Car collector Corrado Lopresto has assembled the finest field of Italian automobiles in all of Italy (and possibly in the world). Sports Car Digest was given a rare look at the classics, and some of the quirks, that make up the Lopresto Collection.
Just beyond these doors lie one-of-a-kind Lancias, Fiats, Alfa Romeos, and many smaller, boutique Italian carmakers. It would be nearly impossible to feature all 150+ Lopresto cars in one story. So instead, we’ll take a closer look at some of the outstanding, unique autos in the collection.
The first thing that catches your eye is this bright white car, among all the darker autos. This outstanding vision of Italian engineering and design is a 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Spider Aprile.
This ‘31 Alfa is more than just a museum display. This priceless piece of automotive history also has a racing pedigree, most recently campaigned in the 2018 Mille Miglia by Corrado Lopresto and his son Duccio.
Signore Lopresto drove this automobile, a 1934 Lancia Augusta, in the 2021 Mille Miglia. It was the first car’s first appearance in the signature Italian race.
At first glance, these two Alfa Romeo autos would appear to be very different. One looks a lot bigger than the other. But underneath, they are both built on the Alfa 6C 2500 SS chassis and motor.
The difference is the style and craftsmanship of the bodywork. The body on the left was built by Pinin Farina in 1949, while the one on the right is a 1942 Bertone model.
The “Berlinetta” body by Pinin Farina on this Alfa was commissioned by nobleman Giovanni San Giorgio Gualtieri from Catania in 1949. It may also be the first car in the world equipped with twin headlights.
The Bertone styling on this ’42 Alfa is impeccable. The car was originally purchased by a car dealer in Como, Italy, before spending time in Switzerland and then the USA before finally coming back to Italy for restoration and preservation.
The fluid, flowing lines of the earlier Alfas gave way to the more angular look of this 1955 Lancia Florida. This car marked a serious break in coachwork design.
With a nearly-total absence of decoration, it is not an exaggeration to say this Lancia changed car design forever.
Tucked into a corner of the collection is another Lancia—and this car predates any other Lancia in existence. This 12 horsepower 1908 Lancia “Double Phaeton” is the world’s oldest Lancia, one of 108 units produced, and the oldest surviving chassis and body.
The frame and motor of this ‘08 Lancia were assembled in Italy, then shipped to the United States as a bare chassis. The bodywork was hammered-out and mounted to the chassis by Miller Bros. of Amesbury, Massachusetts.
O.S.C.A. (Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili—Fratelli) was an Italian manufacturer of racing and sports cars established by the Maserati Brothers after they left the company that bears their name. This 1961 1600 GT, in the middle above, is the first road O.S.C.A. road car.
The exterior and drive train of this O.S.C.A. have been comprehensively restored, but the interior remains in completely original, preserved condition. It is one of only two 1600 GTs with coachwork by Touring Superleggera.
This is the car that started it all. This 1933 Fiat Balilla is the first historic automobile purchased by Signore Lopresto. His ownership of this Fiat in 1979 began a string of acquisitions spanning more than four decades.
In 2019, Signore Lopresto drove this Fiat 1,500 kilometers across Italy in an adventure he called the “Raid Palermo-Reggio Calabria-Milan” to celebrate his first 40 years of car collecting.
The first of two historic vehicles that don’t fall into the category of “sports” car, this modified 1929 Fiat 521 Coupe was transformed into a mobile movie projection van in 1938, built to serve the smaller Italian towns and villages that did not have a proper movie theater. It also served time in Africa before returning to Italy for restoration in 1950.
The Istituto Nazionale Luce Servizio Fotocinematografico (“National Institute of Light Photocinematographic Service”) was established in 1924 with the aim of spreading political propaganda and dissemination of culture through cinema, and the production of newsreels and documentaries.
It looks like the offspring of a military battle tank and the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. This unique beast, built on a Fiat chassis, was used for promotions by Prest Brodo di Manzo, an Italian soup broth company. They’d roll this vehicle out to promotional events and shoot small cubes of bullion out of the cannon.
The black-and-white photo in the lower right, from the 1950s, shows the vehicle in operation. It has been restored to its original condition—and yes, the cannon can still fire bullion cubes.
We end our look inside the Lopresto Collection with one final view of the automobiles, and a glimpse of just a few of the countless trophies won by the Lopresto autos. Our sincere thanks to Michele Casiraghi for allowing us to photograph these priceless classic cars and share the images here.