‘Mad Ital­ian’ still pas­sion­ate about dream job

Ev­ery­thing has to be done to per­fec­tion

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - SAMEER NAIK

IT DOESN’T take a long time to find out why An­gelo Pisanti is known as the “Mad Ital­ian” at his work­place. His voice over­pow­ers the loud roar­ing sounds of a Lam­borgh­ini Aven­ta­dor’s high-oc­tane en­gine as he shouts or­ders from across the work­shop.

“My col­leagues gave me this nick­name be­cause I shout and scream at ev­ery­one. It’s just in my na­ture,” Pisanti says as he gig­gles away.

It’s not that Pisanti is an an­gry Ital­ian man who en­joys shout­ing. Rather, he says, he is pas­sion­ate about his job and wants to make sure ev­ery­thing he does is kept dis­creet.

“When you are work­ing for a pres­ti­gious brand like Lam­borgh­ini, ev­ery­thing has to be done to per­fec­tion. So a lit­tle bit of shout­ing here and there is good, it keeps ev­ery­one on their toes.”

The 58-year-old is the mas­ter tech­ni­cian of the Lam­borgh­ini work­shop in South Africa. He heads the lux­ury su­per­car brand work­shop in Johannesburg.

Even though Pisanti has been work­ing with the Ital­ian su­per­cars for the past 19 years, it’s clear he still gets a kick out of hear­ing the roar­ing en­gines of a Lam­borgh­ini.

He jumps in to a Lam­borgh­ini Aven­ta­dor he is work­ing on and revs up the en­gine. The noise of the roar­ing Aven­ta­dor echoes through­out the work­shop.

“This sound never gets old, I tell you,” Pisanti says, smil­ing.“I still get shivers down my spine when I hear the sound of a Lam­borgh­ini. I never get tired of it.”

Pisanti is sur­rounded by sheer beauty at his work­place. Ev­ery­where you look, you see a dif­fer­ent Lam­borgh­ini model. There are Aven­ta­dors, Hu­ra­cans, Coun­tachs, Mur­ciéla­gos, Gal­lar­dos and even Di­ab­los at the work­shop. These mul­ti­mil­lion-rand cars are recog­nised as some of the best su­per­cars in the world.

“As a car fa­natic of course it’s won­der­ful to be sur­rounded by such beau­ti­ful su­per­cars. It puts a smile on my face ev­ery day when I walk in to work.”

Hav­ing worked with Lam­borgh­i­nis for so many years, it’s hardly a sur­prise that Pisanti is clued up on each model.

He started work­ing with Lam­borgh­ini in 1998 and trained at the Lam­borgh­ini fac­tory in Sant’Agata, in Italy. To­day, he is recog­nised as one of the best Lam­borgh­ini tech­ni­cians in the world.

He takes a stroll around the work­shop and starts giv­ing a de­tailed ex­pla­na­tion of each of the cars on the floor. He speaks with pas­sion about the dif­fer­ent Lam­borgh­i­nis.

He stops at a yel­low Lam­borgh­ini Di­ablo and glances at it for a while.

“The Di­ablo was one of the first Lam­borgh­ini mod­els I ever worked on,” he says. “When­ever a new model comes out, we un­dergo train­ing and do a course. So we are al­ways learn­ing. Even at my age I learn new things all the time.”

To­day, Pisanti has to get a new Aven­ta­dor ready as the owner of the car is com­ing to pick it up in the next 24 hours.

Pisanti says Lam­borgh­ini cus­tomers de­mand the best ser­vice.

“It’s hard work. It’s chal­leng­ing; you have to please your clients,” he says. “Your clients want the ex­tra. You must go the ex­tra mile for them, no mat­ter what they ask you to do. I can’t just say no. If they spent six mil­lion for a car, you must make sure you give them just as great ser­vice.”

While Pisanti de­scribes work­ing for Lam­borgh­ini as a “dream job”, by no means is it an easy job, he says.

The Eden­vale-born mas­ter tech­ni­cian says it’s taken years of hard work, com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion to reach his pro­fes­sional goals. “The na­ture of my work can be mas­sively chal­leng­ing. Keep­ing up with evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy with su­per­cars isn’t easy.”

