The rescue of the 100 Campagnoles

A tale of Vinicio Mais .....

 "A nice anecdote that represented a positive turning point for our business.

At the end of the 1960s, the Fiat offices in Corso Marconi 20 in Turin contacted me to carry out the paint decoration of a hundred Fiat Campagnole reproductions of various writings on the sides to be done in English and I accepted the prestigious work with enthusiasm.

With my collaborators, I carry out the outdoor work in various squares of the Fiat factories with an urgent procedure. 

A few days after the end of the works, I receive an alarming call from a Fiat representative: the annoyed voice tells me that we had made a huge mistake because we had written a word without a consonant letter inside it, therefore they had a hundred vehicles reproducing a grammatical error present in the decorations.

'No', I reply, 'I did things exactly as you wrote them to me, I still have the original typewritten English text that you gave me take on order before processing!' .

'It is not possible that we have made such an oversight, show us this text!' my interlocutor replied annoyed.

At the time there were no emails and faxes, so I go in person to the Fiat headquarters to show the document to the managers. At the sight of the written sheet of their own hand they are all dismayed and immediately admit the paternity of the oversight.

'And now how do you do it! ??' they ask themselves with some anxiety. Surprised to read concern in their faces, I reply that they can sleep peacefully, it's just a matter of getting there and redoing the corrections on all the cars one by one.

'Yes, but ... see Mr. Mais, the machines are no longer here! '

'Ah, and where are they now?' I reply.

'Well, I'm in Genoa, embarked in the hold of a ship, ready to sail in the morning. Go there, leave now and make all the corrections or else we're in serious trouble. '

We don't even have time to agree on a fee, they just tell me not to worry that they would be grateful to me. So in a very short time I find myself driving my car towards Genoa with my collaborators.

That night we worked busily in the ship's hold. It was extremely tiring and delicate: there was a job of removing some letters by means of the sepia and polishing procedure in order to create the space to insert the missing letter, and then recompose the correct word on all the Campagnoles.

It was a great little business to finish the job successfully and in good time, and after many years I am still surprised at how many strengths, character and resources I had at that age. Fiat kept its word and rewarded me handsomely, in fact from that moment we became suppliers of all Fiat sections such as Olio Fiat, Fiat Agri, Fiat Trattori, etc. "


Fiat Torino, Assembly line in the 70s
Fiat Torino, Assembly line in the 70s
The glorious Fiat Campagnola
The glorious Fiat Campagnola


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