Celebrating 90 years of activity for SOLI Bumper Cars
Continual innovation, excellence in design and high quality products remain the hallmarks of world famous brand
I have the task and the honor of marking a special celebration – the 90th anniversary of activity and production of the SOLI trademark, founded in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in 1929. Giovanni Soli had produced wagons for the transport of goods since 1915, but he soon began to specialize in bumper cars. His sons, Enzo, Arto and Ernesto, continued this activity and over the years secured many patents to revolutionize the bumper car sector worldwide, eventually seeing the concentration of production of such products move from the US and UK to continental Europe and in particular Italy. They invented and patented the rotary engine and the unique rubber bumper around such vehicles, both as we know them today in these products. These innovative developments ensured the worldwide spread of SOLI bumper cars during the 1950s and 1960s.
During the 1970s, my father Corrado Munari strongly supported the project to maintain the activities of this historic company with Giancarlo Soli, with the Pantera, Delta and Dream models and finally the Xixa being introduced during this period. Subsequent developments included new technical innovations in materials along with electromechanical innovations, while the special variable section bumper tyre that is a key feature of the SOLI bumper car products was also introduced. The Xixa model of the 80s and 90s, followed by the revolutionary design of the Proxima model, brought the company into the 2000s.
In more recent years, the whole Munari family – Corrado, Franca, Andrea, Elena and Claudia – together with valued partners and through continuous product and commercial innovation, have developed a new generation of SOLI bumper cars, the NK series. This is our ‘green,’ eco model which makes use of new information technologies, has a futuristic design and incorporates a revolutionary use of materials. Indeed, innovation is at the core of this exciting addition to the product range. Today, older products are considered collectible. It is not uncommon to see some that work perfectly after 30, 40 or even 50 years of service, clearly proving the value of the SOLI brand. Customers readily recognize this product quality and reliability.
On a warm Sunday one January in the 90s, while travelling to Rosario in Argentina, I stopped in a garden where I saw a lone bumper car. I also noticed only cars dating from the 50s. I introduced myself to the owners and was welcomed with a hug, the owner informing me that for 40 to 45 years his family had made a living thanks to this product. It was very touching. For me, this sums up the passion of the company and its workforce.
My congratulations and thanks to all the partners who during the past 90 years have made the SOLI brand famous. And of course we thank all our customers, in over 120 countries around the world to which we have exported our products.