TodayApril 16, 2022

Matteo Umberto Panini Maserati museum

A dog named car

Outside of Modena, Italy is a little town, Cittanova; that is home to some of the most delicious organic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in the world. You will think you have made a wrong turn on the barely two-way countryside, but keep going past the cows, past the cheese factory to the barking dog named Car. Yes, Car. Matteo, Umberto’s son, can tell you the story behind the name while he takes you around a museum that has more classic Maseratis than anywhere else I know of in the world. You can find out more at paninimotormuseum. It’s a private museum so contact them first.

One of Matteo’s favorite vehicles is the 1934 Italian single-seater Tipo 6C 34 – the first six-cylinder car made by Maserati. According to Matteo, only four of these cars were built, and it is one of the old Formula One cars that was raced during its time. Matteo tells stories of Novari breaking an agreement with Enzo Ferrari, about the Auto Union, now known as Audi, and Adolph Hitler, Alfa Romeo, and Mussolini.

Matteo talks about the perils of racing back then and “just for what? Just for the pleasure to drive.”

Most of the cars in the Panini Museum are in matching condition, meaning all the numbers match on the chassis, etc. The vintage cars are used for parades at such places as Goodwood, but Matteo does drive them occasionally.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.