Cars

The models and the Mediterranean: the world of Marco Laviola

Automotive art and Italy? They belong together. Just think of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo or the legendary coachbuilders such as Bertone and Pininfarina. In Apulia, the whole thing is thought of on a smaller scale - but no less artistically. A visit to model maker Marco Laviola and his luxury miniatures.

  • Interview
    Marko Knab
  • Fotos
    Marco Laviola
Mr Laviola, you build incredibly detailed and large models of well-known (racing) vehicles. Do you see yourself more as an artist - or as an engineer at model level?

First and foremost, I am an engine and modelling enthusiast. But with the aim of making a model as detailed as possible. But if I had to choose, I would see myself more as an artist - and less as an engineer.

Why exactly?

Because I also see the models I build more as works of art. Apart from the doors and bonnets, they have no moving parts and are completely static. Not even the wheels turn! (laughs) Seen in this way, the models are like a sculpture on a pedestal. You can admire them - and they should invite you to discover all the details.

1/3
"Not even the wheels turn! Seen in this way, the models are like a sculpture on a pedestal."
Marco Laviola
Which came first: the passion for modelling or the passion for cars and motorbikes?

They came about in parallel, so to speak. At first, of course, there was curiosity - it's a kind of tool for me. The passion for the models then came with my first LEGO kit, which I received as a gift as a child. After that, I started experimenting with new materials, such as wood. Thanks to my father, a sculptor, I also quickly learnt how to work with it.

My enthusiasm for engines and cars grew and soon I combined both passions. So I learnt to build my own radio-controlled cars. I modified them and prepared them for races myself. Later, I switched from model sport to model making completely. I was simply fascinated by building models as detailed as possible and creating the illusion of a real vehicle.
Do you remember the one moment when you realised "this is what I do for a living"? When was that?

There was no such moment. Rather, I grew into this role - very much like the passions that came together. I've always had this hobby, but I also have my small family business to run. The culprit here was actually Instagram! (laughs) But joking aside, I have a lot to thank the social network for - including the fact that I became internationally recognised and was able to meet famous drivers, actors and singers. But above all, it brought me together with collectors of real cars!

So it all came about naturally?

Yes, absolutely. I don't have any other social networks, nor do I exhibit my cars anywhere. My only showcase in this world is my Instagram channel called @marlinlav, which now has almost 80,000 followers. And I owe them so much!

Back to the models: How do you achieve this level of detail in your large models? Does one have anything to do with the other?

I work with different materials: plastic from the 3D printer, resin, aluminium, rubber and many others. Many of the models I build are collector's cars. The owners send me photos of the vehicle. I follow them meticulously to copy every last detail of the vehicle. No two models I build are the same - even if they are the same vehicle.

Is it a standard procedure for you to work with pictures of the originals?

No, the way I work always depends on the model. With a model I know, it is much easier to start building. If I've never modelled the vehicle before, I first have to create a design. To do this, I prepare all the individual parts and send them to print. I also use parts from kits that I have modified. The next logical step is to roughly assemble the whole model. This is how I make sure that everything fits. Then I move on to painting every single part, whether inside or outside. And finally, we put everything together with great care.

Who else are your customers besides car collectors?

In addition to the - mostly famous - collectors of real cars, Formula 1 drivers, actors, singers and star chefs also use my services. Sometimes there are very special orders. Like that of a customer who wanted a model of the Batmobile. Why? Because he also has the real thing! I've had so many bizarre requests.

Why did you never switch from models to real vehicles?

There have actually been a few requests of this kind. But that's simply not my area. It would require completely different preparation, equipment and a huge workspace. My field is precision craftsmanship, but on a small scale. My "lab" is divided into two rooms for this: one for the "dirty" and rough part, the other is reserved for the assembly and finalisation of the model.

How many models do you produce per year?

Unfortunately, I can't give you an exact figure. It mainly depends on the type of model. Especially whether it is a model that can be opened at certain points or whether it is a "closed" model. There are many other factors. I work completely alone, one project at a time.

Do you have a brand whose models you particularly enjoy building? If so, why?

