July 15, 2024

Nicola Bulgari Houses His Lavish Car Collection In A Sleek, Minimalistic Garage

Cars are sculptures that should be seen, be touched, and be driven. ” So says Nicola Bulgari, a silver-fox connoisseur who has his hands on the steering wheel, literally: The vice-chairman of the legendary Roman jewelry-and-lifestyle firm that his Greek-born great-grandfather Sotirios Voulgaris founded in 1884 has a thing for cars.

That would be American vehicles that cruise the roads in classic Hollywood movies – sedans and cabriolets and convertibles, cars with voluptuous fenders, heavyweight doors that shut with a satisfying ka-chunk, and hand-waxed finishes that gleam like duchesse satin.

At last count he has acquired around 200, from movie queen Bette Davis’s own 1940 Buick Estate Wagon (the wood-grained rarity appeared in her 1942 film Now, Voyager) to a 1931 Ford Model A, which he recently discovered in New Orleans.

Pristine classics are lined up beneath a red 1984 Corvette and a yellow 1969 Camaro Z28, both by Chevrolet.

Most of this movable feast – many of them are prewar Buicks, one of Bulgari’s favorite marques since he bought his first one, a 1937 sedan, when he was 18 years old – is kept at the executive’s Adirondack camp–style private complex in Allentown, Pennsylvania. There, they are looked after and driven frequently (“They have to be exercised”) by a dedicated staff that often hits the track with visitors. “People need to understand what a car was in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, how they function. Otherwise it’s just a fantasy – a static, dead fantasy,” says Bulgari, who notes that he looks upon modern American vehicles with disdain. “What we’re trying to do is show young people what this country was all about: The history of America is on four wheels. ”

This 1946 Packard custom Super Eight sedan was originally owned by Italian racing legend Count Carlo Felice Trossi.

THE TYPES AND CHARACTERISTICS OF FISHING REELS In the beginning of its history, the fishing reel was intended only for convenient stowage of fishing line on the

Five years ago Bulgari constructed a smaller temple to the American automobile in Tuscany, not far from his country house, a sleek, chic modernist shard that is local architect Andrea Gobbi’s snappy renovation of a factory that made hair-removal products. The roughly 8,000-square-foot building is now skinned with bronze-colored laminated-aluminum panels that give it a prismatic, diamond-cut effect, a striking contrast to the opulent beauties it houses. “They go together very well,” Bulgari says. Floors are sand-tone resin (the dining terrace, show area, and warehouse), oak slabs (the living area), Bisazza mosaics and local stone (the baths), while some walls are painted brilliant shades of purple, yellow, and green. But it’s the treasures inside that ultimately count.

A group of Californians recently headed to Italy to visit Podernuovo, a vineyard in Siena that is owned by Bulgari’s nephew Giovanni, and two cars were needed to accommodate everyone. To the travelers’ surprise, they were picked up in a 1941 Oldsmobile and a 1938 Buick. “They came all the way from the United States to see Tuscany and were driven around in American classics,” Bulgari recounts, a delightful grin splitting his handsome face. “They were stunned. ”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *