The northern Italian city of Torino (Turin) lies at the very hear of the country’s motor industry, as it is here where the automotive giant that is Fiat was created and where the company, although now operating out of various other manufacturing sites in Italy and around the rest of the world, is still head-quartered, to the extent that to many, Fiat is Torino and Torino is Fiat. Although Fiat has a huge collection of historic vehicles. these are not currently on public display. But there is a museum in the city where you can learn about the development of the automobile with a special emphasis on the products of Italy. This is the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (The National Automobile Museum) sometimes referred to as “MAUTO”. It was set up in 1932 based on the idea of two pioneers of Italian motoring, Cesare Goria Gatti and Roberto Biscaretti di Ruffia (the first President of the Turin Automobile Club and one of the founders of the Fiat company), and is one of the oldest Automobile Museums in the world. It was Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia (Roberto’s son), a Turin aristocrat born in 1879, who attached his name permanently to the National Automobile Museum, since he was the one who conceived it, gathered together the initial collection, strove to bring it into being and worked his whole life to give it decent headquarters. Carlo Biscaretti was also its first President and on his death in September 1959, the Board of Directors passed a resolution to name the Museum after him; it was then formally opened on 3 November 1960. This is the only National Museum of this kind in Italy, housed in the premises designed by the architect Amedeo Albertini, on the left bank of the Po river and a short distance from the Lingotto; it is one of the few buildings specially constructed to house a museum collection, and is also a rare example of modern architecture. The museum has a collection of almost 200 cars from around eighty automobile brands representing eight countries (Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United States of America, Poland), though not all of them are on display at any one time spread over the three floors of the building. After restructuring in 2011 the museum reopened with the exhibition area significantly expanded, display space up nearly 50% from 11,000 to 19,000 square metres (120,000 to 200,000 sq ft). The museum also has its own library, documentation centre, bookshop and auditorium. It’s long been on my list of museums to visit and the chance came when I decided to spend a wintry weekend in the city, visiting the AutoMotoRetro event. As I was staying in the Lingotto area, it was only a couple of km the following morning to get to the museum. On a Sunday, parking was a bit of a challenge, as most of the streets around are residential, but I finally found somewhere a few blocks away, and walked up to the building. And here is what I found:
Dallara Stradale: This would be the first chance for many visitors to see the Dallara Stradale, a car that was first revealed in 2017. Company founder Gian Paolo Dallara had the desire to create a car bearing his own name after having worked with various manufacturers and over seeing their projects ranging from the development of Formula 1 and Formula 3 cars as well as Indycars and even designing the chassis of sports cars for other manufacturers, notable manufacturers include Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Alfa Romeo. The development of such a car was halted six times as the funds received from the completion of projects of other companies were invested in development of other projects but finally after accumulating enough funds for the development of a road car, the CEO of the company, Andrea Pontremoli was tasked with the development work. Development began in 2015 with design work contracted to Granstudio, a small Italian design consultancy firm located in Turin. Hours of wind tunnel testing was performed on the final mockups in order to ensure that the car was aerodynamically refined. Chassis work was undertaken by former race car driver Loris Bicocchi. Dallara had been inspired by Colin Chapman’s philosophy of lightweight minimalist sports cars and the final product, the Stradale embodied those principals. With a dry weight of 855 kg (1,885 lb), the Stradale has performance comparable to high performance sports cars while being driver-focused. The first car was delivered to Dallara himself, on the occasion of his 81st birthday, at the company’s headquarters in Varano de’ Melegari, Italy, in 2017. The Stradale is powered by a 2.3-litre turbocharged Ford EcoBoost Inline-four engine also used in the Ford Focus RS. The engine is reworked by Bosch in order to generate a maximum power output of 400 PS (395 bhp) at 6,200 rpm and a peak torque of 500 N⋅m (369 lb⋅ft) at 3,000–5,000 rpm. Bosch also worked on the car’s aerodynamics and as a result, the car in the berlinetta body style is able to generate 820 kg (1,808 lb) of downforce with its optional rear wing. The conversion to different body styles was made possible by a removable windscreen made from motosport grade polycarbonate glass and a carbon fibre frame. The windscreen has a shape and a central windscreen wiper reminiscent of the Group C race cars of the 1990s. A T-shape removable frame combined with detachable gull-wing doors makes the conversion to a targa top and berlinetta bodyshell possible, but the driver enters the car in the same way, regardless of body structure (i.e by climbing over the side). The base of the chassis is a hollow carbon-fibre tub with solid carbon fibre side structure in order to channel air to the rear of the car. The air from one side goes to the engine while the air from the other side goes to the air-to-air intercooler. The carbon tub is joined by aluminium sub-structures front and aft. Two control arms are present at each corner, with the front arms directly mounted on the tub. The floor of the chassis is flat with a front splitter mounted at the front and a rear diffuser mounted at the rear. These elements combined without the optional rear wing create so much downforce that the format of the car requires to be fitted with reverse Gurney flaps that help maintain appropriate aerodynamic balance. The engine is transversely mounted and is combined with a 6-speed manual transmission (also from the Focus RS) or an optional 6-speed sequential manual transmission with paddle shifters mounted on the steering column transferring the power of the engine to the rear wheels. Both of the transmissions come with a limited slip differential. The Stradale comes with electronic stability control as standard that can be turned off and set to intervene as minimum as possible. The braking system utilises steel brake discs as the engineers working on the car believed that steel brake discs worked just as good without the added complexity and cost of a carbon-ceramic brake disc. The brake calipers are supplied by Brembo. The interior of the car has carbon fibre as its main element and has all of the main controls of the car integrated into the steering wheel. Vital information of the car such as speed and rpm are displayed on a motorsports-style display screen on the steering column. The seats are carbon-fibre shells fixed to the chassis and have foam padding applied on them. The steering column and paddles are adjustable in order to alter the driving position. Minimal luggage can be stowed in two compartments located behind the engine and two additional compartments in the seats are designed to store two race helmets. The total space of these compartments is four cubic-feet. Other features of the car include Pirelli Trofeo R tyres, active racing suspension system by Tractive suspension which drops the car’s ride height by 0.8-inches in track mode and an oil pressure accumulator enabling the fuel pump to withstand the 2.0 g of lateral acceleration the chassis is capable of generating. The Stradale can generate a downforce of 400 kp (881 lbf) at 241 km/h (150 mph) in its basic form and 853 kp (1,880 lbf) with its optional rear wing. The car accelerates from 0–60 mph in 3.2 seconds, 0–100 mph in 8.1 seconds, can complete a quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds and can attain a top speed of 280 km/h (174 mph). The company plans to produce no more than 600 units of the Stradale in five years offering a limited number of units for sale every year. Each car has a cost of €191,000 before taxes.
2018 Jannarelly Design-1: The Design-1 is a roadster with central rear engine and rear-wheel drive. It is built in Dubai by the French manufacturer Jannarelly and its production is limited to 499 copies. Its design is similar to roadsters of the 1960s like the AC Cobra. The Design-1 rests on a tubular steel and aluminium chassis, covered with a carbon fibre and/or fibreglass body. The Jannarelly Design-1 can receive a removable hard carbon roof (painted or visible carbon) to transform the roadster into a coupe. Three versions are available are: Trackday, roadster with a simple windscreen; Lifestyle, roadster with windshield; Touring, roadster with its hardtop. The Design-1 inherits the latest generation of the V6 3.5 engine from the Nissan 350Z, providing 321 bhp and 371 Nm (274 lb/ft) of torque. None of this comes cheap, with the car costing not a lot less than £100,000.
ORIGINS to the FUTURE
1478 Leonardo: Leonardo’s self-propelled cart is an invention designed by Leonardo da Vinci, considered the ancestor of the modern automobile. The machine is powered by the two symmetric springs. While one spring would be enough to move the device, two symmetric springs probably looked like a more “logically perfect” solution. Leonardo has been well aware the powering force drops significantly as the spring unwinds. In order to deliver smooth and stable motion, the machine features balance wheel, as used in clocks. The control mechanism is quite complex and allows to follow the pre-programmed path automatically. The machine also features a mechanism similar to differential that also allows to set the turning angle.
1987 Phoenix II Solare: This solar electric automobile was planned and built in 1987 by Andrea Pesaresi (Osimo, Ancona). It is powered by an electric motor providing about 3.4 kW, fed by a battery pack of 40 Nichel-Cadmio units, providing 1.9 kWh. The 18 high efficiency monocrystalline solar panels mounted on the wings provide energy to the batteries; their rated power is 0.6 kW, according to the available sun’s energy. The electronic control unit manages both the recharging of the batteries and the powering of the motor. The body shell, carbon- and fibreglass, has also frame’s stiffening function . This car debuted at the Grand Prix 4E held in Milano in 1988 and took part in competitions for solar electric vehicles until 1991.
The first displays that you come to start with the dawn of motoring and show the progression of designs from those early cars around the turn of the twentieth century through the next several decades.
1769 Cugnot: This is a 7:10 scale reproduction of the world’s first self-propelled vehicle, a steam-powered, tricycle artillery tractor designed in Paris’s Military Arsenal by Nicolas Joseph Cugnot of Lorraine. Its two-cylinder engine was supplied with steam by a boiler and drove the front wheel, which also took care of the steering. The original, better known as the fardier (waggon for carrying heavy loads), can be seen in the Conservatoire National des arts et Métiers, Paris. It weighed a massive 4 tonnes and could reach a heady 4 km/h
1854 Bordino Carriage: Virginio Bordino, an officer in Italy’s Royal Engineers and a pioneer of locomotion in Italy, built this vehicle in Turin’s Military Arsenal by fitting a two-cylinder steam engine below the suitably reinforced bodyshell of a horse-drawn landau, together with a boiler and burner at the back. It was driven by an original transmission system consisting of con rods directly linked to a crankshaft-shaped rear axle, and consumed 30kg of coke per hour. It weighed 3 tonnes and could reach 8km/h.
1896 Bernardi 3.5 HP: Prof. Enrico Bernardi of Verona was a leading automobile pioneer and a skilful inventor who took out a number of patents. He also built the first motor car to travel in Italian roads. The three-wheeler 1 cylinder 624cc 3,5 HP with its “duc” coachwork displays many of Bernardi’s inventions: cylinder with detachable head, overhead valves and a centrifugal inlet valve regulator, constant-level carburettor with float and spray nozzle, incandescent ignition with platinum heat sponge, and goemetrically correct steering. Top speed was around 35 km/h.
1983 Benz Victoria: Karl Benz, together with Gottlieb Daimler, is regarded as the father of the motor car. After spending some years in the elaboration of single-cylinder petrol gas engines for tricycles, he moved over to four-wheelers in 1893. The Victoria, his first model, was built (with slight modifications) until 1898. This example has a break-type body with four face-to-face seats, and bears the number 57.
1892 Peugeot Type 3: This very display car, a Type 3 Peugeot 1892, chassis n. 25, Daimler engine n. 124, is a milestone in the history of the Italian automobile: it is the first car to circulate in Italy. It was ordered, on August 30th 1892, by Gaetano Rossi, owner of the most important fabric industry in Italy, when back from one of his journeys from Paris. The car came to Piovene Rocchette on January 2 1893 and was used for several years until it was sold to Guido Lazzari, a young heir of a rich family. After some adventures it came to the Museum. The car as 2 cylinders in a V, at the back, a 565cc engine generating 2CV at 1000 rpm, with a chain driven transmission, and a top speed of 35 km/h In spring 2007 the car was delivered to Peugeot Automobili Italia for a careful restoration and a close examination of its first years through the archives and the documents of Peugeot itself.
1899 Jamais Contente: La Jamais Contente (English: The Never Satisfied) was the first road vehicle to go over 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph). It was a Belgian electric vehicle with a light-alloy torpedo-shaped bodywork and batteries. The high position of the driver and the exposed chassis underneath spoiled much of the aerodynamics. The light alloy, called partinium, is an alloy of aluminium, tungsten and magnesium. The land speed record was established on April 29 or May 1, 1899 at Achères, Yvelines near Paris, France. The vehicle had two direct-drive Postel-Vinay 25 kW motors, running at 200 V and drawing 124 A each, for about 68 hp total, and was equipped with Michelin tires. Chassis number was n°25. The vehicle was driven by the Belgian driver Camille Jenatzy. Camille was the son of Constant Jenatzy, a manufacturer of rubber products (rubber was still a novelty at the time). Camille had studied as an engineer, with an interest in electric-traction automobiles. He became known for his record-breaking speed runs and was nicknamed Le Diable Rouge (“The Red Devil”) for the colour of his beard. He died in 1913, after being shot in a hunting accident. Wishing to carve a place in the then promising Parisian electric carriage market, Jenatzy started a manufacturing plant, which would produce many electric carriages and trucks. He competed fiercely against the carriage-maker Jeantaud in publicity stunts to see which of them made the fastest vehicles. In order to ensure the triumph of his company, Jenatzy built a bullet-shaped prototype, conceived by the carriage-maker Rothschild in partinium (an alloy of laminated aluminium, tungsten and magnesium). Jenatzy reached the speed of 105.882 kilometres per hour (65.792 mph), besting the previous record, held by Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat driving a Jeantaud, who had attained 92.78 kilometres per hour (57.65 mph) on March 4, 1899. After this exploit the gasoline-fuelled combustion engine would increasingly supplant electric technology for the next century.
1891 Pecori: Built in 1891 by its Lombard inventor Enrico Pecori at a time when the superiority of the internal combustion engine had not yet been fully established, this vehicle mounts a flat two-cylinder engine fuelled by a boiler generator with a concentric flue, and has a chain drive to the rear wheels. A pioneering effort that proved to have no future.
1899 Benz 8HP: Benz’s light Velo was the world’s first “mass-produced” car, albeit in very small numbers, and was subsequently equipped with pneumatic tyres. It retained the Victoria’s single-cylinder rear engine. The steering mechanism is provided with a rotating central leaf spring to damp the vibrations on the driving bar. The engine was at the rear with 1 horizontal cylinder and a capacity of 1140 cc, which gave a max power output of 3 CV a 400 rpm. It had two forward speeds but no reverse, and could reach a heady 50 km/h. 372 were sold.
1899 Renault 3.5 HP: Renault was founded in Paris by three brothers, Louis, Fernand and Marcel, in 1899. Its firs vehicle was designed as a prototype by Louis before the company was formed and a few dozens were then built in its little Billancourt workshop. The 31/2 HP came next. It, too, was also equipped with a water-cooled, single-cylinder De Dion engine and soon made its name in the motoring world, one reason being the races it won, including the Paris-Ostend, in the hands of Louis and Marcel Renault. It had a 1 cylinder 402 cc engine, generating 3.5 CV a 1500 rpm and a 2 speed gearbox, which gave it a top speed of 45 km/h
1899 Fiat 4HP: Designed by Aristide Faccioli, this was the first model made by what was to become Italy’s leading automaker, S. A. Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino, and appeared shortly after the company was formed. With three-seat, face-to-face coachwork. it has a three-speed gearbox with no reverse and chain drive. Its rear-mounted, two-cylinder 657cc engine is water-cooled through a coil radiator generating 4.5 HP and delivering average fuel consumption of about 8 l/100 km. Only 2 of the thirty or so manufactured have survived. The other is in Fiat’s Centro Storico.
1903 de Dion Bouton 8HP
1901 Ceirano 5HP: The four Ceirano brothers, Giovanni Battista, Giovanni, Matteo and Ernesto, were leading pioneers in Italy’s motor car history. Giovanni designed the “Welleyes”, from which the first Fiat sprang, and one brother or another sired a host of marques over the course of some twenty years: Fratelli Ceirano (1901), Itala (1904), STAR (1904), Junior (1905), SPA (1906), SCAT (1906) and Ceirano S.A. (1919). The 5 HP was made by Fratelli Ceirano. It has an Aster single-cylinder engine and a patented four-speed, constant-mesh gearbox. Note the two radiators at the sides. The “duc” coachwork is by Locati & Torretta. This car has a 1 cylinder 639 cc engine, putting out 5 bhp at 800 rpm, which allowed it to reach 45 km/h.
1904 Curved Dash Oldsmobile: After Olds sold his company in 1899 it was renamed ‘Olds Motor Works’ and was moved to a new plant in Detroit. By March 1901, it had a range of prototype models ready for mass-production. Unfortunately, a mistake by a worker caused the factory to catch fire and it burned to the ground with all but one of the prototypes destroyed. The only car that survived the fire was a Curved Dash model, which was wheeled out of the factory by two workers while escaping the fire. A new factory was built, and mass-production of the Curved Dash commenced. Over 500 Curved Dash Oldsmobiles had been constructed by the end of 1901 and, by 1904, 5,000 units per annum were being produced.
1901 Fiat 8HP: Fiat’s first front-mounted, two-cylinder engine was initially cooled by a coil radiator and subsequently by a honeycomb radiator. It was 2 cylinder 1082cc unit which developed 10 HP at 1100rpm giving it a top speed of 45 km/h. There were eight of these vehicles on the starting line when the first Giro d’Italia (Round Italy) race began in 1901 and they all completed the 1634-km course. One was driven by Fiat’s founder Giovanni Agnelli with Felice Nazzaro as his mechanic, whereas the museum’s 8 HP was driven by Emanuele Cacherano di Bricherasio. The coachwork is of the “duc” type.
1902 Darracq 9.5HP: This is one of the first light cars built by Alexandre Darracq. The company he established in France became the source of others that survived its own demise. Alfa Romeo, in fact, was conceived in Darracq’s works in Milan and Naples. The 9,5HP has a single-cylinder 1281cc front engine generating 9 HP at 1200rpm, a three-speed gearbox and cardan shaft drive to the rear wheels. Note the canopy with its let-down side and rear curtains, the generous windscreen and the drooping bonnet typical of French cars. During the 1902 “Semaine de Nice”, Paul Baras took this vehicle over the flying kilometre in less than 36 seconds, equivalent to an amazing speed of more than 100 kilometres per hour.
1899 Panhard et Levassor B1: Louis-René Panhard and Emile Levassor founded their company in Paris in 1886 and produced their first car (also powered by a Daimler engine) three years later. The B 1 was presented in 1899. It has a 4 cylinder 3562cc 12CV Daimler Phenix engine with automatic inlet valves and is derived from the model in which Ferdinand Charron won the Paris-Amsterdam race in 1898 at an average speed of more than 44 km/h.
1903 Fiat 16/20HP: The 16/20HP was first produced by Fiat in 1903 and widely sold in Italy and abroad. The first and second series were powered by a 4179 cc 4 cylinder engine with a band clutch and a 4 speed transmission, which generated 20 HP at 1200 rpm. They were followed in 1906 by a third series with a 4503 cc engine and multiplate clutch. The vehicle on display comes from the first series and is fitted with a “phaeton” coachwork.
1903 Florentia 10HP: This unique 10 HP with its “phaeton” coachwork is the only surviving example of a model made by Florentia, a Florence factory active from 1903 to 1913 that began by producing its own cars before manufacturing under licence from the French company Rochet Schneider. It has a 2 cylinder 7690 cc engine, generating 15 CV a 1200 rpm which allowed it to reach 55 km/h and weighed 750 kg.
1902 Fiat 12/16 HP: Designed by Giovanni Enrico, who became Fiat’s engineering manager in 1901, this model with its huge displacement, 3768cc four-cylinder engine swept the company into a new horsepower bracket, generating 16 HP at 1200 rpm, giving it a top speed of 75 km/h. It was also Fiat’s first model to be fitted with a honeycomb radiator and the first of its exports. It went out of production in 1903, however, and only a hundred and ten were made.
1908 Brixia Zust 10HP: Established by Roberto Züst at Brescia in 1906, Brixia Züst was the start of what eventually became Officine Meccaniche in 1917 and OM- Fabbrica Bresciana di Automobili in 1928. The unique feature of the 10 HP is its integral three-cylinder 1386cc engine with a fixed head and side valves operated by two camshafts in the cylinder block, which generated 10 bhp at 1000 rpm. It was produced until 1911.
1908 Legnano A 6/8HP: This little two-seater with its “duc” coachwork and snub-nosed radiator was made by FIAL (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Legnano), a small company that operated in Lombardy from 1906 to 1909. It has a front-mounted, integral two-cylinder 1135cc engine generating 8 bhp at 1100rpm, a sheet steel chassis and cardan shaft drive, and cost 4000 lire.
1907 Sizaire et Naudin 8HP
1907 Itala 35/45 HP: This is the car in which Prince Scipione Borghese with Ettore Guizzardi as his mechanic and Luigi Barzini as the special correspondent of the Corriere della Sera won the Peking to Paris race sponsored by the Paris daily “Le Matin” in 60 days. It arrived a full twenty days ahead of the second to finish after overcoming all kinds of natural hazards and obstacles along the 16,000-kilometre route. It had an enormous fuel tank on each side and its over-7-litre engine was coupled to a four-speed gearbox. The Itala was subsequently known as the Peking-Paris type.
1912 Fiat Zero: The Zero was the first Fiat runabout. More than 2000 were manufactured in a torpedo and a spider version between 1912 and 1915. The coachwork with its simple, rugged and reliable mechanicals was devised by the Farina works with the direct involvement of Giovanni Battista Farina (1893 – 1966), who eventually incorporated his nickname “Pinin” into the new family name Pininfarina. there was a 4 cylinder 1846cc engine which generated 18 bhp at 1700rpm, giving a top speed of 70 km/h. The price of the torpedo (8.000 lire) was a real bargain in those days.
1909 Isotta Fraschini 20/30HP: Established by Cesare Isotta and Vincenzo Fraschini in 1900, this Milanese company was among Italy’s leading automakers and its prestigious de luxe models were long renowned the world over. The AN 20/30 HP sprang from the A 16/22 HP designed by Giustino Cattaneo, a skilled engineer who also patented front-wheel brakes. With its 4 cylinder 4940cc engine it generated 30 bhp at 1200 rpm and could reach 70 km/h. The landaulet coachwork on this model is by Pavesi, Crespi & Coo., Milan.
1905 Fiat 24/32 HP: Presented in 1903 with a 6371 cc engine soon augmented to 6902 and again (in 1905) to 7363 cc to bear different kinds of coachwork, the 24/32 was mainly used as a city car. A two-seater sports version was entered by Fiat in the first Targa Florio in 1906, and won the race the following year with Felice Nazzaro at the wheel. The 7363cc engine generated 36 HP at 1200 rpm, giving the car a top speed of 75 km/h.
1907 de Dion Bouton BG: In the early years of the century, De Dion & Bouton was also one of the main suppliers of engines to other European automakers. The BG runabout is one of the company’s last single-cylinder models and was produced at a time when the make was very popular. Its wide diffusion was also assisted by some advanced features, such as the automatic engine lubrication pump and the lighting equipment with an acetylene generator. It had a 1 cylinder 942 cc generating a maximum output of 8 bhp at 1400 rpm allowing a top speed of 40 km/h.
1907 Pope C 60V
1909 STAE Electric: In 1905, the French marque Krieger, which specialised in the construction of electric and petrol-electric vehicles, set up a branch in Turin that later changed its style to Società Torinese Automobili Elettriche (STAE), but continued to make use of Krieger’s patents. It met with little success, however, and wound up in 1913. This vehicle has cardan shaft drive and its centrally mounted electric engine runs off a battery hidden under the imitation bonnet. It resulted in 10bhp, a maximum speed of 30 km/h and a range of 80 – 90 km.
1913 Delage AB-8: Founded by Louis Delage in 1905, the company’s touring and racing cars were among the finest Europe had to offer until it closed down in 1935. The light vehicle on display with its superb engineering and elegant coachwork is one of those made between 1910 and 1913. It features a 4 cylinder 2121 cc engine which put out 14 bhp at 1200 rpm whcih gave it a top speed of 70 km/h.
