Bacci Romano

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Company history

It all began with Romano Bacci, born in 1912, who when he was eighteen left his native Tavarnelle (then a small town in Val di Pesa) to move to Florence with the intention of learning the mechanic’s trade. Romano stayed in Florence until he was about twenty, when in 1933 he returned to his home town to open a car workshop, starting to look after the few cars in circulation. In those days the car was the prerogative of certain privileged classes, but it was slowly extending its popularity among middle class families. With the war, the little equipment the workshop owned (tools, a compressor and a bench) was hidden in a cellar; Romano buried the access with soil and planted some sunflowers. In July ’44 when the front passed through Tavarnelle, the German officers did not notice anything and the equipment was safe.

After the conflict, Romano Bacci became a keen car racing enthusiast. He took part in his first races with the Fiat 500C and the 1100, and almost at the same time he started dedicating himself to the preparation of competition engines.

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Romano Bacci al via di due gare: su Fiat 500C alla Coppa della Consuma del 1953 e su Fiat 1100 alla Firenze Fiesole del 1952

There was no lack of prestigious customers, like Frescobaldi, Simonetta, Giunti and others. In these years his two sons, Fabrizio and Sergio were born.

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Romano (al centro) ed i due figli Sergio (a destra) e Fabrizio (a sinistra)

In the Fifties, Roma­no Bacci took part in various competitions in the Florence area: in those days the Florence-Fiesole, on a short but very suggestive route, the Coppa della Consuma, established way back in 1902, and the Siena-Florence or the Florence-Siena were organised. Bacci continued racing until the end of the Sixties, personally experiencing the change from a completely artisan and chivalrous period after the war, to the more professional and modern one that followed the end of the famous classics on the road.

In 1970 there was a kind of caesura, one of those "rungs" that characterise the history of motor racing: the technical regulations changed radically with the advent of group 2, which gave preparers the possibility of installing short ratio gearboxes, limited slip differentials, specific pistons, elaborated camshafts and exhausts. This dramatic change placed them before a crossroads. Preparing a competition car was becoming increasingly complex. The time had come to an end or it was ending in which one usually went to the racing field driving the racing car directly. The new rules allowed greater freedom for the preparer, but the availability of elaborated parts was still limited. So they decided to make the parts they needed themselves.

At the old Tavarnelle workshop, this is how a little corner was cut out for making spares for sporting purposes. They bought a gear cutter, a saw and a slotting machine. They started to make camshafts, cylinders, gears, limited slip differentials and so on. The brilliant idea was that of also selling to others the parts they manufactured. They created a clientele throughout Italy, without favouring anybody. When they came out with something good, they put it on sale, available to all. Faccioli, Facetti, Trivellato, Baggioli and many others became their habitual customers, and some still are today. The matter got out of hand, and in less than no time they found the workshop outside the door. What had started as an activity to be done in spare pieces of time, ended up becoming the most important part, also in terms of volume. With the continual addition of machinery, the grinding machine was practically at the workshop entrance.

Meanwhile, his son, Sergio, had started racing, making his debut in the ’68 Montenero uphill race with a Fiat 500.

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Sergio Bacci in azione sulla sua Fiat 500: a sinistra alla Coppa del Chianti del 1968, a destra alla Pedavena Croce d'Aune del 1971

In 1980 they changed premises, moving to the industrial zone of Ponte Nuovo, on the outskirts of Tavarnelle. The early Nineties saw the admission to the company of Andrea (Sergio’s son) together with the start of heavy investments to change to new-generation production systems. Passing in a few years time from parallel lathes and hand milling cutters to the renewal of the entire machinery fleet and updating to new technologies, which is still ongoing at the present time. The numerical control lathes and milling machines increased in number and at present the company uses CNC lathes, CNC milling machines, gear cutting machines, grinding machines, drilling machines burnishing machines and broaching machines.

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Andrea in azione con la Peugeot 206 N3 (Mugello 2006) e con l'Alfa Romeo 147 ufficiale Superproduzione (Mugello 2004)

The natural completion of this machinery was conversion to CAD-CAM systems, a compulsory step for those companies who want to achieve a productivity and level of accuracy in step with the times. What has always been our company’s strong point is always having the resources to be able to do any type of machining on our own premises, without having to depend on external processes.

Romano Bacci died on 12th December 1997. Over these years the "Bacci Romano & C." company has continued its operations and the proprietor was succeeded firstly by Sergio and Fabrizio and now Andrea.

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Romano e Andrea

The production of parts for vintage and modern racing cars has reached levels of excellence. A considerable number of preparers from all over the world rely on the Tavarnelle workshop, where bars of raw material come in and leave as fine-tuned gears, gearboxes, levers, limited slip differentials and everything else.