His duty as mas­ter tech­ni­cian of Lam­borgh­ini is mul­ti­fac­eted. It in­volves deal­ing with pre-ser­vice or­ders and mov­ing cars into the shop, as­sist­ing his team with run­ning ve­hi­cle di­ag­nos­tics and ve­hi­cle ser­vices. He is also the clients’ first port of call for any tech­ni­cal is­sues.

Early days and late nights are just part of the equa­tion. Pisanti’s work day starts as early as 7am in the Joburg show­room and that’s where he sets the day’s wheels in mo­tion.

“When I started off, I was work­ing with cars that just had a car­bu­ret­tor. Now, the new mod­els are so­phis­ti­cated and are pow­ered by com­put­ers, so I have had to learn com­pletely new things in my in­dus­try.”

“It’s taken me years of hard work to get to where I am to­day. But it’s all been worth it. I’m proud of how far I have come.”

And not only is the tech­ni­cal as­pect of the job tough, deal­ing with clients can be chal­leng­ing, too.

“Some­times we have to work with very tough cus­tomers. Some come in and de­mand that they need their ve­hi­cle sorted the very same day. And it’s some­thing we just have to do. There is no ques­tion­ing a cus­tomer.”

He’s also been called out on week­ends to help clients. “Some­times I am hav­ing lunch with my fam­ily on a Sun­day and I have a client ask­ing me to come and sort out his car. There’s noth­ing I can do but head over and help the client.

“You have to think about pro­tect­ing the brand and go­ing over and above for them. When you are work­ing for a brand like Lam­borgh­ini you need to give your clients the best and noth­ing less.”

One of the more ex­cit­ing parts of Pisanti’s job, how­ever, is be­ing able to test drive the Lam­borgh­i­nis that come through his doors.

“It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to test drive these machines. But in all hon­esty it’s also very scary,” he says.

“When I am on the road, all I am think­ing about is bring­ing the Lam­borgh­ini safely back to deal­er­ship. It’s a car that’s worth mil­lions of rand and so you don’t want any­thing hap­pen­ing to the car. The ex­pe­ri­ence can be more stress­ful than ex­cit­ing.”

“One of my col­leagues once took a Lam­borgh­ini out for a test drive and had an ac­ci­dent. A taxi drove straight into him and the car got dam­aged badly. It cost R350 000 to re­pair the car.”

He gig­gles and says he feels more com­fort­able in the Fiat that he drives to work ev­ery day.

“As much as I love su­per­cars, I don’t think I will ever own one, even if I had the money. It’s a lot of money and there’s a lot more I could do with all those mil­lions.”

Pisanti has been in the mo­tor in­dus­try for 40 years. He ma­tric­u­lated from Eden­vale High School and, af­ter a short stint in the army, Pisanti be­gan his jour­ney in the in­dus­try.

He has worked for car brands like Re­nault and Fer­rari, and has even owned his own car work­shop with his brother Gen­naro, who also works at Lam­borgh­ini with him.

His pas­sion for cars has been there since he was a lit­tle boy.

He says his first car was an old “banged-up” Lan­cia Ful­via that he bought so that he could re­build it from scratch to test how well he worked with cars.

“The first car I bought was a scrap. It was a Lan­cia Ful­via, it was a two-door, it was a 1.6.

“When I bought this car, the en­gine and the gear­box was bug­gered. So I made it my chal­lenge to re­build the car.”

“I stripped it down to the bone and re­built the whole car, which took me about two years.”

Pisanti says he hopes to re­tire at Lam­borgh­ini, hav­ing loved en­joyed his jour­ney with the su­per­car brand so far.

“It’s been a jour­ney of a life­time, and though there have been many chal­lenges along the way, I have al­ways pushed for­ward and never looked back.

“It’s been an ex­traor­di­nary 19 years and be­ing part of the Lam­borgh­ini fam­ily is like a dream come true.

“If my health still holds up, I would love to work here for a few more years be­fore I re­tire.”

Af­ter a long, busy day at the work­shop, it’s time for Pisanti to leave be­hind the su­per­cars, step into his tiny white Fiat and head home.

An­gelo Pis­tani is the mas­ter tech­ni­cian at the Lam­borgh­ini work­shop in South Africa. He heads the lux­ury su­per­car brand work­shop in Johannesburg. Pis­tani is recog­nised as one of the best Lam­borgh­ini tech­ni­cians in the world.

The en­gine of a Lam­borgh­ini.

The in­te­rior of a Lam­borgh­ini.

The Lam­borgh­ini work­shop in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.