1909 Itala 35/45 HP: Christened Palombella (little dove), this luxurious vehicle with its landaulet body by Italy’s leading coachbuilder Cesare Sala of Milan, was made for Queen Margaret of Savoy. The chassis is that of the 1907 “Peking to Paris” Itala, plus a few modifications, such as the two separate brake pedals. Note the eagle-shaped silver door handles and foldaway step ladder. It had a 4 cylinder 7433 cc engine which put out 45 bhp at 1250 rpm.
1910 Renault AG Fiacre Paris, the “Taxi de la Marne”: As indicated by its name, this model was built as a Parisian taxi. It earned its moment of glory as well as a nickname the taxi of the Marne on 6 September1914 when a thousand were requisitioned by General Gallieni, commandant of the garrison in Paris besieged by the German army led by Field-Marshal Von Kluck, to carry two regiments to the front and take part in the battle that saved the capital and France. It was powered by a 2 cylinder 1206cc engine which generated 7 bhp at 1800 rpm, giving it a top speed of 65 km/h.
1911 Fiat 4: This model with its six-seater torpedo coachwork was one of Fiat’s first to have an integral engine, L-shaped combustion chamber and petrol feed taps for cold starting. It was a 4 cylinder 5802cc that put out 53 bhp at 1600rpm giving a top speed of 95 km/h. In 1915, it was equipped with a 12 V electrical system. A total of 684 had been manufactured when it went out of production in 1918. There was also a military torpedo version. One of these was fitted out for King Victor Emmanuel III to use during World War I.
1922 Citroen 5CV: A widely sold French runabout, this is one of the first models tuned out by André Citroen after reconverting his factories from their wartime operations. It was a very simple design , with an open two-seater body and three-speed gearbox, and powered by a 856 cc engine, the C3 weighed 420 kg and had a top speed of 60 km/h. A total of 80,000 were built down to 1926.
1914 Rolls Royce 40/50HP: The founders of this renowned English firm, Henry Royce and Charles Rolls, brought out their first car in 1904. Its superb quality was universally appreciated and won it instant success. Later on they created the 40-50 HP, the official designation of the world-famous Silver Ghost. First presented in 1906 and produced until 1925, it started Rolls-Royce on its legendary career. It had a 7428cc 6 cylinder engine. The manufacturer never officially declared the power output, starting a long tradition of declaring it to be “sufficient”. This example was made in 1914 and used by the British High Command on the French front during World War I. The torpedo coachwork is by Barker.
1922 SPA 23S: Founded in 1906 by Matteo Ceirano and Michele Ansaldi, SPA (Società Piemontese Automobili) made rapid progress thanks to the quality and sparkling performance of its touring and sports cars. Its 23 S appeared in a number of version in 1922. In the first half of the 1920s, this one carried off the Coppa delle Alpi and the Aosta to Great St Bernard and Cuneo to Colle della Maddalena hill climbs. Note the luggage space behind the two seats. This car had a 4 cylinder 2724cc engine, generating 50 bhp a 3000 rpm and a top speed of 110 km/h.
1925 Diatto Tipo 30: Founded in Turin in 1905, Diatto’s up-and-down history was punctuated by the production of very popular models that were often of the sporty kind. This 30 was one of the last to leave the factory. Its outstanding specifications included a powerful 54 bhp 2-litre engine with the overhead valve timing system Diatto had adopted in 1919. This model proved to be the marque’s swansong.
1931 Cord L29: The Cord marque was founded by Errett Lobban Cord. Its six-window L-29 saloon was produced from 1929 to 1933. Much of the fascination and interest it aroused stemmed from the proportions of its bodywork: the bonnet accounted for nearly half the length of the entire vehicle, while even the 4-door saloon was lower than the average and had something of a sports car appearance. Following the launch of his 810 and 812, however, Cord decided to retire in 1936 and the company closed down year later. The cars produced by this ingenious, many-sided entrepreneur have earned a permanent place in motor car history. The L29 had an 8 cylinder 5279 cc engine generating 125 bhp a 3600 rpm, giving it a top speed of 170 km/h.
1929 Isotta Fraschini 8A: The Model 8 A is a development of the Model 8 introduced by this Milan company in 1920. It was a very luxurious and sophisticated car, with an 8 cylinder 7370cc engine and was intended for the rich and those who needed to be right in the public eye. The vehicle on display has a “coupé de ville” body, manufactured by Castagna in Milan and was used in the 1950 film “Sunset Boulevard”, starring William Holden, Erich von Stroheim and Gloria Swanson, in the Norma Desmond part, whose names are engraved on the rear doors.
1948 Lancia Aprilia: Launched in 1937, the Aprilia was one of the first cars to be designed using a wind tunnel. This was in collaboration with Battista Farina and Politecnico di Torino and allowed the car to achieve a record low drag coefficient of 0.47. This was the last of Vincenzo Lancia’s designs, with the car entering production in the very month in which he died. The first series (model. 238) of which 10,354 units were built between 1937–39 featured a 1,352 cc V4 motor providing 47 bhp. The second series (model. 438) of which 9,728 were made, was first seen in 1939 and production of which continued after the war, had its engine capacity increased to 1,486 cc which provided 48 bhp. A Lusso model of this second series was also offered as well as a lungo (lengthened) version. 706 of these were made between 1946 and 1949, making a grand total of 20,082 cars, with 7,554 additional chassis for coach built bodies, produced in Turin along with about 700 in France. With the Aprilia, Lancia followed their tradition of offering cars with the steering wheel on the right even in markets seen by other manufacturers as left hand drive markets. Outside the UK and Sweden customers increasingly picked the optional left hand drive versions, however. Although the regular Berlina is the best known version, the car was available with a number of coachbuilt bodies.
1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K: A luxury sports car powered by a straight-eight engine supercharged through a positive-displacement blower engaged from the driver’s seat, with all-independent suspensions and very high performance ratings, the 500 K was built at the Daimler Benz works in Mannheim in very small numbers and in four version: saloon, torpedo, coupé, cabriolet and roadster, and is an excellent example of pre-war German automotive engineering. The 540K sported an 8 cylinder 5000 cc engine generating 180 bhp at 3500 rpm giving this heavy (2235 kg) car a top speed of 170 km/h.
1936 Buick 41C Special: The U.S. Buick brand, founded in 1903 and acquired by General Motors in 1908, suffered heavily in 1933 the consequences of the severe recession that affected the global economy: from fourth place in the ranking of the best selling brands, it sank in the sixth and seventh. G.M decided to invest massively to allow Buick to recover positions. This was possible thanks to the marketing of particularly successful models such as the Series 40, whose design was the result of current stylistic innovation introduced to the GM by Art & Color Studio directed by Harvey Earl. The year of full recovery was 1938, two years after the release of the model on display, thanks to the all-steel chassis replacing the mixed steel-wood one adopted until then. The Special exhibited still shows a solemn design, but also modern and well harmonized as a whole. The length of the front part is accentuated by the twin radiator grill, the slender front form is enhanced by the elongated shape of the two lights mounted on each side of the bonnet and of the two ones on the large fenders. The doors are double-folding, but the body has a central pillar. The glasses area is small in relation to the volume of the car, while the V-windscreen helps to give dash to the design of the body. The integral rear trunk can be considered among the earliest examples of a three-volumes-line. Ultimately a car with excellent features, as confirmed by the slogan that was long employed in the advertising campaigns of the house: “When better automobiles are built, Buick will buy them”.
1932 Austin Seven: The “Baby Austin” was one of the most popular runabouts of the Twenties and Thirties, especially on account of its reputed 20 km to the litre. Designed and built by Lord Herbert Austin, it was launched in 1923 and cost only 165 pounds, one-third of the price of other small British cars. It was powered by a 4 cylinder 747cc engine which put out 13 bhp at 2500rpm meaning that the little car could just about hit 70 km/h. A total of 375,000 had been built when it went out of production in 1939.
1934 Citroen 11A: 1934 saw the introduction of the Citroen’s revolutionary and mould-shattering front-wheel-drive semi-monocoque car, the Traction Avant. The Traction endured a troubled and prolonged birth process, however, and was part of an ambitious investment programme which involved, also in 1934, the bankruptcy of the business, and its acquisition by Citroën’s principal creditor. The patron himself died in 1935. In this troubled situation, availability of the larger Rosalies (although re-engined with a turned-around version of the new Traction’s OHV four-cylinder engines) continued till 1938: it is only through the distorting prism of subsequent events that its reputation has been diminished when set against the technical brilliance of its successor. Produced for over 20 years, many different versions were made during that time, all with the same styling outline, but with power outputs ranging from 7 to 15CV, and different wheelbases, as well as some with Coupe and Convertible body styles. There was even one model with a large opening tailgate, the Commerciale.
1932 Fiat 508: The 508 Balilla was a compact car launched in 1932. It was effectively the replacement of the Fiat 509, although production of the earlier model had ceased back in 1929. It had a three-speed transmission (increased to four in 1934), seated four, and had a top speed of about 50 mph (80 km/h). It sold for 10,800 lire (or 8,300 2005 euro). About 113,000 were produced. It was offered with a number of different body styles. The first 508 came with a front-mounted four cylinder petrol/gasline side-valve engine of 995cc. Maximum power was listed as 20 hp at 3500 rpm, providing for a top speed of approximately 80 km/h (50 mph). Power passed to the rear wheels through a 3-speed manual gear box without the assistance of synchromesh on any of the ratios. Stopping power was provided by drum brakes on all four wheels. At the end of 1933 power was increased to 24 hp at 3500 rpm, and the maximum speed went up to 85 km/h (53 mph). Transmission was upgraded to a four speed gear box. For 1934 the car now came with a slightly more aerodynamic looking “berlina” (saloon/sedan) body, available with either two or four doors. This version was identified as the Fiat 508B, and the original 1932 model was now, retrospectively, became the Fiat 508A. The first 508A, introduced in 1932, was a 2-door “Berlina” (saloon/sedan) with four seats and a three speed “crash” gearbox. The front seats could be slid forwards and the backrests tilted in order to facilitate access to the back seat in what was a relatively small car. Unusually, the windows in the doors could be wound down by turning a crank handle fitted to the door, while the windscreen was hinged at the top and could be opened, while two windscreen wipers were powered by their own electric motor, positioned inside just above the windscreen. The interior used rubber mats while the seats were cloth covered. Accessories offered included a dash-mounted rear-view mirror, an interior light mounted on the centre of the roof and an externally mounted luggage platform at the back which, when specified, came with the spare wheel repositioned to a mounting point on the side of the car between the left-side door and the front wing. A “Lusso” (“de Luxe”) version also featured a better type of cloth covering for the seats as well as extra bright work around the lights, front grille, wheels and door handles. With the 508B, introduced early in 1934, the body was described as “more aerodynamic” although from the perspective of later developments in car styling, the 508B still followed the rather boxy lines associated with cheap cars from the early 1930s. The gear box was upgraded, now offering four forward speeds, and while the a 2-door “Berlina” remained on offer for a few more months, a 4-door “Berlina” was now added. In June of the same year the 2-door “Berlina” was delisted for Italy and there was a further face-lift for the 4-door bodied car, which now received a modified front grille and a windscreen, previously vertical, that was slightly raked, hinting at the more wholesale styling changes that would accompany the appearance in 1937 of the 508C version of the car. Standard and “Lusso” versions of the 4-door “Berlina” were both offered. A “Torpedo” bodied 508 was added to the range in 1933, with four seats and four doors, and in 1933 still with the 3-speed “crash” gear-box. It was offered only with the “Lusso” (“de Luxe”) trimmings. As on the “Spider”, seat covers and interior trimmings used coloured leather. The windscreen pillars and door hinges were chrome plated, and the removable fabric hood could be stored in a suitably shaped storage bag provided for the purpose. The upgrade to a four speed transmission in 1934 was not accompanied by any aesthetic changes to the “Torpedo” bodywork. The Italian military was active in Tripolitania (now known as Libya) during this period, and a special “Torpedo Coloniale” was produced, sharing the features of the regular 508 Torpedo, but this car came with wider tyres and was painted the colour of sand. A commercial version of the Balilla was offered, both as a panel van or as a small flat-bed truck, with a 350 kg load capacity, based initially on the 3-speed 508A and later on the 4-speed 508B. Around 113,000 were produced.
1936 Fiat 500: Known for being the car which really put Italy on wheels, the Topolino was one of the smallest cars in the world at the time of its production. Launched in 1937, three versions were produced until 1955, all with only minor mechanical and cosmetic changes. It was equipped with a 569 cc four-cylinder, side-valve, water-cooled engine mounted in front of the front axle, which meant that it was a full-scale car rather than a cyclecar. The radiator was located behind the engine which made possible a lowered aerodynamic nose profile at a time when competitors had a flat, nearly vertical grille. The shape of the car’s front allowed exceptional forward visibility. The rear suspension initially used quarter-elliptic rear springs, but buyers frequently squeezed four or five people into the nominally two-seater car, and in later models the chassis was extended at the rear to allow for more robust semi-elliptic springs. With horsepower of about 13 bhp, its top speed was about 53 mph and it could achieve about 48 mpg. The target price given when the car was planned was 5,000 lire. In the event the price at launch was 9,750 lire, though the decade was one of falling prices in several part of Europe and later in the 1930s the Topolino was sold for about 8,900 lire. Despite being more expensive than first envisioned, the car was competitively priced and nearly 520,000 were sold. Nowadays the car seen here is known as the 500A, and this shares its body with the later 500 Model B, but the later car had more power, a heady 16 hp. It was made between 1948 and 1949. The Model A was offered as a 2-door coupé, 2-door cabriolet and a 2-door van, while the Model B also introduced a 3-door estate under the name 500 B Giardinetta (“estate car”). The 500 Model C was introduced in 1949 with a restyled body and the same engine as Model B, and was offered in 2-door coupé, 2-door cabriolet, 3-door estate and 2-door van versions. In 1952, the Giardinetta was renamed the Belvedere (“A turret or other raised structure offering a pleasant view of the surrounding area”, referring to its sunroof). The Model C was produced until 1955.
1941 Ford-Jeep: Almost 278,000 jeeps were produced by both Ford and Willys Overland as G.P. (general pur pose) vehicles (hence the nickname) for the American and Allied armies during World War II. Many, indeed, were the purposes to which this tough and tireless performer was assigned: scout car, infantry attack vehicle, amphibious vehicle, breakdown truck, etc. So much so that the word has passed into English as the synonym for a light, 4WD off-road vehicle. This car had a 4 cylinder 2199 cc engine generating 60 bhp at 4000 rpm.
1948 Cisitalia 202: The 1947 Cisitalia 202 coupe redefined automotive styling when it was introduced in 1947. It was lower. It was tight. It was concise. In fact, it was so pretty that the New York Museum of Modern Art considered it a work of sculpture and acquired one for its own permanent collection. It was a centrepiece of their 1951 Eight Automobiles show that spoke to three different approaches to coach building. The Cisitalia is still regarded as one of the most beautiful, beautiful cars ever built. And even though it’s got a small 1.1-litre engine, it’s capable of going more than 100 miles per hour because of its lightweight and aerodynamic design.
1954 Fiat Turbina: The Fiat Turbina was a gas turbine-powered concept car built in 1954. Fiat was the second car manufacturer, after Rover, to introduce a car propelled by a gas turbine—Fiat touted the Turbina as “the first turbine car built in Continental Europe”. The project took a long period of planning, studies began in 1948 and ended with a first track test on 14 April 1954 on the rooftop track of the Lingotto factory. The car was first publicly shown on 23 April 1954 at the Turin-Caselle Airport, where it made some demonstration runs with Fiat chief test driver Carlo Salamano at the wheel. All major Fiat personalities were present, including Gianni Agnelli, president Vittorio Valletta and engineer Dante Giacosa, director of the technical office and responsible for the car’s development. The Turbina was then displayed at the ongoing 36th Turin Motor Show. The turbine engine was placed amidships, behind the passenger compartment. It consisted of a two-stage centrifugal compressor, three can-type combustors, a two-stage turbine driving the compressor, and a single-stage power turbine with a geared reduction to the rear wheels. There were no gearbox or clutch. According to the manufacturer the engine produced 300 PS at 22,000 rpm, and the estimated top speed was approximately 250 km/h (160 mph). The bodywork had undergone wind tunnel testing at the Politecnico di Torino facilities. The Turbina held the record for lowest drag coefficient on an automobile (0.14) for 30 years. The concept was shelved due to high fuel usage and problems with overheating.
1955 Citroen DS19: It is hard to imagine just how revolutionary this car must have seemed when it was unveiled at the Paris Show in 1955. 18 years in secret development as the successor to the Traction Avant, the DS 19 stole the show, and within 15 minutes of opening, 743 orders were taken. By the end of the first day, that number had risen to 12,000. Contemporary journalists said the DS pushed the envelope in the ride vs. handling compromise possible in a motor vehicle. To a France still deep in reconstruction after the devastation of World War II, and also building its identity in the post-colonial world, the DS was a symbol of French ingenuity. It also posited the nation’s relevance in the Space Age, during the global race for technology of the Cold War. Structuralist philosopher Roland Barthes, in an essay about the car, said that it looked as if it had “fallen from the sky”. An American advertisement summarised this selling point: “It takes a special person to drive a special car”. Because they were owned by the technologically aggressive tyre manufacturer Michelin, Citroën had designed their cars around the technically superior radial tyre since 1948, and the DS was no exception. The car featured a novel hydropneumatic suspension including an automatic levelling system and variable ground clearance, developed in-house by Paul Magès. This suspension allowed the DS to travel quickly on the poor road surfaces common in France. In addition, the vehicle had power steering and a semi-automatic transmission (the transmission required no clutch pedal, but gears still had to be shifted by hand though the shift lever controlled a powered hydraulic shift mechanism in place of a mechanical linkage, and a fibreglass roof which lowered the centre of gravity and so reduced weight transfer. Inboard front brakes (as well as independent suspension) reduced unsprung weight. Different front and rear track widths and tyre sizes reduced the unequal tyre loading, which is well known to promote understeer, typical of front-engined and front-wheel drive cars. As with all French cars, the DS design was affected by the tax horsepower system, which effectively mandated very small engines. Unlike the Traction Avant predecessor, there was no top-of-range model with a powerful six-cylinder engine. Citroën had planned an air-cooled flat-6 engine for the car, but did not have the funds to put the prototype engine into production. The 1955 DS19 was 65% more expensive than the car it replaced, the Citroën Traction Avant. This did impact potential sales in a country still recovering economically from World War II, so a cheaper submodel, the Citroën ID, was introduced in 1957. The ID shared the DS’s body but was less powerful and luxurious. Although it shared the engine capacity of the DS engine (at this stage 1,911 cc), the ID provided a maximum power output of only 69 hp compared to the 75 hp claimed for the DS19. Power outputs were further differentiated in 1961 when the DS19 acquired a Weber-32 twin bodied carburettor, and the increasing availability of higher octane fuel enabled the manufacturer to increase the compression ratio from 7.5:1 to 8.5:1. A new DS19 now came with a promised 83 hp of power. The ID19 was also more traditional mechanically: it had no power steering and had conventional transmission and clutch instead of the DS’s hydraulically controlled set-up. Initially the basic ID19 was sold on the French market with a price saving of more than 25% against the DS, although the differential was reduced at the end of 1961 when the manufacturer quietly withdrew the entry level ID19 “Normale” from sale. An estate version was introduced in 1958. It was known by various names in different markets: Break in France, Safari and Estate in the UK, Wagon in the US, and Citroën Australia used the terms Safari and Station-Wagon. It had a steel roof to support the standard roof rack. ‘Familiales’ had a rear seat mounted further back in the cabin, with three folding seats between the front and rear squabs. The standard Break had two side-facing seats in the main load area at the back. During the 20 year production life, improvements were made on an ongoing basis. In September 1962, the DS was restyled with a more aerodynamically efficient nose, better ventilation and other improvements. It retained the open two headlamp appearance, but was available with an optional set of driving lights mounted on the front bumpers. A more luxurious Pallas trim came in for 1965 Named after the Greek goddess Pallas, this included comfort features such as better noise insulation, a more luxurious (and optional leather) upholstery and external trim embellishments. The cars were complex, and not always totally reliable, One of the issues that emerged during long term use was addressed with a change which came in for 1967. The original hydropneumatic system used a vegetable oil liquide hydraulique végétal (LHV), similar to that used in other cars at the time, but later switched to a synthetic fluid liquide hydraulique synthétique (LHS). Both of these had the disadvantage that they are hygroscopic, as is the case with most brake fluids. Disuse allows water to enter the hydraulic components causing deterioration and expensive maintenance work. The difficulty with hygroscopic hydraulic fluid was exacerbated in the DS/ID due to the extreme rise and fall in the fluid level in the reservoir, which went from nearly full to nearly empty when the suspension extended to maximum height and the six accumulators in the system filled with fluid. With every “inhalation” of fresh moisture- (and dust-) laden air, the fluid absorbed more water. For the 1967 model year, Citroën introduced a new mineral oil-based fluid liquide hydraulique minéral (LHM). This fluid was much less harsh on the system. LHM remained in use within Citroën until the Xantia was discontinued in 2001. LHM required completely different materials for the seals. Using either fluid in the incorrect system would completely destroy the hydraulic seals very quickly. To help avoid this problem, Citroën added a bright green dye to the LHM fluid and also painted all hydraulic elements bright green. The former LHS parts were painted black. All models, including the Safari and ID, were upgraded at the same time. The hydraulic fluid changed to the technically superior LHM (Liquide Hydraulique Minéral) in all markets except the US and Canada, where the change did not take place until January 1969, due to local regulations. Rarest and most collectable of all DS variants, a convertible was offered from 1958 until 1973. The Cabriolet d’Usine (factory convertible) were built by French carrossier Henri Chapron, for the Citroën dealer network. It was an expensive car, so only 1,365 were sold. These DS convertibles used a special frame which was reinforced on the sidemembers and rear suspension swingarm bearing box, similar to, but not identical to the Break/Safari frame. The cars here included a nice DS23EFi, the top model in the range, which came with a fuel injected 2.3 litre engine, five speed gearbox as well as those iconic swivelling headlights which turned with the steering wheel.
1954 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint: Following the 1900 family, Alfa’s next new model range would be cheaper and aimed at capturing some of the market from middle class buyers. Known as Giulietta, the 750 and later 101 Series were a series of family-sized cars made from 1954 to 1965, and Alfa Romeo’s first, successful, foray into the 1.3-litre class. The first to be introduced was the Giulietta Sprint 2+2 coupé which was premiered at the 1954 Turin Motor Show. Designed by Franco Scaglione at Bertone, it was produced at the coachbuilder’s Grugliasco plant, near Turin. A year later, at the Turin Motor Show in April 1955, the Sprint was joined by the 4-door saloon Berlina. In mid 1955, the open two-seat Giulietta Spider, featuring convertible bodywork by Pininfarina arrived. The Giulietta used unibody construction and a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Front suspension was by control arms, with coaxial coil springs and hydraulic dampers. At the rear there was a solid axle on coil springs and hydraulic dampers. The axle was located by a longitudinal link on each side, and by a wishbone-shaped arm linking the top of the aluminium differential housing to the chassis. All Giuliettas (save for the last SZ examples) had hydraulic drum brakes on all four corners. The Giulietta used an Alfa Romeo Twin Cam straight-four of 1290 cc, with an aluminium alloy engine block and cast iron inserted sleeves. Bore and stroke measured 74.0 mm and 75.0 mm. The aluminium alloy cylinder head was of a crossflow design and featured hemispherical combustion chambers. The double overhead camshafts were driven by two timing chains, and acted on two valves per cylinder, angled 80°. In 1957 a more powerful Berlina version, called Giulietta T.I. (Turismo Internazionale) was presented with minor cosmetic changes to the bonnet, the dial lights and rear lamps. Carrozzeria Colli also made the Giulietta station wagon variant called Giulietta Promiscua. Ninety-one examples of this version were built. Carrozzeria Boneschi also made a few station wagon examples called Weekendina. A new version of the Giulietta Berlina debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1959. Mechanical changes were limited to shifting the fuel pump from the cylinder head to a lower position below the distributor, and moving the previously exposed fuel filler cap from the tail to the right rear wing, under a flap. The bodywork showed a revised front end, with more rounded wings, recessed head lights, and new grilles with chrome frames and two horizontal bars. The rear also showed changes, with new larger tail lights on vestigial fins, which replaced the earlier rounded rear wings. The interior was much more organised and upholstered in new cloth material; the redesigned dashboard included a strip speedometer flanked by two round bezels, that on the T.I. housed a tachometer and oil and water temperature gauges. The T.I. also received a front side repeater mounted in a small spear, unlike the Normale which kept the earlier small round lamp with no decorations. During 1959 the type designation for all models was changed from 750 and 753 to 101. In February 1961 the 100,001st Giulietta rolled out of the Portello factory, with a celebration sponsored by Italian actress Giulietta Masina. In Autumn 1961 the Giulietta was updated a second time. Both Normale and T.I. had revised engines and new exhaust systems; output rose to 61 bhp and 73 bhp. With this new engine the car could reach a speed of almost 100mph. At the front of the car square mesh side grilles were now pieced together with the centre shield, and at the rear there were larger tail lights. Inside the T.I. had individual instead of bench seats, with storage nets on the seatbacks. June 1962 saw the introduction of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, which would eventually replace the Giulietta. As until 1964 the Giulia only had a larger 1.6-litre engine, production of the standard Berlina ended with 1963, whilst the T.I. continued for a full year more. A last T.I. was completed in 1965. The Giulietta sport models had a different fate: Sprint, Sprint Speciale and Spider were fitted with the new 1.6-litre engine, received some updates and continued to be sold under the Giulia name until they were replaced by all-new Giulia-based models during 1965. These days., the Berlina is the model you see the least often. A few of the model are used in historic racing where the car takes on the might of those with far larger engines. A total of 177,690 Giuliettas were made
1956 Fiat 600 Multipla: This innovative design was based on the Fiat 600’s drivetrain, had independent front suspension for a good drive and accommodated six people in a footprint just 50 centimetres (19.7 in) longer than the original Mini Cooper. The driver’s compartment was moved forward over the front axle, effectively eliminating the boot but giving the body a very minivan-like “one-box” look. Two rows of rear bench seats were reconfigurable, allowing for a large, nearly flat cargo area. Until the 1970s, the Multipla was widely used as a taxi in many parts of Italy, and one of the cars here was in the livery as used in Rome in period. These days a good Multipla will command prices in excess of the £20,000 mark.
1962 Isetta 250: The Isetta is far more significant than many might realise, as without these cars, the modern BMW company simply would not exist. However, the car originated with the Italian firm of Iso SpA, and it is two of those models which were to be seen here. In the early 1950s the company was building refrigerators, motor scooters and small three-wheeled trucks. Iso’s owner, Renzo Rivolta, decided he would like to build a small car for mass distribution. By 1952 the engineers Ermenegildo Preti and Pierluigi Raggi had designed a small car that used the motorcycle engine of the Iso Moto 200 and named it Isetta—an Italian diminutive meaning little ISO. The Isetta caused a sensation when it was introduced to the motoring press in Turin in November 1953, it was unlike anything seen before. Small (only 7.5 ft long by 4.5 ft wide) and egg-shaped, with bubble-type windows, the entire front end of the car hinged outwards to allow entry. In the event of a crash, the driver and passenger were to exit through the canvas sunroof. The steering wheel and instrument panel swung out with the single door, as this made access to the single bench seat simpler. The seat provided reasonable comfort for two occupants, and perhaps a small child. Behind the seat was a large parcel shelf with a spare wheel located below. A heater was optional, and ventilation was provided by opening the fabric sunroof. Power came from a 236 cc 9.5 hp split-single two-stroke motorcycle engine. The engine was started by a combination generator-starter known as Dynastart. A manual gearbox provided four forward speeds and reverse. A chain drive connected the gearbox to a solid rear axle with a pair of closely spaced 25 cm (10 in) rear wheels. The first prototypes had one wheel at the rear, but having a single rear wheel made the car prone to roll-overs,so the rear wheel layout was changed to two wheels set 19 in apart from each other. This narrow track eliminated the need for a differential. The front axle was a modified version of a Dubonnet independent front suspension. The Isetta took over 30 seconds to reach 50 km/h (31 mph) from rest. Top speed was only about 75 km/h (47 mph). The fuel tank held only 13 litres. However, the Isetta would get somewhere between 50 and 70 mpg depending on how it was driven. In 1954, Iso entered several Isettas in the legendary Mille Miglia where they took the top three spots in the economy classification. Over a distance of 1,600 km (1,000 mi) the drivers achieved an average speed of over 70 km/h (43 mph). In view of its maximum speed, which was just 15 km/h (9 mph) higher, this was an almost incredible figure. However, despite its initial success, the Isetta was beginning to slip in popularity at home. This was mainly due to renewed competition from Fiat with its 500C model. Renzo Rivolta wanted to concentrate on his new Iso Rivolta sports car, and was extremely interested in doing licensing deals. Plants in Spain and Belgium were already assembling Isettas and Autocarros using Italian made Iso components. BMW began talking with Rivolta in mid-1954 and bought not just a license but the complete Isetta body tooling as well. Rivolta did not stop with licensing the Isetta to BMW. He negotiated similar deals with companies in France and Brazil. After constructing some 1,000 units, production of the Italian built cars ceased in 1955, although Iso continued to build the Isetta in Spain until 1958. In addition to the Turismo, Iso in Spain also built the Autocarro, a commercial version with full-width rear axle. The Autocarro was offered in several body styles, a flatbed pickup, enclosed truck, a tilt-bed, or even a fire engine, although some of these might not have been sold. The Autocarro was an extremely popular type of vehicle in Italy, and numerous manufacturers produced some variant of the type. Iso had previously produced a motorcycle-type Isocarro. The Iso Autocarro was larger than most, with its four-wheel layout, conventional rear axle with differential and leaf springs, and a large tubular frame. It could carry a 500 kg load. It is thought that more than 4,000 Autocarros were built. Seen here was a Turismo
1947 Cadillac 62: Cadillac was constituted at Detroit by William H. Murphy and Henry Leland in 1902. Named after the French army officer who founded the city of Detroit in 1701, it very quickly became a synonym for America’s most prestigious de luxe models. Its motto, indeed, was: “Our creed is perfection; our rule is precision”. The company’s burgeoning reputation and sound financial position soon attracted the attention of William Crapo Durant and Cadillac became part of the General Motors group in 1909. The 62 (a descendent of the 60 series) carried Cadillac to the height of its worldwide fame. It was produced as a coupé, convertible and sedan down to 1964. This V8-powred car had a 5765 cc engine, generating 156 bhp at 3400 rpm.
1937 Packard Super Eight: Prior to the second world war, Packard was a leading American maker of aristocratic cars with straight-eight and V12 engines whose impeccable style, elegance and top-quality worksmanship gave them an image on a par with the limousines being produced in Europe. This example has an eight-cylinder 5261cc power plant which generated 125 bhp at 3200rpm and independent front suspension.
1958 Fiat 1900B Gran Luce: Introduced at the 1950 Geneva Motor Show, the 1400 was the first unibody Fiat and had a 1.4 litre engine which generated a heady 44 bhp, giving it a maximum speed of 75 mph. In 1953 the Fiat 1400 also became the SEAT 1400, the first model produced by SEAT, and the first passenger car produced by Crvena Zastava in FNRY, the Zastava 1400 BJ. Equipped with a 2.0 litre Steyr engine, it was produced as “Steyr 2000” by Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG in Austria from 1953. The Fiat 1900, introduced in 1952, was an upmarket model that used the same body as the 1400, but came with a 1.9 litre engine and more standard features. The petrol-engined Fiat 1900 A, introduced in 1954, offered a claimed 70 bhp. It also featured a hydraulically operated clutch and, unusually for that time, a five speed column shifted manual transmission, as well as a radio and a rudimentary “trip computer” that showed the average speed. In 1953 the introduction of a diesel version with a 1900 cc engine marked another Fiat first, although the diesel version was known as the 1400 Diesel. The Motor magazine tested one in 1954 and recorded a top speed of 63.8 mph (102.7 km/h), acceleration from 0-60 mph in 45.2 seconds and a fuel consumption of 33.9 mpg. The car was not at the time available on the UK market but a price in Italy of 1,545,000 Lire was quoted which they worked out as equivalent to £909.The subsequent Gran Luce version was endowed with elegance and refinement. The two-door bodywork displayed several distinguishing features: the shape of the roof and large wrap-round rear window, no uprights between the side windows, the design of the radiator grille, and the two-colour paintwork. About 179.000 1400s and 19.000 1900s were built.
1968 Fiat 500F: Known as project 110, the brief for the Nuova 500 was to create a micro-car that would not only carry on the tradition of the earlier Topolino, but which would also take sales away from the ever popular Lambretta and Vespa scooters of the day. It clearly needed to be smaller than the 600 which had been released with a conventional 4 cylinder engine. Not an easy task, but development started in 1953 and by August 1954, two designs were ready to be shown to Fiat management. They selected one, and serious development began. At first the car was referred to as the 400, as it was going to have a 400cc engine, but it was soon realised that this was just too small, so a larger 500cc air-cooled engine was developed. It was signed off in January 1956, with production starting in March 1957 in advance of a June launch. Fiat’s marketing department got busy, with hundreds of the new car taking to the streets of Turin, each with a pretty girl standing through the open sunroof that was a feature of all the early cars. The press loved it. 50 units were shipped to Britain, where the car made its debut at Brands Hatch, and again the reception was enthusiastic. But the orders just did not come in. Fiat went for a hasty rethink, relaunching the car at the Turin Show later that year. power was increased from 13 to 15 bhp, and the poverty spec was lessened a little, with headlight bezels, brightwork on the side and chrome hubcaps, a Nuova500 badge on the engine cover, winding side windows (the launch cars just had opening quarterlights) and the option of a heater fan. It was enough to get sales moving. The original car was still offered, at a lower price, called the Economy. In the first year of production, 28,452 Fiat 500s were made. Over the next 19 years, the car changed little in overall appearance, but there were a number of updates with more power and equipment added. A 500 Sport was launched in August 1958, with a more powerful version of the 499cc engine. It lost the soft top, having a ridged steel roof, to increase strength of the body. It was only available in grey with a red side flash. The first major changes came in 1960 with the 500D. This looks very similar to the Nuova, but with two key differences. One is the engine size: the D features an uprated 499 cc engine producing 17 bhp as standard, an engine which would be used right through until the end of the L in 1973; and the other is the roof: the standard D roof does not fold back as far as the roof on the Nuova, though it was also available as the “Transformable” with the same roof as the Nuova. The D still featured “suicide doors”. There were larger rear light clusters, more space in the front boot thanks to a redesign of the fuel tank and new indicators under the headlights. A year later, Fiat added a light on the rear-view mirrors and a windscreen washer, but the car still lacked a fuel gauge. Sales increased from 20,900 in 1960 to 87.000 in 1961, 132,000 in 1962 and by 1964, the last year of production, they hit 194,000 units. The D was replaced in 1965 by the 500F, which finally moved the door hinges from back to the front, owing to changes in Italian safety laws. There was a deeper windscreen and thinner door pillars, which increased the height of the car by 10mm, improving visibility for the driver. The 500F ran through to 1975, from 1968 alongside the more luxurious 500L which was added to the range in 1968. The L is easy to tell apart, with its bumper overriders. The final updates created the 500R, which incorporated many changes from the 126 under the skin of the classic shape, and in this form production continued alongside the newer 126 until 1976. There were examples of the 500D, 500F. and 500L, and they attracted lots of attention all day – everyone, it seems, has a soft spot for them.
