My thanks to Eric Fernandez for bringing to my attention this wonderful museum in So Cal, and providing the photographs. Eric is a proud member of F1Weekly familia, and his passion for Formula One was fired by watching Nelson Piquet hustling his Parmalat Brabham in the streets of Long Beach in the early 80s.
The Marconi Automotive Museum is located in Tustin on 1302 Industrial Drive. The collection of automobiles, ranging from F1 machinery and Keke Rosberg’s Formula Atlantic pink car to muscle cars Americana, has an estimated value of $30m.
Dick Marconi is the man behind the museum, which opened in 1994. Originally from Gary, IN – also the birthplace of the Jackson 5 – Marconi made his money in developing and manufacturing custom made vitamins, weight loss products and supplements.
Schumacher. The man who owned ‘won’. In 1996, Michael Schumacher joined Scuderia Ferrari after back-to-back titles with Benetton. He scored an epic win for the Italian team in the rain in Spain. From 2000-2004, The Red Baron ruled the grand prix world and won five successive championships. The men in Maranello included Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and South African designer Rory Byrne.
Mclaren Honda. Back to the future. This combo produced three world titles for the Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna, and memorable duels with Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell. The Japanese giant is back with McLaren for 2015, and so is Fernando Alonso. The championship that got away in 2007 may be waiting in the near future.
Hill. Climb to success. Damon Hill is the first world champion son of a championship winning father. Damon raced motor bikes and also worked as a bike messenger before arriving in Formula One. In 1996, he was World Champion for Frank Williams. This could have been his second had it not been for the Adelaide action in 1994 of his arch rival, M Schumacher.
Another treat to enjoy while visiting this museum in So Cal, as confirmed by Eric himself, the local burrito is bueno.
Photos by Eric Fernandez