Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S02 ep15 : Mino Camilotti, FM Auto, [Switzerland]
Interview with Mino Camilotti
At last year’s Top Marques Monaco, the world witnessed the birth of a new automotive species, the Antas (Eagle in the Etruscan language): timeless, graceful, perfectly proportioned lines, exclusive workmanship for a dream come true. We’ve got news for you. The Eagle has grown up and is now ready to spread her wings and fly for the first time.
F&M: We are a small car manufacturer based in Italy. The name of this company is F&M Auto. F
stands for Fellali and M stands for Matsanti. They are the two people that together with me have
created this new atelier.
F&M: We are based in Pisa in Tuscany which is a beautiful region in Italy and has beautiful wine,
beautiful food and from now on there’s also a beautiful car is being made over there.
F&M: We’ve been restoring classic cars for more than 40 years in actual fact. We always
specialise in aluminium so the cars we usually restore are very special cars and are kept as one
offs, very rare and very valuable and Fillali is my friend’s father, Matsanti is the second person’s
father, and then the younger generation is made by these two people plus me. So three people
owning the company and total number of employees is seven at the moment.
F&M: We tend to do new cars with the same techniques in production used as in the 60’s or 50’s
because of our tradition, you know restoring cars. This assures the uniqueness of each car because
everything is hand made.
F&M: In the 50’s and the 60’s people used to create cars completely by hand. When you were a
wealthy gentleman in those days you would choose your own power train which means engine,
chassis and gearbox, go to one of the coachbuilders, you know like Zagato like Bertoni , the
famous coach builders of the past and together with them you would actually draw your car to
your own specification and they would actually create your car just as if it was a haut couture suit.
F&M: You could choose your own style and look for the car. The style would then be evaluated
and engineered by the coach builder and then produced so you would assure complete uniqueness
for your own car.
F&M: We came to restore these so built cars and the idea came from that. At the moment, in the
world this tradition has completely disappeared. Although we are young people because we are in
our 30’s, we decided that with the experience we got by restoring these cars, that it would be a
good idea to take this tradition back, which is typical Italian by the way, and create a new type of
car but using these same techniques and the same philosophy so in actual fact, each of our clients
will choose its own power train, anything with a front engine, rear wheel drive configuration will
do, and then together with our designers he will actually shape the car to his own liking and I will
do the rest we do the engineering part and we will do the construction part.
F&M: We usually provide three types of service. The first service is a completely bespoke car. In
that particular case the client can choose any engine, any power train, any chassis, any suspension
setting and even the styling can be done completely without limits. The second option we give is
to create an Antus, the Antus is the car we introduced last year in Top Mark, it has a few more
restrictions than the first option in the sense that styling wise it should resemble the demonstration
car that we presented last year, but apart from that you can choose anything from a Corvette, a
Viper you can use a Maserati, you can use any front engine Ferrari like a 599 or a 575, you can
choose even an Aston Martin for example, so anything basically with a front engine, rear wheel
drive configuration. In this respect, it is to keep the original line proportions like those of the
Antus. The third option we are proposing now is we are launching a completely new car which is
called Vulka, and this car is going to be produced in limited series we only produce ten cars and
we have already the first customer so we’re quite happy about that.
F&M: For an Antus we start at 400,000 Euros, to this price you have to add the mechanic part
which cannot be counted for before the client chooses. For the Vulka, we are talking a bit less, so
prices start at 280,000 Euros and go up to 350,000 Euros.
F&M: We started this new adventure with the Antus the first car we ever made two years ago and
so far we are now car number three. Because we deliberately fix our production limit to two cars
per year. They’re fully hand built and they’re all aluminium bodied cars, we don’t use any moulds
so everything is hand beaten, every panel is hand beaten and that’s why it takes about 11 months to
create one car.
F&M: We always reference our work to that of the past because apart from a certain stylish point
of view we love that era and the shape of cars that used to be produced in those days, but with a
touch of modern.
F&M: For seriously interested parties we invite such parties to Tuscany. We offer what we call the
Antus philosophy which is not only ordering your car but actually appreciating a certain way of
life. We will actually use a very ancient villa on a hill top which is a bespoke villa for us,
beautifully decorated and restored as well, at regular intervals our clients will actually be our
guests in this villa and they will actually be able to monitor the progress of the birth of their baby
F&M: Because everything is hand built you can decide to change your mind during the process,
that is not a big problem for us you know, we can change everything. We actually will take the
measures of each client because the first thing we do is actually create the interior based on the
dimensions of our client so it has to fit like a glove.
F&M: In the case of the Antus of course being based on our standard production power train, the
mechanical parts will be serviced by the normal dealer network Ferrari or Maserati depending on
what the client chooses. We have already established a network of dealers that accepted to service
the cars for them so that’s not a problem. If it’s a body work problem, let’s say you have a small
accident, we guarantee the body work for ten years. If it’s a small accident that we come and repair
it for you, wherever you are, and if it’s a big accident unfortunately the car has to be shipped over
to Italy and we will repair it for you.
F&M: Our clients usually tend to become our friends. There is a special bond that unites them to
us and let’s say that we share a lot of experience outside the mere ordering of one car, we can visit
them and they can visit us for other reasons than the actual car.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Mino Camilotti, FM Auto, Switzerland