1958 Vespa 400: The Vespa 400 is a rear-engined microcar, produced by ACMA in Fourchambault, France, from 1957 to 1961 to the designs of the Italian Piaggio company. Three different versions were sold, the “Luxe” , “Tourisme” and “GT”. The car made its high-profile public debut on 26 September 1957 at a press presentation staged in Monaco. The ACMA directors ensured a good attendance from members of the press by also inviting three celebrity racing drivers to the Vespa 400 launch. The 400 was a two seater with room behind the seats to accommodate luggage or two small children on an optional cushion. The front seats were simple tubular metal frames with cloth upholstery on elastic “springs” and between the seats were the handbrake, starter and choke. The gear change was centrally floor mounted. The rear hinged doors were coated on the inside with only a thin plastic lining attached to the metal door panel skin allowing valuable extra internal space. On the early cars the main door windows did not open which attracted criticism, but increased the usable width for the driver and passenger. Instrumentation was very basic with only a speedometer and warning lights for low fuel, main beam, dynamo charging and indicators. The cabriolet fabric roof could be rolled back from the windscreen header rail to the top of the rear engine cover leaving conventional metal sides above the doors. The 12 volt battery was located at the front of the car, behind the dummy front grill, on a shelf that could be slid out. The spare wheel was stowed in a well under the passenger seat. The high-profile launch paid off, with 12,130 cars produced in 1958. That turned out to be the high point, however, and output fell to 8,717 in 1959 despite a price reduction for the entry level 2-seater “normal” coupé from 345,000 francs to 319,500 francs between October 1957 and October 1958. Commentators suggested that the chic image created at the time of the launch was not always matched by the car itself, with its awkward gear change, poor sound-proofing and, especially before a modification to the carburettor specification, high fuel consumption. The car’s origins, developed by a leading world producer of motor scooters, Italy’s Piaggio Company, makers of the Vespa since 1946, was reflected in the installation, in the Vespa 400, of a two stroke (motorbike style) engine which required oil to be added to the petrol/gasoline whenever the car was refuelled. During the summer of 1958 the cars were fitted with a semi-automatic device for adding oil to the fuel, but a fully automatic fuel mixing device was not included until two years later.
1955 Fiat 600: Codenamed Progetto 100 (“Project 100”), the Fiat 600 mirrored the layout of the Volkswagen Beetle and Renault 4CV of its era. Aimed at being an economical but capable vehicle, its design parameters stipulated a weight of around 450 kg with the ability to carry 4 people and luggage plus a cruising speed of no less than 85 km/h. A total of 5 prototypes were built between 1952 and 1954, which all differed from one another. Chassis number 000001 with engine number 000002 is believed to be the sole remaining example. It was powered by an innovative single-cam V2-cylinder engine designed to simplify maintenance and did not feature a clutch pedal. At the official launch in 1955, FIAT engineer, Dante Giacosa declared that the aim had been to create something new, both in the interest of progress and simplification. This prototype, however, did not become the chosen design. When the car made it to production, with a launch at the 1955 Geneva Show, it was christened the 600. It had hydraulic drum brakes on all four wheels. Suspension was a unique single double-mounted leafspring—which acts as a stabiliser—between the front wheels coupled to gas-charged shock absorbers, and an independent coil-over-shock absorber setup coupled to semi-trailing arms at the rear. All 600 models had 3-synchro (no synchro on 1st) 4-speed transaxles. Unlike the Volkswagen Beetle or Fiat 500, the Fiat 600 was water-cooled with an ample cabin heater and, while cooling is generally adequate, for high-power modified versions a front-mounted radiator or oil cooler is needed to complement the rear-mounted radiator. All models of the 600 had generators with mechanical external regulators. The first cars had a 633 cc inline-four cylinder engine which max-ed out at 59 mph. Sales were brisk, as it was just the right size for a market still recovering from the war of the previous decade. A year after its debut, in 1956, a soft-top version was introduced, and it was followed by a six-seater variant—the Fiat 600 Multipla, the very definite precursor of current multi-purpose vehicles. By 1957, assembly started in Spain, where the car would go on to become a legend, and where you can still see large numbers of them certainly at classic car events. Production was also undertaken by Steyr Puch in Austria, and in Yugoslavia and Argentina. The millionth 600 was produced in February 1961, less than six years after the car’s launch, and at the time when the millionth car was produced, the manufacturer reported it was producing the car at the then remarkable rate of 1,000 a day. Italian production ceased in 1969, but the model continued to made in other countries, and a grand total of nearly 3 million examples were eventually made.
1969 Jaguar E Type: The Jaguar E Type was presented at the 1961 Geneva Automobile Show in both the coupé and open version, and was a worldwide success for the British maker. It featured independent rear suspensions, rack and pinion steering and disk brakes. This piece of greased lightning was to take the place of the renowned XK. It was powered by a straight-six, 3.8 litre engine until 1971, when its capacity was stepped up to 4.2 litres. A total of 72,520 Jaguar Es were built between 1961 and 1975. The car seen here is a Series 2.
1955 Citroen 2CV AZ: The Citroën 2CV (French: “deux chevaux” i.e. “deux chevaux-vapeur [fiscaux]”, literally “two tax horsepower”) was an economy car produced by the French car manufacturer Citroën between 1948 and 1990. The index mark in the name designates engine rating (French CV, chevaux vapeur) estimated by its capacity, imposed by a tax on (French chevaux fiscaux, cheval fiscal — a transport tax, literally a horse taxг) cars in the then France, while the real power of the original variant is 9 hp. This automobile played the same role in France as Ford T in the USA or Volkswagen Beetle in Germany: “to make the nation drive”. Many original and progressive decisions are realized in its construction, for example, the front drive, which was unusual for the cars of the prewar design. The car had an easy-to-maintain engine, adjusting torsion suspension and a relatively large clearance. The detachable fabric top made possible to transport an oversize cargo. Similar to the Beetle the 2CV was produce in many countries and for not one decade. From 1948 through 1990 3, 872, 583 2CV itself were produced plus 1, 246, 306 small trucks on its base, plus several millions of later modifications (Diana, Mehari and others) — the total production amounted to 8, 756, 688 items. The major manufacture of the original 2CV was moved from France to Portugal in 1988.
1982 Ferrari 208 GTB Turbo: In the wake of the success brought by its 308 GTB and GTS during the first half of 1980, Ferrari started producing a series of cars fitted with a V8, 2-litre engine, partly supercharged, like the one on display. As with all others Ferraris of this capacity, the 208 GTB was solely produced for the Italian market: 450 cars were built between 1981 and 1985.
1972 Iso Lele: The Lele was launched in 1969. It had a body designed by Bertone and was intended as the successor to the IR 300. At the start of 1973 the Rivolta family ceded the business to an Italian American financier named Ivo Pera who promised to bring American management know-how to the firm. The business was again renamed to Iso Motors, just before fading rapidly into obscurity, going bankrupt in 1974, only 1700 Iso Gran Turismos having been built in those ten years. That meant that the Lele was the last new design offered. Styled by Bertone, there was little wrong with the looks of the car, but build quality was patchy and the large V8 engine was thirsty so when the fuel crisis of 1974 made such cars a liability, sales reduced to next to none, and this proved the death knell for the marque.
1967 NSU Ro80: in 1967 NSU launched the rotary powered Ro80. This featured a 113 bhp, 995 cc twin-rotor Wankel engine driving the front wheels through a semi-automatic transmission with an innovative vacuum operated clutch system. Other technological features of the Ro 80, aside from the powertrain, were the four wheel ATE Dunlop disc brakes, which for some time were generally only featured on expensive sports or luxury saloon cars. The front brakes were mounted inboard, reducing the unsprung weight. The suspension was independent on all four wheels, with MacPherson struts at the front and semi-trailing arm suspension at the rear, both of which are space-saving designs commonly used today. Power assisted ZF rack and pinion steering was used, again foreshadowing more recent designs. The car featured an automatic clutch which was commonly described as a three-speed semi-automatic gearbox: there was no clutch pedal, but instead, touching the gear lever knob operated an internal electric switch that operated a vacuum system which disengaged the clutch. The gear lever itself then could be moved through a standard ‘H pattern’ gate. The styling, by Claus Luthe who was head of design at NSU and later BMW, was considered very modern at the time; the Ro 80 has been part of many gallery exhibits of modern industrial design. The large glass area foreshadowed 1970s designs such as Citroën’s. The shape was also slippery, with a drag coefficient of 0.355 (very good for the era). This allowed for a top speed of 112 mph. The company’s limited resources focused on improving the reliability of the rotary engine, with much attention given to the material used for the three rotor tips (apex seals) for the oval-like epitrochoid-shaped rotor housing that sealed the combustion chambers. A feature of the engine was its willingness to rev quickly and quietly to damagingly high engine speeds, but it was precisely at these high speeds that damage to key engine components occurred: all Ro 80s came with a rev counter, but cars produced after 1971 also came with an “acoustical signal” that warned the driver when the engine was rotating too fast. The Ro 80 remained largely unchanged over its ten year production. From September 1969 the rectangular headlights were replaced with twin halogen units, and air extractor vents appeared on the C-pillar behind the doors. In August 1970 a slightly reshaped plastic grill replaced the metal grill of the early cars, and a minimal facelift in May 1975 saw the final cars getting enlarged rear lights and rubber inserts in the bumpers which increased the car’s overall length by 15 mm to 4795 mm. Series production began in October 1967 and the last examples came off the production line in April 1977. During 1968, the first full year of production, 5,986 cars were produced, increasing to 7,811 in 1969 and falling slightly to 7,200 in 1970. After this output declined, to about 3,000 – 4,000 per year for the next three years. The relative thirst of the rotary engine told against the car after the savage fuel price rises accompanying the oil crisis of 1973, and between 1974 and 1976 annual production came in well below 2,000 units. In total 37,398 Ro80s were produced during the ten-year production run. Ultimately, it was the contrasting success of the similarly sized Audi 100 that sealed both the fate of the Ro80, and the NSU brand as a whole within the Auto Union-NSU combine, as parent company Volkswagen began nurturing Audi as its performance-luxury brand in the late 1970s. After the discontinuation of the Ro80 in 1977, the Neckarsulm plant was switched over entirely to producing Audi’s C- and D- platform vehicles (the 100/200, and later the Audi A6 and A8), and the NSU brand disappeared from the public eye.