I don't really have a favourite brand in the true sense of the word. Rather, I love classic vehicles. I like to immerse myself in the history and study the car I'm building. To do this, I inform myself as much as I can and let myself be enchanted by the legends and stories of the engineers and designers.

"I don't really have a favourite brand in the true sense of the word. Rather, I love classic vehicles."
Marco Laviola
Can you give us a specific example?

There's the story of my good friend Nicola Materazzi. He is the "father" of the Ferrari F40. Unfortunately, he left us just over a year ago. He was a genius of an engineer - and he built the F40 all by himself. Over the years, a close friendship developed with him, characterised by mutual respect. We often talked on the phone for hours, and sometimes I visited him in his house and the library of his old projects. He told me a lot about engines, cars and curiosities. He also helped me to realise individual details. Together we built the Ferrari 125 S.

A very special car, isn't it?

Yes - it's the first Ferrari ever. Unfortunately, the original car has not survived because it was used to build a second car. Enzo raced these cars and there was no money, so you had to think pragmatically. When engineer Materazzi worked at Ferrari, he found the project file of the 125 S in the archives and suggested to Enzo that he rebuild it. But Enzo didn't want to do this because he thought it would be a waste of time. In the end, however, he managed to convince him. When Enzo saw the finished car, he was moved and thanked him. The car is now in the museum in Modena. And I in turn built a scale model according to engineer Materazzi's instructions - but unfortunately I didn't finish in time. When it's finished, I'll dedicate it to him.

A moving story. Are there any other cars on your personal wish list?

There is actually more than one model that I would like to build. Lots of Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, Mercedes and Ferraris - but all classic cars.

And when you're not building models - what else inspires you?

I love the sea, I'm a diver. It's probably the only place where you can really feel free and light, both physically and mentally. It's where I recharge my batteries and regenerate. For me, the sea is a place where I like to be with my family, with friends, but above all alone.

More information:

