The number ‘1’ has a special appeal for Corrado Lopresto. And also in his passion for classic cars, the Italian architect and entrepreneur is guided by the ‘1’. His private museum in Milan houses a unique collection of vehicles from the brands Alpha Romeo, Autobianchi, Lancia, Osca and Isotta Fraschini: all one-of-a-kind bodies and prototypes. Frequently and with great success, Corrado Lopresto shows his gems at international competitions. Being the only collector worldwide to have achieved this, the architect and entrepreneur has won the Prix Coppa d’Oro at Villa d’Este no less than four times.
Do you prefer to purchase well-preserved classic cars or vehicles that need restoration?
I have always preferred finding preserved cars. Even if I know the best restorers in the world, nothing equals having a well-preserved vehicle.
May a vehicle still show signs of usage even after restoration or do you strive to make it look impeccable at any cost?
I think the concept has changed since the presentation of my Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca in Villa d’Este last year. Now, showing a well-preserved car is much more fascinating than an impeccable restored one. This type of restoration is a new technique that took inspiration from the restoration of old paintings and it got the UNESCO award which was given for the first time in history to the restoration of a car.
Is there a vehicle that you are eager to add to your collection, and if so, why specifically this car?
No, I am not interested in buying new cars. My biggest regret is not having bought cars in the past that now would make a great addition to my collection.
You not only collect classic cars, you also drive them. Are you not worried that the valuable specimens might suffer any damage?
Yes, I’m always worried to see my cars damaged, but there is no greater satisfaction than seeing a well-restored car on the road.
You own more than 100 classic cars and can tell a story about virtually all of them. Still, is there a car that is particularly dear to your heart? If so, what is it that makes this car more special than the others?
Certainly, each car has a special history and I am attached to all of them, but of course I have my favorite one: the Alfa Romeo 2500 Villa d’Este, because that one made me win the gold cup in villa d Este the very first time I took part in a competition.
You present your vehicles at international competitions; what does it take for an event to be interesting for you to show your cars?
I think collectors are like children: for us, events are a way to see friends, to exchange ideas, find out the others’ secrets. Therefore, every event is interesting and appealing in my opinion.
Building a collection like yours requires high investments but also passion. Apart from your own joy in owning the specimens, is there also a philosophy behind your collection that will stand the test of time?
The theme of my collection is unique Italian cars or those that were only produced in small series. These cars were designed by the greatest de- signers for princes, maharajahs and rich businessmen. Therefore, they needed to be of the best quality and design. The fact that I decided to build a collection based on these cars makes my collection unique in the world. In the last few years, the passion for Made in Italy has grown and thus also the interest in my collection, which made me win in the most prestigious competitions.