cars are models built in the last 20 years so you miss so many of the great classic road GT models. Still worth the visit!
Finally we headed off to the Pagani factory.. Of all three companies this one definitely reflects the passion and drive of one single man. Ferrari and Lambo with both started with the vision and drive of one man but the founders are long gone and now they are large corporate entities. Pagani was started by one man with a dream and he is still there running it. In fact he is five years younger than me so it makes me feel old and a slacker too.. :(
Pagani was born in Argentina and moved to Italy to build exotic cars. He worked for Lambo for several years and then struck out on his own. His expertise is working with carbon fiber so all Pagani’s are made entirely out of carbon fiber. They are not as powerful as the top Lambo or Ferrari models but due to their light weight they are equally as fast.
The Pagani factory (if you can call it that) is more like an over size restoration shop. The main assembly area is about 25,000 sq.ft. with a large area in the center where craftsmen assemble four cars at a time, taking weeks to finish one car. So you don't see any timers, assembly lines, or movement. Very old work. Also the building itself is what I fell in love with. The building was designed by one of Mr. Pagani’s sons, a talented family. It is an interesting combination of ultra modern glass and metal on the outside, with a core of classic Italian brick work and old fashion street lamps lining the assembly area! I got some great ideas for my next garage addition.
After 10 hours touring around the car factories we were all exhausted. We headed back to the train station for an hour and half ride back to Venice. My daughter Sarah took the train in the opposite direction to Milan to see more of Italy, meet with some Italian designers to see if she can expand her business there (she is a go getter) and probably some time away from all the old folks.
By the time the rest us of got back to Venice and walked from the train station to our hotel we had been out for almost 14 hours. We were all so tired we were ALMOST to tired to eat and drink wine.. almost.. Luckily we were able to squeeze in one more great Italian meal, a few bottles of wine and we all went off to a good nights sleep….
That’s all folks!
|The week we are in Venice we are staying at the private hotel of the Orsoni Glass factory and school. This is where my wife Bonnie has stayed previously while studying her art at the Orsoni school. It is a great place to stay. It only has 6 rooms and we have 5 of them so it is like a private hotel with gardens and patios. Here are some sample of the mosaic work displayed there.|
|The "GANG" out for another day in Venice..|
|Great open air markets.|
|The classic wooden boats in the canals are beautiful. Even the ladies notice and appreciate them.|
|What an elegant lady.|
|Two of the many beautiful women in my life.. :)|
|I love the classical paintings found all over Venice depicting their culture, history, and religion. This is a painting of "King Glorious the Len"|
|I think this is going to be Duane's next riding suite.. Maybe for walking too.|
|Human's endless creativity in tools to kill each other with.. :(|
|I think this look may work for my next garage??|
|Kim is a retired police officer and she is standing in front of a prisoner's box at the Palace of St. Marks.|
|I think I have seen enough cruxifications to last several life times..|
|I want to be an "ARCH" salesmen in Venice..|
|Ferrari's influence is everywhere in Italy!|
|Got to have a few gondola photos, right??|
|CAR TIME!! Entering the Lamborghini museum..|
|This experimental model is called "The Egotista".. For the man who wants to be seen. A single seater hyper car. Must be compensating for something???|
|A Muira motor and gearbox. One of my all time favorites!|
|One of the all time great designs.. The man who designed this car was 19 years old when he did it. Talk about talent!!|
|A Lambo 400Gt. One of the very first cars I professionally restored in the mid 1970s for a customer.|
|Always wanted to win an F1 race...|
|Elegant car with an elegant woman.. ;)|
|About the only Muira I will ever be able to afford.. :(|
|Talk about making an entrance.. Pulling up to the Lambo factory in a new Lambo..|
|This was a local coffee shop we went to near the factory. You can rent the Lambo outside for only $1100 per hour..|
|A quick drive by the Maserati factory.|
|I think we are entering the Ferrari side of town..|
|Does it get any more Ferrari than this?? A Ferrari sign, a Ferrari worker in uniform, with a Ferrari driving by..|
|The parking lot of the Ferrari museum. A few enthusiast here today.|
|This is the power train from the new La Ferrari. The basic V-12 motor "only"puts out 800HP so there is an electric motor ( the green add on at the rear) that adds another 160+ HP when you need to pass for a total of 960+HP..|
|When you have 960HP you need brakes like these but you probably don't want to be around when the car needs a brake job, which can easily run in excess of $50,000 just for the brakes!!|
|The ridiculously complicated steering wheel of a modern F1 car!! What does the driver have to do anymore other than adjust knobs.? ;)|
|Her mother must be very proud of her..|
|What a nice guy!! Our tour bus driver stopped our bus, got out, and walked this elderly many across the street.. |
|The original Ferrari factory built by Mr. Ferrari back in the 1950s. Now long since replaced.|
|Welcome to Pagani|
|Mr. Pagani's first race car he built when he was 19! There is talent and then there is real talent.|
|At least we still had enough energy for another night out on the town.. ;)|
|Beautiful woman in a beautiful city..|
|One more injury for Mr. Tough.|
|I don't get it... How could such an elegant woman come from me???|
|More ideas for a garage addition..|
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