@malinlav on Instagram

Similar articles

Our Bestsellers

  • ramp #63 Happy on the Road
    ramp #63 Happy on the Road
    20,00 EUR
    Happy on the road? You bet. For any respectable car culture magazine, after all, being happy on the road is a mandatory prerequisite. Over time, and with a little bit of luck (which is, after all, a close relative of happiness), these feelings cheerfully blossom into an emotional foundation that ...
  • rampstyle #30 Blue Skies
    rampstyle #30 Blue Skies
    20,00 EUR
    After “All Summer Long” here’s our follow-up issue with the title “Blue Skies”. Of course. Because readers who know a little something about the English singer and songwriter Chris Rea will have already noticed how we’ve come full circle here. The blue sky as a symbol of hopeful optimism about what’s to come.
  • ramp #62 Wild Things
    ramp #62 Wild Things
    20,00 EUR
    Just heading along, the journey itself a wonderfully blank page that presents itself to us with a cheerful unpredictability, as an inspired playing field for trial and error, for curiosity and spontaneity, unexpected surprises and flights of fancy. Wild and untamed. Just like life itself.
  • Director’s Cut: Luxury
    Director’s Cut: Luxury
    125,00 EUR
    Luxury is enticing and exciting, polarizing and provocative, not to mention that it is good for the economy. But the essence of luxury goes far beyond the material. Luxury appeals to our senses, our dreams and our desires. It immediately evokes images that are as precise as they are diverse. Luxury also triggers some pretty clear opinions – both favorable and unfavorable.
  • rampstyle #29 All Summer Long
    rampstyle #29 All Summer Long
    20,00 EUR
    Barcelona in summer. With Alvaro Soler - and a Porsche 911 SC. An approach to the phenomenon and the person Yves Saint Laurent. We spoke with Udo Kier in Palm Springs, and Luc Donckerwolke in his garage. And then there's the cover - and the associated story of House of Spoils.
  • Porsche 911 Everlasting Love Stories
    Porsche 911 Everlasting Love Stories
    99,00 EUR
    Sixty years of the Porsche 911 – sixty years that stand for very personal, highly emotional relationships of love involving this sports car. Stories marked by love, lust and passion. Captured in this high-quality illustrated book.
  • ramp #61 Love Is in the Air
    ramp #61 Love Is in the Air
    20,00 EUR
    Blue skies, the scent of fresh grass, the warmth of the moment – but above all: sunshine. The light of the sun’s rays, scientists say, is the decisive factor at the beginning of the warm season that triggers the merry mix of happiness hormones which energetically drive us headlong into the summer.
  • rampstyle #27 By the Way
    rampstyle #27 By the Way
    20,00 EUR
    Did you know that between thirty and fifty percent of all scientific discoveries are the result of coincidence? Velcro, Viagra, X-rays – sometimes people find things without even looking for them, but they are rewarded with an unexpected alternative.
  • rampstyle #28 Into the Great Wide Open
    rampstyle #28 Into the Great Wide Open
    20,00 EUR
    An exclusive fashion editorial with Tim Bendzko. Unseen pictures by photographer Anouk Masson Krantz. A conversation with star director Guy Ritchie and a somewhat different interview with musician Dan Auerbach. All this and much more awaits you in this issue of rampstyle.
  • Director’s Cut: The Lamborghini Book
    Director’s Cut: The Lamborghini Book
    100,00 EUR
    Author texts, expert interviews and aesthetically pleasing imagery do the brand justice in all aspects and make the book a must-have for all car fans and Lamborghini enthusiasts. Alongside exclusive design sketches, an overview of all series models with full technical specifications completes this extraordinary and ambitious book project.
  • The Lamborghini Book
    The Lamborghini Book
    100,00 EUR
    Author texts, expert interviews and aesthetically pleasing imagery do the brand justice in all aspects and make the book a must-have for all car fans and Lamborghini enthusiasts. An overview of all series models with full technical specifications completes this extraordinary and ambitious book project.
  • ramp #60 Too Cool to Handle.
    ramp #60 Too Cool to Handle.
    20,00 EUR
    A magazine about coolness? Among other things. But one thing at a time. First of all, it’s off to the movies. There’s this businessman from Boston who helps relieve a bank of a substantial amount of money. The insurance companies are on to him, but they can’t prove a thing. That, in a nutshell, is the plot of...
  • ramp #59 Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    ramp #59 Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    18,00 EUR
    “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” was the title of an episode of the television series Star Trek, and although it was the nineteenth episode overall, it was the first to flicker into German living rooms fifty years ago this May. The story revolved around timelines and time travel.
  • rampstyle #26 Good News
    rampstyle #26 Good News
    15,00 EUR
    Two thin ovals far up inside a circle, a curved arc below, sketched on sunny yellow. In a split second, our brain has combined the elements into a smiling face, instantly putting us in a good mood. Wonderful! A smiley like that just feels good.
  • Men’s manual - Best of rampstyle by Michael Köckritz
    Men’s manual - Best of rampstyle by Michael Köckritz
    29,00 EUR
    Existential questions are answered here: How do I build the perfect sandcastle? How do I start a band? Is there a perfect record player? (Spoiler Alert: yes, there is). Men´s manual is a supergroup of sorts: ramp and teNeues throw together their concentrated expertise in lifestyle.
