A Visit to the Masi Shop, 2003

Text and Photos by David Cooper



In the summer of 2003, I was in Milan on business. I have a business restoring vintage European sports cars, and that summer I was starting a ground-up restoration on a 1947 Alfa Romeo 6C2500 Super Sport Pinin Farina Cabriolet. To research details and obtain parts, I had to visit the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, and several Alfa Romeo suppliers in Milan. Fortunately, I had several unscheduled hours in an afternoon so I decided to look for the Vigorelli. I had an email from Steven Maasland giving me general directions, and It turned out to be just a couple of blocks from my hotel.

I had to circle almost the whole building to find the Masi shop. It was late in the day, and Alberto was the only one in the shop (that is his Mercedes parked in front). I recognized him immediately. Our conversation used my entire vocabulary of Italian and his of English. I did manage to communicate that I owned a Grand Criterium, and was a fan. It was during the Tour de France so a TV was on showing the race in progress. Nothing else was happening, but Alberto did communicate that it was ok for me to take any photos that I wanted. I managed to ask him if it was possible to see the inside of the Vigorelli but it was locked. I found it easy to imagine the noise and excitement of race day.