Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Bacchelli & Villa: The Italian Restoration Maestros

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I am Bacchelli, I was born in the Modena lowlands

from a large family of farmers.

We had our head of the household, and a chef named Rasdora.

It was an old-fashioned family, which I dont regret being a part of, because we had very strong values.

When I was 14, almost 15, my father took me to Modena

to look for a job, as an alternative to the life in the country

which wasnt offering much anymore. And thats what they wanted, what I wanted.

It was a bit of luck, I dont know what,

but the first job I found was this tiny body shop that had recently opened

and they were hiring an apprentice.

So, I went for it.

Piero Drogos Sports Car body shop worked on sports cars.

He was a former sports car racer, and he knew people in Ferrari.

They worked on cars that were used for Sunday races,

mostly Ferraris.

Then, during the 60s,

in64 they were contracted for some GTOs by Ferrari

and some Bizzarrinis, too. We did work on some major projects,

but mostly it was repairs and bodywork.

It wasnt passenger cars, just race cars.

Living on a long straight road, I used to see Ferraris and Lamborghinis driving by all the time,

I started to get fascinated by them.

I wanted to do something of my own.

I always thought one day Id open

my own body shop like that one.

So, I started with the small cars, the 500s, the 600s at the time.

And then, in72, I had my breakthrough.

I opened up my body shop, which was quite a big one back then.

I started collaborating with Ferrari in76.

Thanks to the racing team manager who handled customer relations

and Ferraris designer Sergio Scaglietti, whom I later met,

I became Ferrari Authorized.

I carried on until95,

then I decided to focus on restoration work.

With the help of my clients and my famous friends, people who knew who I was,

I started getting some vehicles I could do restorations on.

I did the work other people didnt think was possible.

How I got to became authorized, at the time,

was by working on Scagliettis cars that had gotten in accidents during the Sunday races.

Mostly, they were vehicles made of acrylic-painted fiberglass 308.

This was a problem, as it was very difficult to apply acrylic to fiberglass.

They told me: “You can do it! I know you can do it!” So, I started working on the 308s.

After I became authorized, I created my so-called masterpiece:

It was a black Daytona belonging to Gianni Agnelli,

with a Principality of Andorra license plate, I still remember it.

My first car was Gianni Agnellis car.

Villa used to live in my house because he was one of my cousinsson.

He was my second cousin. Anyway, he was one of my cousinsson.

We both married women from Bastiglia.

I had a drivers license and he didnt.

So, we ended up in Bastiglia, even though we used to be 10 km from Bastiglia.

We used to share everything in the house, and worked together in Modena.

He was a panel beater, and I was a painter.

Of course, I ended up picking him, because we were a team, a family

and that relationship mattered a lot.

He was very capable, he also did motorcycle tanks,

he also used to work in a bus body shop, where the job of panel beater was born.

The bus body shop industry generated many panel beater jobs.

Many later became aluminum panel beaters, which is even easier than sheet metal.

The panel beater creates the line, gives you perfection,

he allows the painter to use less stucco.

His abilities are almost superhuman, above all for the lines, the shapes involved.

He must place the welding iron in the right place on the sheet metal to create the angle.

It takes a lot of skill.

Their hammer blows might seem random, but they always hit the correct spot

and the real skill is giving less and achieving more.

Some take more time to succeed, but the really good ones only need the right amount.

Then, there is the welding which is very difficult with aluminum

as it does not turn red like sheet metal, which lets you know when its ready.

You must have intuition with aluminum, this is something you see a lot here in Modena.

It perhaps only happens here, the traditional aluminum wire welding like the one we do,

as opposed to electric welding, with new machines. We only use wire.

Its like the history of aluminum welding.

The other car we have most often restored is the 275 GT.

We did 50 of them, which is quite a few.

This car was made in two models: the long nose and short nose,

with 1200 units produced. It was a very successful car.

I mean, no wonder it won several elegance contests almost everywhere,

from America to Villa dEste,

with one La Mans 250LM in Palm Beach, Florida. An American from Texas,

was the first American to win the Gold Cup with a Maserati 2000 Frua Special.

He went crazy, because it was so unexpected.

The car was very interesting,

We were lucky that its license plate registered in Brindisi belonged to Domenico Modugno.

Lots of work, but so much satisfaction,

but truthfully, I started out of passion,

and I believe passion takes you far.

The Description of Bacchelli & Villa: The Italian Restoration Maestros