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Michele & Maurizio Conti – The definitive Book written on the Conti family and their models
Oliver Strebel-Ritter and Peter Wallman invited anybody who owned a Conti model to come forward and be included in the book. Membership is select and complementary as there were only About 350 models total. firstname.lastname@example.org
On May 18, 2003
Close to the real thing, a Conti model combines the perfection of the art of steel, aluminum and brass panel beating and welding in miniature, with detailing in fine leather, wood, rubber and chrome work. All so much harder than working on the real thing.
Michele Conti, in his rise to fame, courted and was courted by many famous personalities, including film and television stars, business leaders, racing car drivers, team owners, royalty and politicians. Many asked for specific models to be built, reflecting either their actual car or a car they could never hope to acquire.
His models appeared in the New York Museum of Modern Art, at Ferrari headquarters and General Motors, as well as featured in museum and show exhibits, car showrooms. Enzo Ferrari, a hard man to please, ordered a model and was so amazed at its perfection that he wrote personally to Conti to lavish praise.
Michele and Maurizio Conti’s models cross the divide between models and sculpture, breathtakingly offering the client both at the same time, and, as a consequence, raising the Conti model to the level of a work of art of fine museum quality. This is reflected in the value even the most basic Conti’s achieve at auction or private sale.
“Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates (469-399BC)
Nurturing a lifelong love affair with all things automotive, and spending most of his career in owning junkyards, entrepreneur Ron Sturgeon has been a devoted collector of automotive toys, larger scale models (especially one-offs), Tippco toys, Mercedes toys, and Conti models since 1989. A portion of his more than 3,000 piece collection is on display in Fort Worth, Texas. The collection may be viewed online at www.dfwelitecarclub.com/toy_museum.com.
Sturgeon has traveled the world to add to his toy collection. He has fond memories of a special trip to Switzerland in 1998 when he bought several toys from renowned collector Count Giansanti-Coluzzi. Among the pieces Ron purchased from the Count was a one-off Fiat Balilla Roadster originally displayed at the 1970 Milan Fair.
Sturgeon’s collection includes four Michelle Conti models: an Iso Fuso, a Lamborghini Espada, a red Ferrari 553 Squalo’ F1 racer, and a silver 1955 Mercedes W196 race
“At the time,” Sturgeon said, “it was one of the most expensive toys I had ever bought. In hindsight, it was a great deal.”
Sturgeon recalls calling fellow collectors to inquire About the value of the model, but he couldn’t find anyone who knew it. In fact, only one person even knew who Conti was. The other three Contimodels were purchased at the Brooks auction in October of 1999.
“As a collector, there is no joy that matches finding a Conti,”Sturgeon said. “The precision, the dedication, and the pride of the maker are evident in every aspect of these models.
“As the owner of more than 60 full-size exotic and luxury cars that require maintenance and depreciate, I love the fact that a Conti model requires no maintenance and grows in value year after year.” All four of my Conti’s have been superb investments and a pleasure to own.”
Ron Sturgeon is a successful entrepreneur, small business consultant
, and author of two business books: How to Salvage Millions From Your Small Business and Green Weenies and Due Diligence.
Ron started his business career without the natural advantages that some say are requirements for success. His father died when Ron was a senior in high school, leaving him homeless with only a Volkswagon W Beatle and a small sum of money to his name. Out of necessity, Ron taught himself to work on the VW and used the small amount of money as seed capital to buy, fix, and resell cars.
Ron’s AAA Small Car World, Inc., became well known around Dallas-Fort Worth as the best place to get a VW fixed at a fair price. Ron was alert to opportunity and noticed that selling parts from his accumulated store of parts vehicles was very profitable. With his motto of “Mission Possible,” and a fearless dedication to intelligent risk taking, he built one of the largest salvage businesses in the Southeastern United States from these modest beginnings.
When Ford Motor Company came calling in 1999 with an offer to buyout Ron, his operation had grown to six yards and 150 employees. Ron stayed busy after the Ford buyout. He added to his commercial real estate holdings, launched, grew, and sold an auto auction business to the largest public company in the sector, and started a small business consulting practice for clients in the auto salvage business.
With three partners, Sturgeon repurchased all of the salvage yards that were part of Ford’s Greenleaf subsidiary in 2003. By refocusing the unit on the functions vital to regaining profitability, Sturgeon and his partners were able to make dramatic improvements in the financials and resell the business in 2005 to a public company.
May 18, 2003
On May 18, 2003, Michele Conti’s achievements were formally recognized at the 2003 Reading Ferrari Concours d’ Elegance. His son Maurizio Conti was in attendance to accept for his late father the “Enzo Ferrari Hall Of Fame Award”; For his dedication to the Ferrari Automobile. This ultimate accolade summed up 40 years of the supremacy of Michele and his son Maurizio in the very specialist field of fine scratch built model making; works of art owned by only a very few but munificent in its appreciation by the very many.
So close to the real thing; a Conti model combines the perfection in the art of steel, aluminum and brass panel beating and welding in miniature, with the detailing in fine leather, wood, rubber and chrome work.. and so much harder than working on the real thing.
Michele Conti in his rise to fame, courted and was courted by many famous personalities, to include film and Television stars, business leaders, racing car drivers, team owners, royalty and politicians. Many asked for specific models to be built, reflecting either their actual car or a car they could never hope to acquire.
His models appeared in the New York Museum of Modern Art, at the Ferrari headquarters and at General Motors, as well as featuring in Museum and show displays, cars showrooms. Enzo Ferrari, a hard man to please, even ordered a model and was so amazed at its perfection, that he wrote personally to Conti to lavish praise.
Michele and Maurizio Conti’s models cross the divide between models and sculpture, breathtakingly offering the client both at the same time and as a consequence raising the Conti model to the level of a work of art of fine museum quality and this is reflected in the value even the most basic Conti’s achieve at auction or private sale..