Composing at 90 kilometres per hour
Franchetti frequently featured in the society pages at the turn of the century, partly because of his passion for motoring. In 1897 he founded the Italian Motorists’ Club along with Giuseppe Ricordi, O. Gorla and F. Belloni. In 1899 he became the president of the organization, which in the meantime had become the Automobile Club of Milan and later changed its name again to the Italian Automobile Club (ACI). The composer even took part in the first ever Mille Miglia (1927) in his Lancia Lambda 7th Series, known as the “Franchetti Torpedo”.
In his lifetime, Franchetti possessed numerous vehicles that are still owned by private collectors today and have been displayed at a number of motoring events organized by the Scuderia Tricolore group in Reggio Emilia. Some of them have been held at the Cavazzone estate once owned by the Franchetti family in the Apennines near Reggio Emilia, where the famous Lancia Lambda was among the cars on show.
As Franchetti said himself, he loved travelling at high speeds as much as he loved music. He is known to have written next to his autograph “What could be better than composing at 90 kilometres per hour?”
The Concorso d’Eleganza
To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alberto Franchetti, a Concours d’Elegance called the Concorso d’Eleganza Barone Franchetti was launched by the Scuderia Tricolore in Reggio Emilia, in conjunction with the Club Auto Moto d’Epoca Reggiano, Cortina Car Club, the Alberto Franchetti Association and the Italian Historic Houses Association in Reggio Emilia.
The competition is only for vehicles made in or before 1960. There are prizes for the best automobiles in the following categories: “sports”, “spiders and convertibles”, “saloons”, and “coupés”. Each category is divided into two sections: “pre-1945” and “1945 to 1960”.
There is a special clothing prize for the team deemed to be dressed most elegantly.