  • ramp #63 Happy on the Road
    ramp #63 Happy on the Road
    20,00 EUR
    Happy on the road? You bet. For any respectable car culture magazine, after all, being happy on the road is a mandatory prerequisite. Over time, and with a little bit of luck (which is, after all, a close relative of happiness), these feelings cheerfully blossom into an emotional foundation that ...
  • rampstyle #30 Blue Skies
    rampstyle #30 Blue Skies
    20,00 EUR
    After “All Summer Long” here’s our follow-up issue with the title “Blue Skies”. Of course. Because readers who know a little something about the English singer and songwriter Chris Rea will have already noticed how we’ve come full circle here. The blue sky as a symbol of hopeful optimism about what’s to come.
  • ramp #62 Wild Things
    ramp #62 Wild Things
    20,00 EUR
    Just heading along, the journey itself a wonderfully blank page that presents itself to us with a cheerful unpredictability, as an inspired playing field for trial and error, for curiosity and spontaneity, unexpected surprises and flights of fancy. Wild and untamed. Just like life itself.
  • Director’s Cut: Luxury
    Director’s Cut: Luxury
    125,00 EUR
    Luxury is enticing and exciting, polarizing and provocative, not to mention that it is good for the economy. But the essence of luxury goes far beyond the material. Luxury appeals to our senses, our dreams and our desires. It immediately evokes images that are as precise as they are diverse. Luxury also triggers some pretty clear opinions – both favorable and unfavorable.
  • rampstyle #29 All Summer Long
    rampstyle #29 All Summer Long
    20,00 EUR
    Barcelona in summer. With Alvaro Soler - and a Porsche 911 SC. An approach to the phenomenon and the person Yves Saint Laurent. We spoke with Udo Kier in Palm Springs, and Luc Donckerwolke in his garage. And then there's the cover - and the associated story of House of Spoils.
  • Porsche 911 Everlasting Love Stories
    Porsche 911 Everlasting Love Stories
    99,00 EUR
    Sixty years of the Porsche 911 – sixty years that stand for very personal, highly emotional relationships of love involving this sports car. Stories marked by love, lust and passion. Captured in this high-quality illustrated book.
  • ramp #61 Love Is in the Air
    ramp #61 Love Is in the Air
    20,00 EUR
    Blue skies, the scent of fresh grass, the warmth of the moment – but above all: sunshine. The light of the sun’s rays, scientists say, is the decisive factor at the beginning of the warm season that triggers the merry mix of happiness hormones which energetically drive us headlong into the summer.
  • rampstyle #27 By the Way
    rampstyle #27 By the Way
    20,00 EUR
    Did you know that between thirty and fifty percent of all scientific discoveries are the result of coincidence? Velcro, Viagra, X-rays – sometimes people find things without even looking for them, but they are rewarded with an unexpected alternative.
  • rampstyle #28 Into the Great Wide Open
    rampstyle #28 Into the Great Wide Open
    20,00 EUR
    An exclusive fashion editorial with Tim Bendzko. Unseen pictures by photographer Anouk Masson Krantz. A conversation with star director Guy Ritchie and a somewhat different interview with musician Dan Auerbach. All this and much more awaits you in this issue of rampstyle.
  • Director’s Cut: The Lamborghini Book
    Director’s Cut: The Lamborghini Book
    100,00 EUR
    Author texts, expert interviews and aesthetically pleasing imagery do the brand justice in all aspects and make the book a must-have for all car fans and Lamborghini enthusiasts. Alongside exclusive design sketches, an overview of all series models with full technical specifications completes this extraordinary and ambitious book project.
  • The Lamborghini Book
    The Lamborghini Book
    100,00 EUR
    Author texts, expert interviews and aesthetically pleasing imagery do the brand justice in all aspects and make the book a must-have for all car fans and Lamborghini enthusiasts. An overview of all series models with full technical specifications completes this extraordinary and ambitious book project.
  • ramp #60 Too Cool to Handle.
    ramp #60 Too Cool to Handle.
    20,00 EUR
    A magazine about coolness? Among other things. But one thing at a time. First of all, it’s off to the movies. There’s this businessman from Boston who helps relieve a bank of a substantial amount of money. The insurance companies are on to him, but they can’t prove a thing. That, in a nutshell, is the plot of...
  • ramp #59 Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    ramp #59 Tomorrow Is Yesterday
    18,00 EUR
    “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” was the title of an episode of the television series Star Trek, and although it was the nineteenth episode overall, it was the first to flicker into German living rooms fifty years ago this May. The story revolved around timelines and time travel.
  • rampstyle #26 Good News
    rampstyle #26 Good News
    15,00 EUR
    Two thin ovals far up inside a circle, a curved arc below, sketched on sunny yellow. In a split second, our brain has combined the elements into a smiling face, instantly putting us in a good mood. Wonderful! A smiley like that just feels good.
  • Men’s manual - Best of rampstyle by Michael Köckritz
    Men’s manual - Best of rampstyle by Michael Köckritz
    29,00 EUR
    Existential questions are answered here: How do I build the perfect sandcastle? How do I start a band? Is there a perfect record player? (Spoiler Alert: yes, there is). Men´s manual is a supergroup of sorts: ramp and teNeues throw together their concentrated expertise in lifestyle.