The unique hook of Autofficina is that there simply aren’t that many specialists out there who have the first-hand experience of these marques’ classic models back when they were new. A lot of these old-hands have retired, but the Autofficina founders’ trump card is that they were younger when they started out, and are now in a privileged position to carry this real-world experience into the 2020s and beyond.
They’re always hungry for information, always keen to learn all the details about the latest Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis and other prestige cars, to be fully versed in the intricacies of looking after them – but at the same time, they were there at the frontline when the now-classic models were rolling out of the showrooms.
This rare skillset, combined with their years of engineering prowess and countless dedicated restorations and race builds, means that there’s effectively nothing they can’t do; their life experience is something that cannot be taught or bought, it’s ingrained and hard-won.
Attention to detail is the mantra – a fastidious insistence on perfecting every element of a car to ensure that it’s period-correct and better than new. This is the essence of Autofficina: it is, quite simply, an impeccable and unparalleled automotive partnership.
Any great automotive story is one of partnership. The early days of Ferrari were characterised byv the ideological fusion of ‘Il Commendatore’ and engine designer Gioacchino Colombo; Lamborghini’s dramatic genesis was enabled by the engineering prowess of Giotto Bizzarrini; the very essence of Maserati is based in its founding by brothers with a passion for racing. And so it is with Autofficina: the driving force behind the company lies in the combined knowledge and expertise of two lifelong friends who started working together at the age of sixteen.
Elias Elia and Peter Ward first crossed paths as apprentices at Fiat, the early fledgling steps into a life driven by automotive passion. Elias went on to train at Ferrari, moving to HR Owen before branching out solo; meanwhile Peter was working in race car design and engineering, including a strong foundation in car electronics as well as the design and development of bespoke parts. The pair reconvened in 1999, with the aim of setting up a specialist business focusing on the high-end cars they’d both trained to work with and built their experience upon, and Autofficina was the result.
Having worked in the industry for many years and observed how the processes of maintenance and restoration can fragment, Elias and Peter were keen for Autofficina to be a one-stop shop: everything done in-house, from servicing and repairs to drivetrain rebuilds and full nut-and-bolt restorations.