The Creative Workshop Presents: The Stanguellini Engine in the Wine Cellar

Feature

The story of a Stanguellini 750, vintage racing, and artistic perfection.

It sounds like a fairytale: you restore a Stanguellini 750 that last turned its wheels a few decades ago. And it's powered by a racing Mercury outboard engine that replaced the original. Since then, however, it's become lost in the dust of time. And then, out of nowhere, after you'd been looking for an original engine all over the globe, an original unused unit had been found in no less a place than a wine cellar in northern France.

It is not clear whether the sommelier ever knew that the piece of metal on which he put his tray on was a precious engine that many restorers would love to get their hands on. However, at the end of the day, it was delivered to The Creative Workshop, where owner Jason Wenig and his crew were restoring an old and rusty Stanguellini. "Half of the body was rotted away, damaged beyond repair," says Wenig, "so we had to create box to hand form the aluminum. The car was modified heavily and many parts were missing. Sourcing original early fifties Italian racing parts was an incredible challenge.

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I had established a good relationship with the Stanguellini museum in Modena and had visited it twice before. "So the Stanguellini has it all. It has a lot of fabrication, a lot of fact-finding, history checking, and parts sourcing. It was one of the most challenging projects we've ever done. "My client originally sent the engine to a specialist for this specific type, but he screwed it up royally. Three weeks before Pebble Beach we were running the engine and the head started to leak fluid. So we went into a complete and total panic.

We had to machine the head, create custom gaskets and bolts to secure that head down, all of which had to happen we had to rebuilt that engine three times in about a week and a half, over and over and over again about two weeks before Pebble Beach. It was an absolute disaster." Matching the original Stanguellini's red was also a challenge and required a cooperation among other colleagues. After numerous phone calls and emails one individual contributed the color code which was found to be correct after checking it with the museum.

This color code was later given to a few other Stanguellini owners and at the first ever Etceterini gathering at the Emilia Island event. Four out of five Stanguellini cars were sprayed in exactly the same color and toning. "Now that everybody is painting Stanguellini in the same red from Italy to America, we're all getting it right," says Wenig.

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