1987 Trabant 601: The Trabant was the result of a planning process which had intended to design a three-wheeled motorcycle. In German, a trabant is an astronomical term for a moon (or other natural satellite) of a celestial body. The first of the Trabants left the VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau factory in Saxony on 7 November 1957. It was a relatively advanced car when it was formally introduced the following year, with front wheel drive, unitary construction and independent suspension. The Trabant’s greatest shortcoming was its engine. By the late 1950s many small Western cars (such as the Renault) had cleaner, more-efficient four-stroke engines, but budgetary constraints and raw-materials shortages mandated an outdated (but inexpensive) two-stroke engine in the Trabant. It was technically equivalent to the West German Lloyd automobile, a similarly sized car with an air-cooled, two-cylinder four-stroke engine. The Trabant had a front, transversely-mounted engine and front-wheel drive in an era when many European cars were using rear-mounted engines or front-mounted engines with rear-wheel drive. Its greatest drawback was its largely unchanged production; the car’s two-stroke engine made it obsolete by the 1970s, limiting exports to Western Europe. The Trabant’s air-cooled, 500 cc engine—upgraded to 600cc in 1962–63—was derived from a pre-war DKW design with minor alterations during its production run. The first Saab car had a larger (764cc), water-cooled, two-cylinder two-stroke engine. Wartburg, an East German manufacturer of larger sedans, also used a water-cooled, three-cylinder, 1,000 cc two-stroke DKW engine. The original Trabant, introduced in 1958, was the P50. Trabant’s base model, it shared a large number of interchangeable parts with the latest 1.1s. The 500 cc, 18 hp P50 evolved into a 20 hp version with a fully synchronized gearbox in 1960, and received a 23 hp, 600 cc engine in 1962 as the P60. The updated P601 was introduced in 1964. It was essentially a facelift of the P60, with a different front fascia, bonnet, roof and rear and the original P50 underpinnings. The model remained nearly unchanged until the end of its production except for the addition of 12V electricity, rear coil springs and an updated dashboard for later models. The Trabant’s designers expected production to extend until 1967 at the latest, and East German designers and engineers created a series of more-sophisticated prototypes intended to replace the P601; several are on display at the Dresden Transport Museum. Each proposal for a new model was rejected by the East German government due to shortages of the raw materials required in larger quantities for the more-advanced designs. As a result, the Trabant remained largely unchanged for more than a quarter-century. Also unchanged was its production method, which was extremely labour-intensive. The Trabant 1100 (also known as the P1100) was a 601 with a better-performing 1.05-litre, 45HP VW Polo engine. With a more-modern look (including a floor-mounted gearshift), it was quieter and cleaner than its predecessor. The 1100 had front disc brakes, and its wheel assembly was borrowed from Volkswagen. It was produced between from 1989 to 1991, in parallel with the two-stroke P601. Except for the engine and transmission, many parts from older P50s, P60s and 601s were compatible with the 1100. In mid-1989, thousands of East Germans began loading their Trabants with as much as they could carry and drove to Hungary or Czechoslovakia en route to West Germany on the “Trabi Trail”. Many had to get special permission to drive their Trabants into West Germany, since the cars did not meet West German emissions standards and polluted the air at four times the European average. A licensed version of the Volkswagen Polo engine replaced the Trabant’s two-stroke engine in 1989, the result of a trade agreement between East and West Germany. The model, the Trabant 1.1, also had minor improvements to its brake and signal lights, a renovated grille, and MacPherson struts instead of a leaf-spring-suspended chassis. When the 1.1 began production in May 1990, the two German states had already agreed to reunification. By April 1991 3.7 million vehicles had been produced. However, it soon became apparent that there was no place for the Trabant in a reunified German economy; its inefficient, labour-intensive production line survived on government subsidies. The Trabant ceased production in 1991, and the Zwickau factory in Mosel (where the Trabant 1.1 was manufactured) was sold to Volkswagen AG.
1957 GAZ M20 Pobeda: The GAZ-M20 “Pobeda” (Russian: ГАЗ-М20 Победа; Победа, Victory) was a passenger car produced in the Soviet Union by GAZ from 1946 until 1958. It was also licensed to Polish Passenger Automobile Factory, as FSO Warszawa. Although usually known as the GAZ-M20, an original car’s designation at that time was just M-20, for “Molotovets” (GAZ factory bore a name of Vyacheslav Molotov). The first sketches of similar-looking cars were completed by Valentin Brodsky in 1938 and by Vladimir Aryamov in 1940, which revealed a growing tendency towards streamline car design in the Soviet Union, and also that western, chiefly U.S., automotive journals and brochures were available to Soviet designers. Aryamov’s two-door coupe GAZ-11-80, designed in 1940, greatly resembled the later Pobeda and was in many ways identical to it. However, after the German invasion of 1941 military priorities delayed the work on the new car and the factory was switched to military production. The first Pobeda was developed in the Soviet Union under chief engineer Andrei A. Liphart. Originally intended to be called “Rodina” (Homeland), the name “Pobeda” (Victory) was a back-up, but was preferred by Joseph Stalin. The name was chosen because the works started in 1943 at Gorky Avto Zavod (GAZ, “Gorky Car Plant”), when victory in World War II began to seem likely, and the car was to be a model for post-war times. The plant was later heavily bombarded, but work was unaffected. Styling was done by “the imaginative and talented Veniamin Samoilov”. The GAZ-M20 Pobeda was one of the first Soviet cars of original design and moreover introduced a new vogue in automobile design; only the front suspension and, partially, the unitized body were influenced by the 1938 Opel Kapitän. It was one of the first cars to introduce ponton styling with slab sides, preceding many Western manufacturers. The M20 was the first Soviet car using entirely domestic body dies; it was designed against wooden bucks, which suffered warping, requiring last-minute tuning by GAZ factory employees. The first prototype was ready on November 6, 1944 (for an anniversary of the October Revolution). The first production model rolled off the assembly line on June 21, 1946. It was also the first Soviet automobile to have turn signals, two electric windshield wipers (rather than mechanical- or vacuum-operated ones), four-wheel hydraulic brakes, an electric heater, and a factory-installed AM radio. The car came to be a symbol of postwar Soviet life and is today a popular collector’s item. During the design process, GAZ had to choose between a 62 PS 2,700 cc inline six and a 50 PS 2,112 cc inline four; Stalin preferred the four, so it was used. The same M-20 engine was later used on the ASU-57 light assault gun. In addition, the headlights were covered by an American patent. Production started in 1946, only a year after the end of the world war, and was difficult due to serious economic and technical hardships caused by the war; by the end of 1946, only twenty-three cars were completed, virtually by hand. Truly mass production had to wait until 28 April 1947, and even then, only 700 were built before October 1948. During that period the Soviet Union was unable to produce steel sheets large enough for body panels, so strips had to be welded together, which led to countless leaks and 20 kg (44 lb) of solder in the body, as well as an increase in weight of 200 kg (440 lb).[Steel quality was below average, up to 60% was rejected, and the overall quality of the first cars was so low that production was actually stopped by order of the government and the company’s director was fired. On August 31, 1948, the government issued a decree requiring the immediate improvement of quality and thorough testing of the new automobiles. The cars and their integral parts were subjected to detailed laboratory and on-road testing, opinions of the cars’ drivers were carefully studied and taken into account. After a reorganisation, solving the initial build quality issues, making 346 improvements and adding two thousand new tools, the Pobeda was restored to production.It had a new carburettor, different final drive ratio (5.125:1 rather than 4.7:1), strengthened rear springs, improved heater, and the ability to run on the low-grade 66 octane fuel typical in the Soviet Union. (Among the changes was a 5 cm (2.0 in) lower rear seat, enabling military and police officers to ride without removing their caps). The improvements enabled the new Pobeda to reach 50 km/h (31 mph) in 12 seconds, half the previous model’s time. In January 1949, the state commission issued a report after testing the new model and its parts, where it noted the significant improvement of build quality, ruggedness and durability of the car, good fuel consumption and on-road performance, especially on poor roads. The improved Pobeda was placed in production on 1 November 1949, and the techniques needed to develop and manufacture it effectively created the Soviet automobile industry. In 1952, improved airflow in the engine increased power from 50 to 52 PS; it climbed to 55 PS, along with the new grille, upholstery, steering wheel, radio, and radiator badge, as the M20V (Russian: М-20В), 1955.
2009 Ferrari 458 Italia: The 458 Italia was first officially unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Once more, Ferrari advised that the model incorporated technologies developed from the company’s experience in Formula 1. The body computer system was developed by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting. The 458 came with a 4,499 cc V8 engine of the “Ferrari/Maserati” F136 engine family, producing 570 PS ( 562 hp) at 9,000 rpm and 540 N·m (398 lb/ft) at 6,000 rpm with 80% torque available at 3,250 rpm. The engine featured direct fuel injection, a first for Ferrari mid-engine setups in its road cars. The only transmission available was a dual-clutch 7-speed Getrag gearbox, in a different state of tune shared with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. There was no traditional manual option, making this the fourth road-car after the Enzo, Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia not to be offered with Ferrari’s classic gated manual. The car’s suspension featured double wishbones at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear, coupled with E-Diff and F1-Trac traction control systems, designed to improve the car’s cornering and longitudinal acceleration by 32% when compared with its predecessors.The brakes included a prefill function whereby the pistons in the calipers move the pads into contact with the discs on lift off to minimise delay in the brakes being applied. This combined with the ABS and standard Carbon Ceramic brakes caused a reduction in stopping distance from 100–0 km/h (62-0 mph) to 32.5 metres. Ferrari’s official 0–100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time was quoted as 2.9–3.0 seconds with a top speed of 340 km/h (210 mph). In keeping with Ferrari tradition the body was designed by Pininfarina under the leadership of Donato Coco, the Ferrari design director. The interior design of Ferrari 458 Italia was designed by Bertrand Rapatel, a French automobile designer. The car’s exterior styling and features were designed for aerodynamic efficiency, producing a downforce of 140 kg (309 lb) at 200 km/h. In particular, the front grille features deformable winglets that lower at high speeds, in order to offer reduced drag. The car’s interior was designed using input from former Ferrari Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher; in a layout common to racing cars, the new steering wheel incorporates many controls normally located on the dashboard or on stalks, such as turning signals or high beams. At launch the car was widely praised as being pretty much near perfect in every regard. It did lack a fresh air version, though, but that was addressed with the launch of the 458 Spider at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. This convertible variant of the 458 Italia featured an aluminium retractable hardtop which, according to Ferrari, weighs 25 kilograms (55 lb) less than a soft roof such as the one found on the Ferrari F430 Spider, and can be opened in 14 seconds The engine cover was redesigned to accommodate the retractable roof system. It had the same 0–100 km/h time as the hard-top but a lower top speed of 199 mph. It quickly became the better seller of the two versions.
2000 Fiat Ecobasic: In the late 1990s, Fiat set out to prove cheap and eco-friendly weren’t mutually exclusive. It argued a car could be both with an innovative, opinion-cleaving concept named Ecobasic built to preview the econobox of the future. Fiat quietly presented the Ecobasic at the 1999 edition of the Bologna auto show, which was still a big deal 21 years ago, and it displayed it again at the following year’s Geneva show. Its high-top Converse-shaped silhouette turned heads everywhere it went, and that was only the beginning. Looking closer revealed its front end received a transparent panel that let users add oil, coolant, wiper fluid, or give the battery a jump. Audi adopted a similar solution for its A2. It had one door on the driver’s side, two on the passenger’s side, and a transparent hatch underlined by a pair of horizontal lights. It stretched 137.7 inches long, 67.3 inches wide, and 57.8 inches tall, dimensions that made it about two inches taller, three inches wider, and an inch lower than a modern-day 500. Keeping manufacturing costs in check was a priority, so Fiat used plastic body panels dyed with colour during the production process and mounted them to a steel structure, a configuration not unlike the Smart ForTwo’s. They were designed to be recycled at the end of the car’s life cycle. Inside, the passengers were treated to a marvellous exercise in simple, back-to-the-basics design. The driver sat in front of a four-spoke steering wheel, while a speedometer and a fuel gauge were integrated into a pod that sprouted from the centre of the dashboard. The automatic transmission’s gear selector, a handful of buttons, and the HVAC controls were aligned below it. The domed, bolted-down hood covered a 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel developed specifically for the Ecobasic. It showcased Fiat’s Multijet common-rail technology, which promised improve fuel economy without compromising power. On paper, that’s exactly what it achieved. The four developed 61 horsepower at 3,500 rpm and 118 lb/ft of torque at 1,800 rpm, which were reasonably respectable figures for an Italian city car made in the late 1990s, and it returned nearly 80 miles per gallon. Fiat quoted a 13-second 0-62-mph time. The company apparently did not blush when it hinted it could build 200,000 units of the Ecobasic annually and sell each one for approximately 5,000 euros, a price which would have made it one of the cheapest new cars sold in Europe. Executives backpedalled, the Ecobasic remained at the concept stage, but some of its innovations reached production. It cost five million euros to develop, so it’d have been a shame to consign it to the attic. Taking advantage of its short-lived tie-up with General Motors, Fiat fine-tuned the prototype’s Multijet technology and fitted it to a 1.3-litre turbodiesel that, in an odd twist of fate, made its debut in the 2003 Opel Eco Speedster concept. It reached production the following year under the hood of the face-lifted Punto (a Ford Fiesta-sized hatchback) and spread across the company’s range during the 2000s. General Motors used it, too. The overall design ultimately didn’t progress beyond the drawing board. Credible rumours claimed it would influence the second-generation Panda finally due out in the early 2000s and the Seicento’s successor expected to arrive at about the same time. The former shared no more than a very vague, passing resemblance with the Ecobasic, for better or worse. The second project was delayed, and the Seicento’s successor didn’t arrive until 2007. It looked nothing like the Ecobasic; it was the modern-day 500 still sold across Europe in 2020.
