“Dreams are what makes a man alive. Destiny rests largely in our own hands, provided that we know what we want and are decided to have it”

Matteo Licata
Picture of the Author, provided by… The Author!

I wish these words were mine, but they actually are from Enzo Ferrari. A man who knew a thing or two about dreams, and definitely one that lived life on his own terms.

The way I like it.

I’ve been obsessed with cars since I can remember and started drawing them almost as soon as…


As the automobile industry goes “all-in” on battery electric vehicles, do Italy’s high-end performance car manufacturers still have a place in an electrified world?

Ferrari Testarossa
Picture by Simon Bennett on Pexels.com

“A very fast car, usually one that is an unusual or rare type.”

That’s what “supercars” are, according to the Cambridge dictionary.
However, there’s no general consensus among automobile historians about the origins of both the word and the kind of automobile it defines. …


Every professional field has its own jargon, and car design is no different. Here are five of the most curious terms from an automobile designer’s vocabulary, “translated” into plain English.

Matteo Licata Citroen DS design drawing
Author’s illustration of the Citroën DS

DLO or Daylight Opening


The best part about being an Alfa Romeo historian is that you’ll never know it all about the Milanese marque. Here are five examples…

Alfa Romeo Museum Arese
The Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Milan (picture from the Author)

It is also a quintessentially Italian story: it’s intricate, made of sublime highs and heartbreaking lows, in a kind of two steps forward and three steps back drama stretching well over a hundred years. …


The Alfa 164 occupies a unique spot in the Milanese marque’s history. While it’s the last ever model Alfa Romeo developed as an independent company, it is also the first designed on a platform shared with Fiat.

Alfa Romeo 164 Story
The stunning Alfa Romeo 164 (picture from the Author)

It can also be considered the first and, so far, the last, large Alfa Romeo saloon to achieve relative market success, selling just under 270.000 units over ten years. …


The “916” GTV and Spider made quite a splash upon their introduction in late ’94, and their stunning Pininfarina design seems to have hardly aged at all, almost three decades later.

Alfa Romeo Spider
The 1995 Alfa Romeo Spider (c. Stellantis Emea Press)

Just over 80.000 examples were sold between the two models, and good survivors have been on Alfa collectors’ radars for quite some time. But I guess you didn’t know these five little factoids about these cool modern classics.

1. Creative Engineering

The GTV and the Spider were, as much of the Fiat Group’s…


One of Alfa Romeo’s greatest success stories, the 156 is a well-known model by the public and critics alike. But are you sure you know everything about it?

Alfa Romeo 156
The Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TS on display in the Marque’s museum (picture from the Author)

Launched in 1997 to worldwide acclaim, the Alfa Romeo 156 needs no introduction. Its combination of stunning looks, brilliant handling, and lusty engines, plus a very successful racing career, made the 156 one of Alfa’s greatest commercial successes. …


The creation of the Lambda a century ago represents a major turning point in Lancia’s history, not only for its commercial success but also because it set a new technological paradigm for the Marque as a whole.

Lancia Lambda
The Lambda fitted with the “ballon” removable roof (picture from the Author)

Legend has it that Vincenzo Lancia’s idea for a chassis-less automobile came to him on a boat trip, observing how the boat’s hull was a strong, self-supporting structure. …


Quite a few outstanding automobile designs have been, at one point, regarded as works of art. But how many cars have been styled by an actual artist?

Bertoni Museum
1957 DS 19 on display at the Museo Flaminio Bertoni (picture from the Author)

Flaminio Bertoni, born in northern Italy but emigrated to Paris by 1931, sought recognition for his artistic endeavors all his life.

Yet, to this day, he remains pretty much an unknown for everyone except Citroën enthusiasts who, like me, venerate him for having styled the Marque’s most iconic models.

The…


In a period when news only seems to get from bad to worse, there’s been at least one good one: Stellantis’ commitment to once again invest in the Lancia brand. Here are my five favorites…

Lancia
The Lancia Thesis, with an Aurelia B10 in the background (c. Stellantis Emea Press)

The storied Italian brand may not enjoy the same worldwide reach and brand recognition Alfa does, but sure its heritage is second to none, and I can’t wait to see what the future Lancias will be like.
But, given a suitably large budget and a capacious garage, which models from Lancia’s…

Matteo Licata

I’ve been obsessed with cars for as long as I can remember, and, after working in automobile design for a decade, now I am an Automobile Historian and Writer

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