Famed Carrozzeria, Bacchelli & Villa, Enters New Era
Report from Keith Bluemel
Carrozzeria Auto Sport de Bacchelli & Villa in Bastiglia, just to the north of Modena, underwent a major change in its structure on 15 September 2017, when it was purchased by the Mattioli Auto Group (MAG), the owners of Ferrari Beverly Hills, Ferrari Maserati Silicon Valley, Ferrari South Bay and Ferrari Westlake. This California network of four factory-authorized Ferrari dealers specializes in new and pre-owned sales, service, Classiche factory certification, collision repair and genuine parts, and also includes the first Ferrari Factory Authorized Body Shop on the West Coast, as well as their racing team, Scuderia Corsa. As an aside, the racing team have just won the Weathertech IMSA SportsCar GT–Daytona class Manufacturers’ Championship for Ferrari, for the third year in succession.
Apart from a new owner, the company also has a new General Director, Marco Arrighi, a great friend and ally of Cavallino Magazine and the Cavallino Classic, and well known to many of our readers and entrants from his time at Ferrari Classiche, who started his new venture on 22 September 2017. His move into a “brave new world” comes after a 39-year long spell at Ferrari, starting on the V-8 production line in November 1978, of which he became overall head some 13 years later. He then became After Sales Manager in the Servizio Assistenza Technica (SAT) division, responsible for Italy, France, Belgium, Portugal and Greece, eventually becoming the company’s Warranty Manager, responsible for After Sales Managers worldwide.
In 2005, he moved to the then recently formed Classiche department, where he became the Chief Co-ordinator in 2008, and Commercial Manager in 2015. His wealth of knowledge of the company products and working practices should hold him in good stead for success in his new venture, where one of the founder’s, Franco Bacchelli, remains as Honorary President.
The company was founded in 1972 by Franco Bacchelli and Roberto Villa, to maintain and repair sports and racing cars. Franco Bacchelli had worked for Piero Drogo’s Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena, and Roberto Villa learned his aluminium crafting skills at the renowned Scaglietti workshop, which was eventually absorbed into the Ferrari Empire as part of the Fiat takeover in 1969. Initially they traded under their surnames as Bacchelli & Villa, but later changed the company name to Carrozzeria Auto Sport, and have worked for Ferrari for a number of years on different projects, one of them being the 512 BB/LMs of the early eighties.
As part of the approach of the new ownership and management, the company name is reverting to the original historical name of Bacchelli & Villa, with plans to expand the restoration side of the business, as they have the skilled artisan craftsmen, and the premises are of adequate size to increase capacity of this aspect of their business.
We will have a more thorough examination of the history of Bacchelli & Villa, with many of the Ferraris they have worked on, in a future issue of Cavallino.