The Carrozzeria Barbi Spa was established in 1905 at Concordia (Modena) by Galileo Barbi; the first products were carriages pulled by horses. In 1911 the factory received the first prize at the International Exhibition in Paris; this was an important sing of the excellent quality and comfort of the coaches. At the beginning of motorization Galileo Barbi understood that he had to stop his old production in order to build coachworks for motorcars. The factory was enlarged and new equipment were bought; The first coachworks for motorcars were made on Fiat’s, Alfa Romeo’s, Ansaldo’s, OM’s, Lancia’s chassis, with very good result. Among his customers must be mentioned the unforgettable Tazio Nuvolari.
In 1931 Barbi began a new production of industrial vehicles, vans, cabs for lorries, and ambulances; later Galileo started the more complicated production of coaches, at first with a wooden structure, and later with a tubolar steel structure.
In 1932 the factory of Mirandola was enlarged, the number of workers was increased up to 70 men and new engineers were appointed to prepare skilled and competent workers. When the second world war broke out, the Barbi had to break off its production to make only ambulances, vans and military buses on behalf of the Navy Department till September 1943.
Successfully the activity recommenced, and new technical of manufacturing were introduced. With its constant presence at every show (from Rosa D’Oro of Sanremo to many National and International Shows) and more success, the Barbi made itself know on the Italian market definitively for the variety of models and manufacturing techniques.
When in 1962 Galileo Barbi died, his son Sirner continued his father’s works under the same style, as a bright example of perseverance, industry and honesty.
In the 1970s some investments, such as new factory, and the recovery of the national market, took an increase of production and a constant improvement of quality, that has always been the most important strength of Carrozzeria Barbi. The factory made some important improvement in coaches: they were improved by sliding roof, higher deck with double seats at the back part, structural columns inclined, that was later imitated by all Italian coach builders.
In the following years there were substantial changes: no more getting down glasses but remote-controlled doors, sound proofing and thermal insulation, air conditioned, reclining seats, heating, radio and television sets. Lots of different models based on new mechanical technologies of the market were produced: Fiat, Mercedes, Volvo, Renault, Man, Daf.
At the beginning of the eighties Barbi began to construct on Volvo chassis, and the most famous models were ITALIA 99 and Echo.
At the beginning of the 2000 was created the new coach Genesis: the success of this new product, on Italian and European market, confirm how a partially handcraft factory can be a very succesfull and competitive reality.
The successor of Genesis is now Galileo, available in three different lenght and many comfortable equipment.
After more than a century, the artful design and the excellent quality of Barbi’s coaches continue to add value and emotions in thousand journeys around the most beautiful place in Europe.