World renowned car-collector Nicola Bulgari was recently recognized at the annual Society of Automotive Historians banquet during the AACA’s Hershey Fall Meet where he was presented with the “Friend of Automotive History” Award. Bulgari was presented with this award in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of automotive history as well as his ongoing support of the Society of Automotive Historians and the AACA.
Bulgari’s world class car collection, housed at the NB Center for American Automotive Heritage, includes cars from nearly 100 years of automotive history with a focus on 1920s-1940s American cars, particularly Buicks. Bulgari believes that people need to be able to see, feel, and interact with historic automobiles or else it’s “just a fantasy” as he said in an interview with Architectural Digest in 2018. “What we’re trying to do is show young people what this country was all about: The history of America is on four wheels.”
When adding to his collection, Bulgari looks not towards the monetary value of a vehicle when building his collection, but rather its significance in automotive history and the people involved in the story behind the car. Some of the highlights of his collection include a 1930 Graham Model 46 that graced the cover of Peter, Paul, and Mary’s Album 1700, a 1938 Cadillac V16 Limousine Town Car used by Pope Pius XII, a 1933 Marmon Sixteen Victoria Coupe by LeBaron previously owned by Bernie Ecclestone, a 1933 Graham 8 Sedan “Blue Streak” which we inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Register, and much more. Bulgari’s passion of preserving automotive history for generations to come made him a well-deserving choice for the Society of Automotive Historian’s award.