Gear: Here’s Why One Of The Coolest Collections Has No Ferraris

Here’s Why One Of The Coolest Collections Has No Ferraris

By Jared Paul Stern
January 4, 2016

Photos of Corrado Lopresto by Jared Paul Stern; publication photos supplied by Skira

Editor’s note: Lopresto’s curator, Michele P. Casiraghi, wrote in to help correct a few errors. The text has been updated accordingly. He also mentioned the collection’s newest addition is a Stola S81 “Stratos” prototype from 2000.

Milanese architect and entrepreneur Corrado Lopresto is the very definition of dashing. I first encountered him at the 2012 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance, where he took home the “People’s Choice” award for his stunning 1931 Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Spider Aprile. Two years before that, he’d won Best in Show at Hilton Head for another knockout Alfa: a 1942 6C 2500 SS.

Strictly bush league stuff where he’s concerned, though—to date he’s racked up some 200 concours awards including 50 Best In Shows, and he’s the only man on Earth to have won the to-kill-for Coppa d’Oro at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este four times. He probably uses Pebble Beach trophies as paperweights. Of course, Lopresto’s sensational collection of 100-plus cars is comprised of Italian classics – but not a single one of them is a Ferrari or Maserati.

Which makes it all the more interesting, of course.

He favors Alfas and Lancias, Fiats, and Isotta Fraschinis. His collection isn’t open to the public, but you can get an eyeful of it in Best In Show: Italian Masterpieces from the Lopresto Collection just published by Skira. “I’m willing to pay for a shape, for a design, for the person who’s behind it,” the book quotes. “I don’t want to pay [for] the prestige of a particular marque.”

In it, you can trace an obsession which began at the age of 18 with his first acquisition, a Fiat Balilla Lusso. His primary passion is for one-off coachbuilt examples from the famed houses of Bertone, Pininfarina, Carrozzeria Touring and more, but he also has a few prized prototypes and chassis no. 1 models, including an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Bertone Prototype and an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Pininfarina Prototype.

“In the 1980s, when everyone was betting on the classics, I chose prototypes, those cars where talent and brilliance is expressed best,” Lopresto writes in the book, which retails for about $90 and is a suitably elegant bit of coffee table ballast. His earliest car is a 115-year-old year old Isotta Fraschini Tipo 1902 that was once in the Ford Museum, to the “youngest” car in the book, a 1973 DeTomaso Pantera II 7x Montella prototype.

Both damned sexy in their own way.

If you’d like a copy of the book, the easiest route is simply to email the collection directly—they’ll figure out shipping and send one out to you. Email for more details.

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MichelFilandro LeoneCarlos FerreiraRocco TaroccoDennis White Recent comment authors
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The coachwork has to have artistic style, and great design done with finesse. Based on my own criteria and preference, I gravitate towards Alfa but design and finesse can be found in other marques as well. Some that come to mind include the 1973 Citroen DS 23 Pallas, and the early 1970’s Mercedes Benz 280 SE 3.5 Convertibles, also stylish coaches. In my opinion, it’s easier to make a car go fast than to make it a stylish vehicle.

Rocco Tarocco
Rocco Tarocco

A supercar collection without Ferrari and Maserati is like a beautiful woman without breast.

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira

No, it just shows that the collector thinks for himself / herself. Collect what you like and what you want, not what everybody else collects and tells you to collect. I like Ferraris, but having them in a collection doesn’t show much originality.

Filandro Leone
Filandro Leone

Lopresta must be a leg man.

Dennis White
Dennis White

Santa brought the book and it’s as beautifully produced as the cars. Highly recommended.

Amadeo Destrini
Amadeo Destrini

Sr. Lopresto is a true lover of art, automobiles and history. What a great accomplishment as an individual, to win so many honors, while at the same time keeping watch over such great Italian heirlooms. I’m buying the book as we speak!