Umberto Panini was born in February 1930 in Pozza di Maranello, the second youngest of 8 brothers; he trained as engineer and also worked as a welder and mechanic in several companies including Stanguelllini and Maserati Motor Cycles.

In 1957 he left Italy for Venezuela to make his fortune, he married his wife Tina Bertacchini by proxy and she joined him in 1959. They had 4 children.

He returned to Italy in 1964 to join his brothers in the newly established family business, Edizioni Panini, a printing company specialising producing stickers, there he designed and built an automatic film packaging machine to pack the finished product.

The company was sold and in 1989, and Umberto concentrated on the development of another family business, Hombre, an organic agri-food company with dairy cattle. The major product of the company is high quality Parmigiano Regina cheese.

Umberto Panini started his car collection in 1987 and dedicated it in the main to Maserati and built the museum you see today, the interior is designed to reflect a railway station with a large amount of cast iron work

The collection of 40 cars, 60 motor cycles, 20 historic tractors, a number of engines and other significant mechanical parts and memorabilia.

Hanging posters show the history of Maserati from its beginnings in 1914 through to the present day.

Highlights of the collection are the Maserati 1934 6C and A6G CS Berlinetta.

There are two special Maserati racing cars on display from the late 1950’s, one that was driven by Fangio and the other a 1958 420M that was driven by Sterling Moss it is in the colours of his sponsor “Eldorado”.

Other cars housed in the museum include some American cars from the 1930’s including a Cadillac 355 Limousine used by the Vatican.

Other memorabilia on display adds to the atmosphere.

This museum is small when compared to other museums; it is fine collection of historic cars and other vehicles and is well worth a visit.

As an added bonus you can also visit the cheese factory and taste the high quality Parmiglano Regglano cheese washed down with the local wine.

Report by Alan Page