What's Better Than a Single Pagani? The Annual Pagani Raduno
Eleven years ago, I was sipping espresso and slurping my spaghetti at the first ever Pagani gathering in Italy. Over a decade later, not much has changed other than the swanky new factory, and a lot more horsepower under the Pagani bonnets. The Vanishing Point -- "Pagani Raduno" -- is an annual gathering where Pagani owners and friends congregate from all over the globe to spend four days of driving fun together, hosted by Horacio Pagani, his family, and his very special team. This year kicked off with a gala dinner at the new factory, just outside of Modena, where all the production will now be housed. The old facility, which is just a stone's throw away from the new one, will remain as home to office staff and certain R&D.
While the gathering is primarily for Pagani owners, several non-participating guests joined for the first night of entertainment, including Mr. Valentino Balboni, who arrived in the most appropriate car ever, the Lamborghini Gallardo Balboni. Other notable guests included a trio of Italian hypercar owners who turned up in their own "Holy Trinity” of automotive heaven: McLaren P1, Porsche 918 and Ferrari LaFerrari. There may have been certain "hot laps" taken around the local streets that night... but that's an entirely different story. In addition to the first night's festivities and fun, we also got to witness the handing over of the keys to a very special car -- the Zonda 760LM Roadster – who joined us and it’s big brother the 760LM coupe, on the next four days. Quite an extraordinary way to take delivery!
Of course, no Pagani event would be complete without some spirited driving and the following day, we hotfooted away from the factory and headed west toward the seaside. Though unusual for Italy, the weather wasn't particularly kind, so the gelato didn't make an appearance this time around — but it certainly wouldn't dampen anyone's spirits with all these fabulous cars around.
The event is an intimate affair. As always on the Italian Pagani Raduno, most of the cars are Zonda’s - plus this year there were a handful of Huayra’s, including all the way from the USA, “La Monza Lisa”, as well as some non-Pagani cars participating including a Porsche 918 Spyder.
The routes the team planned were on some of the most beautiful and scenic roads in Italy. I really love the Italian driving experience, especially from behind the wheel of a nice car. The roads in the Piedmont region where we ended up being based were simply mind blowing.
Driving these roads means there’s a lot of jostling for positions. Not only are they narrow, but as multiple Pagani’s are en route, other cars seem to stop in their tracks to stare. One of the most incredible sights you'd catch, is when we all stopped at gas stations - like bees to honey are the Italians and nice cars. We’d depart, eargasms galore with the chorus of V12 engines burbling and popping, on toward screaming through the countryside or reverberating through a tunnel.
Not being a Pagani owner myself, I had to "slum it" in several different cars. I luckily found refuge in a variety of tasty metal including the 458 Speciale, Porsche Carrera GT and 918, and a Mercedes-AMG GT. I was both driver and co-pilot in several instances, and the trip wouldn’t have been complete if I wasn’t able to slip into a Pagani Zonda and Huayra once or twice as well. The highlight for me was spending some time in the brand new Zonda LM roadster. A car that succeeded to shatter my eardrums as my automotive senses were sent into overdrive.
Eventually, we headed north to Turin where our group became guests of honor at the inaugural Parco Valentino car show. From the town hall, we received a police escort through the hugely crowded streets of Turin. We felt likely royalty as we joined the main event, where every car marquee you could have imagined was present — even the latest creations from Glickenhaus. Turin was a great place to spend the last day of the trip, we even caught a bit of sunshine before heading back down to Modena to say our goodbyes for another year. The Pagani Raduno is an extremely special event that lasts far too few days in my opinion - this year was another spectacular event and I hope to continue attending for many years to come.