Vincenzo Marciano or the wizard of meccano.

One understands it as a child, when instead of playing with toys you dismantle them and then put them back together, maybe in a different way. They tell you it's not how you should treat things, but they do not understand that you want to see inside them, understand how they work. Vincenzo Marciano is a sixty year old child, who dismantles and puts back together slightly expensive toys, as Oscar Wilde would have said, that smell of burnt engine oil and powdered asbestos. Vincenzo was born in the village of Torella dei Lombardi and grew up in Tuscany because his father, like many others, moved there in order to find a piece of land, a job and a school for his children. Having completed his technical qualification, he started working at “Pistoni Asso”, but his dream was to race, to drive cars in race tracks, especially on the race track of Cerrina, Turin's old airport. However “a piece of land and a job”  do not allow you to put aside enough money to buy a racing car. So, saving bit by bit, a screw and a metal sheet at the time, he started to build his own car around a Fiat “milletrè", with a dual ignition taken from an Alfa Romeo. Vincenzo started this project of building a car in 1969 and three years later in 1972 he was able to turn the key for the first time and drive it onto the road.

In the meantime the Cerrina racing track had closed and he needed to focus on working: after seven years he quit at “Pistoni Asso” and started his own business creating exhaust pipes for motorcycles. He continued this business for a few years until his individually mounted and welded mufflers could no longer keep-up with the market. He then started dealing in furnishing components, but his heart still beat with cylinders and opened valves. Then one day towards the end of 1982 he was presented with the opportunity of building a replica Jaguar SS100 and he embarked on his new career as a car “builder”, but a slightly unorthodox builder: he rebuilds cars either by restoring an existing one, or by recreating one that has until then been just a desire.
Vincenzo Marciano started to bring back to life automobiles that made him dream as a young child; racing cars used in races for gentlemen, of circuits such as Pau, La Sarthe (Le Mans), Nurburring, automobiles that have remained in the history of racing cars: Gran tourer cars. Having replicated the Jaguar SS10 he moved on to Ferraris: the 250SWB and the 250 Le Mans, two legendary models of the Maranello-based company.

These are rare cars, sought after by collectors the world over; these are reproduction exercises, the dismantled and put back together again toys that this wizard of meccano dedicates his life to. Vehicles that are milestones of car history, which have traced an evolutionary rift in terms of technique and style of what then happened in the world of automobiles. They are difficult to find, difficult to buy: but you can turn to Vincenzo and get him to build an exact replica that gives you the pleasure of owning and driving a car dating back a few decades, where everything has been perfectly reproduced. You will be able to live the thrill of tackling ups and downs, maybe those of the Eau Rouge-Raidillon in Spa, hands clasping a wooden steering wheel, turning back the hands of time to a period when these automobiles were driven by the likes of Surtees, Genbedien or Salvadori.

In the artisan district of Ponsacco there is a rather indifferent looking warehouse built of expanded clay and metal sheet, with a Giugiaro chassis rested on a pair of easels on the way in. When you enter you will find metal sheets, pipes, chassis, motors, all the equipment. If you want to understand where you are, you just need to raise your eyes to the sky. Hanging from the ceiling you will see a twine of pipes hovering over you, the “shapes” of the cars, “that is where it all starts, on those shapes we mould the metal sheets by hand to create cars”. Every car that has been reproduced by Vincenzo Marciano has its imprint, a light, aerial, suspended memory up there, substance of dreams and desires. If your dream makes a “broom broom” sound that you cannot find on the market, come and try looking up here if you can recognize it, but no need to worry if you don't find it because the meccano wizard will be able to create it and bring it back to life.


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