On its 110th anniversary of Motorsport participation, commemorating the Ballot 3/8 LC is something Pirelli is proud to do. The car’s pale blue sides make it feel like it’s still being used, with everything left intact. The number eleven is painted on the side of the car. “Vehicles like this don’t take a lot of upkeep,” explains Schaufler. “This is partly because there isn’t a lot of wiring in the car, since it’s from the 1920s. Of course, though, this an historic car which competed in the Indianapolis 500 and the French Grand Prix. It was exhibited in prestigious sites like the Retromobile in Paris, 1000miglia storica, Villa d’Este and Goodwood.”
The collector’s market is growing and is very profitable - collectors run the risk of their passion becoming a mere business. Not for Schauler, thought: “some buyers in Asia - and even some Sheikhs - buy cars on a whim, but I’m really passionate about them. I want to know everything about their history.” At the Gran Premio di Monza, the Ballot 3/8 LC led the historic car procession. “Sticchi Damiani was on board carrying the Italian flag - it was very moving.”
Schauler seems to know what he wants in the future already: “My dream is to have an Isotta Fraschini Corsa. When it comes to vehicles and to car manufacturers, Italy has a very important and highly prestigious tradition.” He’s wary of letting slip how many cars he has though: “I never talk about that, it’s a secret”.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the cord separating visitors from the Ballot 3/8 LC, people keep taking photos. The younger ones are struck by how thick the wheels are - or rather, how high and thin they are, as was typical for cars at that time. The car still captivates people with its impressive history. “It’s really an amazing car - you can’t put a price on this kind of thing.”