The Righini Collection Is a Hidden Treasure
In real estate, location is everything, and surely there’s none better than a centuries-old castle among vineyards outside of Modena, Italy. What lies inside Castello di Panzano Castelfranco Emilia transcends even this bucolic location. Collezione Righini is one of the finest private automotive collections in the world, housing several landmark Alfas including Tazio Nuvolari’s 8C 2300, many Lancias (including a Stratos), important Formula 1 cars, and the very first car that Enzo Ferrari built after departing Alfa Romeo, the only Auto Avio Costruzioni (AAC) Type 815, which was raced in the Mille Miglia by famous driver Alberto Ascari.
Mario Righini is the current owner of this collection and resides in the castle with his family, but many of the cars were acquired by his father. During World War II, obsolete vehicles were sent by the government to the family’s scrap yard to be torn down for their raw material. Mario Righini’s father noticed that many of these vehicles didn’t deserve to be destroyed, and over the years, he kept many of the vehicles that he felt would someday be significant once again.
Last summer, right after we visited the Casa Enzo Ferrari, we drove to the castle, where the guardian and overseer of the castle opened the two tall, heavy, wooden doors for us to enter. We drove into the courtyard while stepping back in time to a rustic garden which provided a perfect backdrop for a handful of stately automobiles assembled around the courtyard.