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Pirelli reveals famous ‘lost’ calendar

Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800

Like most tire companies, Pirelli’s products tend to be round and black. But this year marks the 50th anniversary of something far more eye-catching: the Pirelli calendar.

We aren’t exaggerating when we say this is the world’s most famous calendar, which some people stop at nothing to get.

In 1975, Pirelli put up a complete set of the first decade of its calendars for a charity auction at Christie’s in London. The winning bid surpassed the final take for an Andy Warhol painting sold at the same auction. Less scrupulous collectors take a different route; there have been reports of Pirelli calendars that are stolen to order. This is where cutting-edge motors meet fine art.

The 2014 calendar was launched this week at Pirelli’s Bicocca headquarters in Milan, the same building where Formula One tires are manufactured. Pirelli’s HQ is a masterpiece of industrial design. The original factory, established when the company was founded in 1872, has been replaced progressively by a series of more modern buildings. But one of the original concrete cooling towers is now the centerpiece of the current glass and chrome headquarters building, a dazzling temple of light and space.

Explore farther within the Pirelli grounds and you’ll find a 15th-century hunting lodge -- not the sort of building that’s a common feature of every tire factory you come across. It was built originally for the Italian noble Arcimboldi family. Up until the 1950s, it was used as a cr


By Anthony Peacock