Patience is the first quality one needs when seeking Carlo Bonini’s expertise. A lot of patience, because the waiting list is over five years long. “There’s a Ferrari in my garage that has been parked here for ten years. Every so often, the owner calls me up to ask me ‘Bonini, is my turn coming up?’” says 72-year-old Bonini with a laugh. Just as unbelievable as the waiting times is the fact that his clients wait without complaining, because they are aware that there is no one else in the world like Bonini. When it comes to the restoration and maintenance of a Ferrari, he is the absolute number one, thanks to his fifty years of experience and the fact that, since the end of the 1980s, he has worked exclusively on Maranello’s famous red cars.Read the full interview
It belonged to my uncle and my father, and it was just below our family home, where I continue to live now. In that workshop we used to repair everything, from cars, to tractors, to motorbikes. I trained by repairing Balilla and Topolino cars.Did you always have a passion for race cars?
I absolutely did: Alfa Romeo, Lancia... I remember the day when the first Ferrari arrived in the garage: it was a Daytona. I repaired it and the result was so good that the owner recommended us to other Ferrari owners. It was the beginning of our adventure.
He has always been very much like me. He used to come back from school, throw his satchel on the floor and come straight to the garage, never leaving my side. I used to tell him “Go out and play!” But he was stubborn. Today he is indispensable, and he represents the future of this workshop.What was the most exciting moment of your career?
Meeting Mr Ferrari. One day I went to Maranello to buy some repair parts. I was driving a Toyota that I had recently restored. He passed by, stopped to look at the car and went into his office. I waited for hours, and when he came back out, I introduced myself. “I’ve heard about you,” he said. I went home with a fever.