words|photos: Ben Abrams, David Gross, Nic Jimenez & Drew Larrigan
(Modena, Italy) Obviously we love what we do and we are very serious about creating our own original brand of content for eGarage. With that said we are extremely fortunate and we feel very blessed that we get recognition for our hardwork with something like an invitation from Horacio Pagani to visit his factory in Italy. It started back in August when we got to meet Horacio at the McCall Motorsports Revival and, after discussing our vision for eGarage, his team allowed us to shoot Zonda R photos/video as well as a quick Huyara key video. Humbled is the only word we can use when our contact at Pagani references his favorite videos on eGarage when setting up our travel plans.
With a bit of insecurity, we try to navigate our rental car on a discreet, snowy Italian road looking for Via dell’Argento… is that the street name? We’re arriving a day early, unannounced, would we even be let in? We arrive at a gate, buzz buzz, a beautiful female voice speaks to us through the metal box. The gates opened, I think angels were singing. The moments between pulling through the gate and actually entering the building seem to last hours. We are welcomed and led into the lobby by the nice girl attached to the nice voice. “We are happy you are here, feel free to walk around boys.” The first thing we did was text a few Pagani factory lobby photos to our closest friends and family.
Paintings of Pagani cars done by fans caught my eye first, then I saw a handmade carbon fiber stereo. I realized right then that I was at the home of one of the brightest minds in the world. As we continued to pace around, the walls displayed other brilliant designs from Pagani; the watch, the Huayra key, and various other eye-candy. Oh, there’s a Zonda R and purple Zonda. NBD.
Navigating our way through the displays, one of them allows you to peek back into the workshop. We could see the outline of a white Pagani Huayra being prepped for the Geneva Motorshow. Since we were free to roam, we opened the door that led into the workshop, and the experience became dreamlike. We had to revel in the gloss white Huayra all exposed, showing off the carbon fiber monocoque, gloss carbon details, and the car’s tubular bracing.
Walking past the white Huayra and its impressive monocoque brought us into the largest part of the workshop. To our left was a pure carbon Huayra, with what looked to be the reddest interior we have ever seen. Pirelli’s subtle stenciling is a perfect example of Pagani’s using every square inch of the car to do something unique.
In the background of the carbon car was the very LAST Zonda R – according to our rep, this car is being built for road use, the only Zonda R to be configured this way. The immaculate conception of an Automotive unicorn.
We entered the final assembly area and noticed the the carbon fiber room was off to the right and on its own. You could hear the humming of the heat guns coming from the room to the side. We had to take an extended peek inside. These people aren’t workers or mechanics, they are artists carefully placing the carbon fiber into molds and heating them into position making sure every seam lines up perfectly. One mistake and the piece is thrown in the trash.
The assembly room was reminiscent of a hospital operating room. The floors were bright and both of the two Geneva cars were lit brilliantly under the lights. Next to each car was a cabinet holding every detailed part for each particular car. The pearl white car had all of its trimmings carefully secured in the glass cabinet on display eagerly waiting to be joined with the rest of the car.
Walking though the next set of doors we were stopped in our tracks by the enormous size of the two pressure ovens for the carbon fiber pieces we had seen in the previous room. The room was the pre-assembly room, which housed the two ovens and the carbon fiber finishing rooms where the freshly cured pieces were polished and cleaned up to be ready for final install.
It’s hard to imagine from the view we previously had in the cheap seats of the internet how many hours of research, testing and development go into an Automotive Mona Lisa like a Zonda R or the new Huyara. Seeing these Hyper Cars hand built with such delicate care and precision is a truly a sight. A table covered in the rich interior leather finishes smells of “new car”. Sights of diamond contrast stitching and a type of carbon fabric dot our periphery.
Out of the workshop and up the stairs, down a hall we felt like we had entered a library. On the shelves were records of every car Pagani has ever built. An impressive scale of record keeping for a boutique car manufacturer. Then we arrived at the Design center – an incredible backstage perspective to Pagani. Scale models, near scale drawings, materials scattered on the table, carbon fiber, aluminum, leathers, fabrics, CAD drawings, and concept finishings were all found in this area.
The room was filled with design artists and engineers working on their computers. One was working on the seat design CAD for a secret upcoming concept while another worked on a video to demonstrate the aerodynamics of the Huayra. Two others were speaking with the Pagani test driver and were looking at performance readouts from the last testing sessions.
As a nice cherry on top of the best field trip in the history of Automotive super field trips we saw an orange Zonda 750. We believed that the purple Zonda 750 that we’d seen elsewhere on the internet was a one off, but right before our eyes, tucked quietly alone in the back of the factory was a satin orange example with a full exposed carbon front.
When we strapped ourselves into the eGarage saddle, we’d hoped that we’d get the opportunity to enter into some of the pearliest gates of Automotive creation. The fact that the team at Pagani and Horacio himself thinks enough of what we’re doing to give us 2 days worth of access into their operational hub breathe a big sigh of contentment. We know that we aren’t the only ones ever to see inside the factory, but we are honored to be part of a chosen few given the opportunity to share the Pagani story.
We hope you enjoyed the pictures and stay tuned for a video drop to happen soon with a more up close and personal experience from inside the Huayra!