Yes, there were the Agnellis and their Fiats, and Enzo and his red racing cars, but there are those who will tell you that it was Gianni Mazzocchi who really put Italy on wheels. And now many of Mazzocchi’s own cars will be offered for sale as the Quattroruote Collection at RM Sotheby’s auction May 14 at Monaco.
Mazzocchi, who was orphaned before he was a teenager, built a Milan-based publishing empire, Editoriale Domus, that would include Quattroruote, Italy’s leading automotive magazine. On the magazine’s pages, Mazzocchi not only popularized cars, but evaluated them and battled the government to lower gasoline taxes so people could drive them and pushed the government to build the Autostrada so people could drive them fast but safely.
Beginning in the 1950s and continuing until his death in 1984, Mazzocchi also built a huge car collection of most historically significant cars, 27 of which will be offered at Monaco, along with a 1902 De Dion-Bouton K1 chassis, a motorcycle, a moped, two 19th Century bicycles, three engines — 1930 Fiat 525 N with transmission, 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6B, and 1950 Lancia Ardea 4th series with transmission — several horse-drawn coaches and a circa-1800 sleigh.
Among the cars, all of them offered without reserve, are:
- A 1939 Bugatti Type 57 cabriolet by Gangloff that originally was on display at the 1938 Geneva Salon and was the Bugatti company demonstrator car for racer Jean-Pierre Wimille. RM Sotheby’s notes that the car still carries its original engine.
- A 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6B coupe chauffeur that Mazzocchi acquired in 1962
- A 1922 Lancia Lambda 1st series torpedo, formerly part of the John Cuthill Sword collection and acquired by Mazzocchi in 1962
- A 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II sedanca de ville with coachwork by Hooper. The car was unveiled at the 1929 Salone del’Auto di Milano, is equipped with its original body and engine and has a complete history from new and including Mazzocchi’s acquisition in 1961.
- A 1914 Benz 8/20 HP tourer that RM Sotheby’s says is one of the most significant of Brass Era models. The car still carries the badge and numbers of Antonio Vazquez Sanches of Spain, who is believed to have been its original owner. The car has been part of Mazzocchi’s collection since 1962.
The Quattroruote Collection also includes vehicles such as a 1955 Cadillac Series 662 sedan, 1937 Citroen 11BL Berline, 1964 Citroen DS 19, 1962 Fiat 1101A Campagnola, Pininfarina-designed 1972 Fiat 130 coupe, 1937 Fiat 1500 A Berline, 1955 Lancia Appia 1st series Berlina, 1925 Peugeot Type 172 BC ‘5CV,’ 1948 Studebaker Champion and 1914 SCAT Tipo 14-1 torpedo by Solaro.
RM Sotheby’s Monaco sale will include more than 100 vehicles.