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Museo Nicolis acclaimed by Historic Motoring Awards


Museo Nicolis, Museo Nicolis acclaimed by Historic Motoring Awards, ClassicCars.com Journal
Luciano Nicolis and some of his cars

And the winner is… When it came time for the recent Historic Motoring Awards presentation of the Museum of the Year, the winner was the Museo Nicolis.

Founded in 2000 by Luciano Nicolis, the museum’s website notes, “This is no traditional Museum. The Museum is made by Luciano Nicolis. Into this work, which through hundreds of cars, motorbikes and bikes tells the story of how transport has evolved over the last 2 centuries. But there is also a lot more besides in the Museum-non-Museum: cameras, typewriters, musical instruments, unfindable items.”

Housed in a building of ultra-modern architecture in Verona, Italy, the museum offers more than 21,000 square feet of display space with eight collections, including 200 cars, 110 bicycles “of the great champions,” 100 motorbikes, 500 cameras, 100 musical instruments, 100 typewriters, 100 Formula 1 steering wheels, as well as small airplanes and “original works of human talent.”

Museo Nicolis, Museo Nicolis acclaimed by Historic Motoring Awards, ClassicCars.com Journal
Inside the museum | Museum photo by A. Rosa
Museo Nicolis, Museo Nicolis acclaimed by Historic Motoring Awards, ClassicCars.com Journal
Stunning vehicles and architecture

Nicolis is the scion of a family that has been involved in recycling for more than 80 years, dating to 1934 when his grandfather started collecting paper, “to find jewels where others only saw scrap,” as the website puts it. Nicolis’ daughter, Silvia, is considered the museum’s driving force.

Among the museum’s holdings are the first petrol-driven engine patented by Enrico Bernardi in 1882 and the Isotta Fraschini celebrated in the movie, Sunset Boulevard.

For more information, visit the museum’s website.


Lotus designer drawings, documents donated

Museo Nicolis, Museo Nicolis acclaimed by Historic Motoring Awards, ClassicCars.com Journal
One of Ron Hickman’s sketches donated to British museum
Museo Nicolis, Museo Nicolis acclaimed by Historic Motoring Awards, ClassicCars.com Journal
Hickman proposal for a Ford Chameleon

More than 100 sketches and concept drawings, as well as photographs and other documents by the late Lotus designer and inventor Ron Hickman, have been donated to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, by Hickman’s widow, Helen. Ron Hickman died in 2001 at age 78.

He was responsible for the design of such vehicles as the Lotus Elan, Europa and elite, as well as the Black & Decker Workmate folding workbench. 

Museo Nicolis, Museo Nicolis acclaimed by Historic Motoring Awards, ClassicCars.com Journal
More of the Hickman collection

Special events this weekend

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island offers admission discounts to veterans from November 10-12.

“SCCA, Part 2” is the theme for the Demo Day event Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, where the cars to be exercised in the parking lot are a 1952 Cunningham C4R, 1956 Maserati 300 S, 1956 Jaguar D-type and 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing.”

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, hosts a Corvette Racing Weekend on November 9-10 with driving events, a dinner featuring racers Doug Fehan and Tommy Milner and Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter, and other activities.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeast Indiana offers a free lecture, “VIPs of the Auburn Automobile Co.” at 2 p.m. Sunday. E.L. Cord is well known, but collections manager Sam Grate will feature others, including Roy Faulkner and Harold Ames.

The 11th annual “Vets ’n Vettes” event runs November 8-10 at the National Corvette Museum and its NCM Motorsports Park. The program includes laps around the track, road tours and participation in the Bowling Green (Kentucky) Veterans Day Parade. Registration closes October 23.

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, features Randy Cannon and his book, Stardust International Raceway: Motorsports Meets the Mob in Vags, 1965-1971. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. until noon and also will serve as a reunion for anyone who raced at the Stardust circuit.

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles unveils its new exhibit, “Legends of Los Angeles: Southern California Race Cars and Their Builders,” opens at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

“Tuners@ACM” is the title of a new exhibit opening November 10 at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. The exhibit opens with an “art-in-motion” event from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Mark your calendar

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island will show Bullitt at 7 p.m. on November 14 and plans a “Hoods Up” weekend November 17-18.

The Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile in Torino, Italy, hosts author Luca Ponzi at 6 p.m. November 15 to present his new book, Sergio Marchionne: The story of the manager who saved Fiat and conquered Chrysler.

On November 16, the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, hosts an “exhibits Preview Party” from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. offering the first look at its new fall/winter exhibits: “Land Yachts: post WWII Luxury Convertibles” and “Dodge Brothers Display: Mid-Atlanta Dodge Brothers Club.” The museum also will be decked out with its “Cars & Christmas” displays.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, opens its outdoor ice-skating rink on November 16. The rink remains open through January 6, 2019.

The AACA Library in Hershey, Pennsylvania, has converted its 16mm film collection to digital format and will share six of them during a series starting November 17 with the showing of The Films of Jam Handy at 1 p.m. Handy was an Olympic swimmer who became a film producer and did instruction and training movies for General Motors from the 1930s through the ’50s.

Other titles to be shown are Ab Jenkins, Salt King on December 15; several car-based comedies on January 12; early AACA meets on February 16; the Gildden Tour history on March 23; and Shell Oil’s History of Motor Racing Part I & II on April 13.

The REVS Institute in Naples, Florida, hosts “A Special Evening with David Hobbs and Andrew Marriott” on November 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. featuring their book, Hobbo — Motor Racer, Motor Mouth: The Autobiography of David Hobbs.

The National Corvette Museum’s NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, offers an introduction to high-performance driving on November 17.

The annual library sale at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on November 23 and from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on November 24.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, stages its Polar Express pajama party from 6 to 9 p.m. on November 30.

America On Wheels’ 11th annual Moonlight Memories gala in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is scheduled for December 1 from 6 until 10 p.m.

Engines roar when the Antique Caterpillar Club visits the California Ag Museum in Woodland, California, from noon until 3 p.m. on December 1.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, has opened registration of its Museum In Motion trip to the 24 hours of Le Mans race in 2019. The dates are June 6-17, 2019, and the trip includes four nights in London and three nights in Paris.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.



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