Bicocchi started out with Lamborghini, both he and the brand sharing the hometown of Sant’Agata Bolognese. “I was never interested in football, just cars,” he says. “I used to stand in front of the company gates waiting for cars to come out. My mother was worried because of the trucks – I was just 10 years old – but one day Bob Wallace, who was the test driver at the time, came out in an Islero S. He saw me waiting, then wound down his window and revved the engine for me. That was the day my career started.”
He worked initially in Lamborghini’s warehouse, then dropped out of college when an entry-level R&D role came up in 1974. Bicocchi came up through the ranks to become test driver, working on the Countach and the Diablo. But when former Lamborghini R&D boss Paolo Stanzani started with Bugatti, he was quick to offer his former protégé a job.
“I could not say no to something like this,” Bicocchi remembers. “A car with four turbochargers and four-wheel drive – I have always wanted new experiences.”
Bugatti became his life for six years, Bicocchi working 60-hour weeks and driving tens of thousands of kilometres. He admits that the company’s collapse in 1995 was devastating: “I could see all my life here – I was like a prince inside the company. But then, poof, it was gone.”
After the collapse, Bicocchi continued to work with the EB110 through the company that acquired the stock of parts, later with Jochen Dauer who put what would now be termed a continuation version into limited production. Dauer also used Bicocchi’s skills for his road-going version of the Porsche 962, which led to a gig helping look after the Sultan of Brunei’s enormous car collection: specifically his Dauer 962s, EB110s and 37 Lamborghinis.
Then Bicocchi received a life-changing call from a former Lamborghini colleague, Horacio Pagani. “We were close friends and he said he wanted to make his own car.”
Bicocchi joined Pagani and mechanic Remo Pizzinardi to form the tiny team behind the first Zonda. This led to a similar assignment with Koenigsegg after seeing the CC8S prototype at the Paris show in 2000: “I moved to Sweden. There were five or six mechanics, two engineers, Christian [von Koenigsegg] and me. Again it felt like starting from scratch.”