News

In a land far, far away...

It's been six busy months since we moved to Italy. I am glad to report things have been going well both with settling in the new job as well as for the family settling in a new country, but so far I have had very little free time and barely managed to keep up with normal website updates. Things are getting easier now, so on the occasion of updating our website with these fantastic images from the recent NBVTC working weekend I can finally break the silence and write some news!

First of all I am delighted to see and hear how brilliant the recent working weekend was. I cannot help but feeling a bit sorry for myself as I could not be there, because of all agricultural things I love harvest the most. I remember I once discussed farming with a math professor from Milwakee (as you do with a math professor I suppose...) and he said that he can always tell which of his students were from a farming background, because they understand "work". In farming you really see the results of your hard work, whereas in all our glorified office jobs all we do is to edit files hidden on a computer drive... Harvest is when you see what you have been able to produce, and seeing all these old combines at work brings back memories of all times I have been hanging on the edge of a trailer with my dad, waiting for the grain coming off the auger for the first time! Incidentally the Claas Mercur you had at the show is exactly like the first combine we bought second hand when I was 5 years old, which we nicknamed the "big rusty"... I sent the picture to my brother who had to pleasure to drive it for 5 years, eating dust in the Italian summer heat...!!! I am sure it brought tears to his eyes...

So, what is it like working and living in Maranello? Well, if you like cars you are in the right place. The town is all about Ferrari, the factory, the museum, the Fiorano racing track... everywhere you turn you see a red sportscar, as there are several places that for a few hundreds Euro will give you the pleasure of driving one. Most restaurants you go to will have pictures showing the owner proudly posing with a racing driver or some VIP who probably came by to pick his own Ferrari and then stopped for some traditional local dishes, like "gnocco e tigelle", with some good wine. With the current sporting regulations we are not allowed to test the current F1 racing car on our own Fiorano racing track, but the track is used daily with production cars, GT cars or old F1 cars. You can imagine the noise is quite laud in town, as the track is literally in Maranello! But nobody complains. This is music. The sound of a Ferrari engine is holy.

I have not really been able to see anything vintage so far... apart from the Ferrari museum which include some pretty interesting vintage cars, see picture here!!! I know of some local clubs and I am planning to take a look soon though. There is a fair bit of farming going on around us, and farmers here do often use some old gear which would feature very well at our shows! In particular I have seen lots of crawlers like Fiat 605C, Fiat Allis AD7, or AD14. The land is pretty hilly around here, so the crawlers are the tractors of choice. Also for harvesting you definitely need some special machines, like the self levelling Claas in the picture I am showing here below. As you can see the conditions are probably on the limit, as I guess there was not an inch of travel left for the levelling rams... With the wheat at 180 Euro a ton you wonder why bother in these sort of lands... nonetheless they do, and on the day I knew they were harvesting the fields around our house I came home at lunch time just to take some pictures of this combine. I spent an hour in baking sun waiting for them to get going, and they were quite impressed and pleased for the interest I showed! They do not get many mad blokes with a camera taking pictures of old rusty combines...!