Idra: The idea for H2politO began in 2007 as a student initiative to build an alternative energy vehicle based on hydrogen propulsion. Massimiliana Carello, an Assistant Professor at the Politecnico, was appointed faculty advisor to monitor the team’s activities and support the technological and educational aspects of the project. Dean Francesco Profumo then approved the project and the first H2politO team created in 2007 it was composed of 15 students who designed, assembled and tested the first prototype. Within the team, students have assigned precise roles, tasks and responsibilities as if they worked for a vehicle company. Students are also in charge of the organizational and decision-making aspects of the project. A group of professors at the university and company experts now advise H2politO, forming a steering committee that monitors team activities and serving as thesis supervisors for student experiments. The Politecnico di Torino is the first Italian university to officially recognize a project of this kind. H2politO has experienced a number of successes. Its IDRA08 hydrogen propulsion vehicle participates in the Shell Eco-marathon and the Formula Electric & Hybrid Italy competitions. In 2008, the IDRA08 was named the Politecnico di Torino’s Project of the Year. The Politecnico is the main backer of H2politO’s finances and facilities, providing laboratories and equipment to assemble and test prototypes. Several major companies are involved as sponsors, forming technical partnerships between students and firms to develop vehicles and, in some cases, financially contributing to the project. The headquarters and laboratory for H2politO are within the Politecnico’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department (address: Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Turin, Italy). The Idra 11 is a hydrogen propelled vehicle weighing just 38 kg. It has disc brakes with separated hydraulic circuits and a direct engaging transmission. The steering system is a kinematic mechanism acting on front wheels. The body is made from Carbon Fibre and is self-supporting. The result is 3000 mm long, 750 mm wide and 600 mm tall. It seats one. The Hydrogen Fuel Cells combined with one high efficiency brushed electric motor with an output of 1KW allow it reach 35 km/h and consumption is 2344 km/litre. To the left of Idra 11 in the picture is Idra 08 which was produced three years earlier. The concept is very similar but this one weights 60kg.
1993 Fiat Downtown: The Fiat Downtown is a concept car originally shown in 1993 at the Turin Motor Show. Designed by Chris Bangle, the Downtown is a plastic bodied car on an aluminium chassis, resulting in a low kerb weight of 700kg. It is powered by a 9.5hp motor integrated in each rear wheel, with rear-mounted sodium-sulphur batteries that can achieve a claimed top speed of 62mph, or a range of 186 miles at 30mph.
Turin, city of the motor car: this is a cliché that for many people means just that the Fiat company originated in Turin, but in fact it signifies a much more complex and variegated situation. Over 70 car companies started up in Turin in the twentieth century, as well as over 80 bodywork manufacturers and Turin is still today the headquarters of centres of excellence in the project and design fields. A map imprinted on the floor will allow you to reconstruct this extraordinary role of the motor car “capital”.
1912 Itala 25/35HP
1926 Alfa Romeo RLSS: The Alfa Romeo RL was produced between 1922–1927. It was Alfa’s first sport model after World War I. The car was designed in 1921 by Giuseppe Merosi. It had a straight-6 engine with overhead valves. Three different versions were made: Normale, Turismo and Sport. RL total production was 2640. The RLTF (Targa Florio) was the race version of RL – it weighed half of normal versions, the engine had seven main bearings instead of four and double carburetors. In 1923 Alfa’s race team had drivers like Ugo Sivocci, Antonio Ascari, Giulio Masetti and Enzo Ferrari. Sivocci’s car had green cloverleaf symbol on white background and when he won Targa Florio 1923, that symbol was to become the Alfa team’s good luck token. In 1927, 2 different RLSS were entered in the first Mille Miglia, but both dropped out after briefly leading the race. A 1925 RLSS version with rare, original bodywork by Thornton Engineering Company in Bradford, UK, is on permanent display in the Brooklands exhibit at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, PA, USA. It is one of only 9 RLSS still in existence. A total of 1315 RL models were made.
1920 Temperino 8/10HP: In 1919, three brothers, Maurizio, Giacomo and Carlo Temperino, set up a factory in Turin to build small, two-seater runabouts powered by a two-cylinder 1010cc 20 bhp air-cooled engine. The 8/10 HP was the firm’s first model and enjoyed a certain measure of success, both in Italy and abroad, on account of its easy handling and low running cost. A sports car version, too, chalked up a number of victories, including the Sassi-Superga (Turin) hill climb in 1919, and the 256-km Sestrières Tour in the following year at an average speed of 52.325 km/h.
1914 Storero A 25/35HP: Luigi Storero, an automobile pioneer and a member of Fiat’s first racing team along with Felice Nazzaro and Vincenzo Lancia, set up on his own in Turin in 1912. This model was brought out in 1914 and embodied several unusual features, such as the integral engine, clutch and transmission, direct-drive third and stepped-up fourth gears, and foot and hand brakes acting on the rear wheels. This car had a 4 cylinder 4480 cc engine, which put out 35 bhp at 2000 rpm, with a top speed of 80 km/h.
1926 Scat Ceirano 150S: A light vehicle built by Società Ceirano Automobili Torino (SCAT), the name taken by the company that came into being after the merger with S.A. Giovanni Ceirano, another firm of the same type established by the prolific Ceirano brothers. Also known as the Ceiranina, the original 150 was endowed with overhead timing gear in the S version to enhance its performance. Five series were produced down to 1931. This one has 4 cylinders and a 1458 cc engine which generated 35 bhp at 3000 rpm, endowing the car with a top speed of 110 km/h.
1929 Fiat 509A: Fiat’s utility passenger car, with its four-cylinder 990cc engine with overhead timing which generated 22 bhp at 3400rpm and a top speed of 78 km’h enjoyed significant success from 1925 to 1929. The 509 A model appeared in 1926 and was an improved version of the original model. The saloon on display has a Weymann body (invented by the Frenchman Charles Torres Weymann) with a wooden shell covered with imitation leather that provided a certain amount of “give”and noise reduction. The 509 was the first Fiat car that could be bought on hire purchase through the SAVA company.
1926 FOD 18HP: An example of the only model made by Società Fonderie Officine De Benedetti of Turin in its very short life (1925-27). It was a nimble two-seater runabout produced as a spider and a saloon with some highly innovative features, such its single-piece, cast aluminium alloy frame with steel longitudinals. There was also a small van with a 150 kg payload constructed on a longer chassis. Powering it was a 4 cylinder 565 cc engine which generated 18 bhp, giving this 450kg car a top speed of 75 km/h.
UNDER THE SKIN
The cars in this part of the exhibitions were displayed so you could see what lies beneath their (generally attractive) bodywork.
1922 Chiribini: Founded in Turin in 1910 by Antonio Chiribiri, a Venetian who had learnt his trade at Florentia, Zust and Isotta Fraschini, this firm began with small runabouts before moving on to more ambitious projects in 1919. These consisted of a line of prestige models, including a sports car (it was on a Chiribiri that Tazio Nuvolari began his racing career). The Milano (shown here as the chassis) was the most successful and renowned for its precision engineering. It had a 4 cylinder 1593 cc engine which generated just 12 bhp at 2200 rpm giving the car a top speed of 100 km/h.
1924 San Giusto 750: San Giusto Fabbrica Automobili was a short-lived firm (1924-26) founded in Trieste, whereas its workshop were in Milan. The small car whose chassis is on display was designed by Cesare Beltrami and presented at the 1924 Milan Motor Show. Its many front-runner engineering innovations included the single, central rail frame, independent all-wheel suspension and the rear-mounted, 4-cylinder 748cc engine with forced-airflow cooling via a turbine fan driven by the engine itself. It put out 16 bhp at 2200rpm and gave the car a top speed of 70 km/h.
1924 Lancia Lambda: Among its many “first”, Lancia’s Lambda presented a weight-bearing, torpedo body forming a single, light and rigid union between the chassis and the shell. Its other features included the boxed boot with an antitorsion function, and the central driveshaft tunnel, which made the Lambda much lower than its contemporaries. This chassis was fitted out by Lancia as required for shows and exhibitions. It offers an even better idea of the extraordinary nature of Vincenzo Lancia’s masterpiece, which made a major contribution to the development of the modern motor car.
1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Mille Miglia: This is the chassis of one of Alfa Romeo’s most classic models. Designed by Vittorio Jano, one of Italy’s leading automotive engineers, this six-cylinder 1.5-litre was produced both for touring and as a sports car with Alfa’s typical twin overhead camshaft. A Roots blower was installed on 12 units as on this example, and a similarly supercharged version carried Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi to victory in the 1928 Mille Miglia. The engine was soon upgraded to the better known 1750cc version in 1929 but this 1487cc unit put out a healthy 76 bhp at 4800rpm, giving it a top speed of 140 km/h.
1935 Fiat 1500: The FIAT 1500 had many innovative features both in terms of the frame and body, the shape of which had been studied to minimise aerodynamic drag. The 6-cylinder 1493 cc 45 bhp engine was very similar to the 508 C unit (Balilla Sport second series) and adopted the same cylinder layout. The frame was made from deep-pressed members joined by autogenous welding to form a central beam structure without any side members. Inside the central tube was the double universal joint drive shaft and elastic joint with intermediate support. The front was fitted with independent longitudinal quadrilateral-type suspension that had hydraulic dampers integrated with the spring. Instead a classic rigid axle suspension with leaf springs was adopted at the rear but with telescopic hydraulic dampers. It had large diameter, hydraulically controlled drum brakes on all four wheels and a mechanically controlled band brake on the transmission for parking and emergency purposes.
Ford Model T: The Model T is one of history’s most famous cars. Simple, sturdy and inexpensive to run, it was the answer to Henry Ford’s wish to offer a mass-produced vehicle that would cost little to buy. It had a number of way-ahead features: pressed steel chassis, two-speed plus reverse transmission with epicyclic gears, and transverse, single-leaf front suspension. Quickly the favourite of all ranks of America society, Ford’s masterpiece remained in production from 1908 until 1927. This example is one of the 15 million that rolled off the assembly lines during those twenty years. At the end of 1999, a jury of specialised journalist chose the Ford T as the “Car of the Century” from a list of 500 models. The model had a 4 cylinder engine of 2863 cc, which generated 20 bhp at 1600 rpm and a top speed of 70 km/h.
1952 VW 1200 Beetle: Volkswagen produced 20,710,000 of its famous Beetle (Maggiolino in Italian) cars between 1945 and 1987: a record that will be hard to beat. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche before World War II as a car for the general public to be built in a new factory at Wolfsburg, it only started to roll off the assembly lines when peace returned. Within a few years, it was the world’s bestseller thanks to its proverbial ruggedness, reliability and low running cost. This one as the 1133cc 4 cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled rear engine which put out just 25 bhp at 3300rpm giving it a top speed of just 100 km/h.
Fiat 850: Following the success of the 500 and 600 models, Fiat introduced a slightly larger and more expensive variant, the 850 in 1964. The regular 2 door saloon was soon joined in the range by other models and they are the ones you see more often these days, not that they are exactly common now. The 850 Coupe, early and later versions of which were to be seen here was seen for the first time at the 1965 Geneva Show. As was generally the case at the time, the body looked completely different from the saloon on which it was based, but underneath it shared the same mechanicals including the the original 843 cc engine producing 47 hp, which gave it a maximum speed of 84 mph. A Spider model was launched at the same time. In order to separate the sportier variants, equipment levels were raised, with both models getting sport seats, a sport steering wheel and round speedometer; The Spider even received a completely rearranged instrument panel. The front drum brakes were replaced with disc brakes, although drum brakes remained on the rear wheels. In 1968, Fiat revised both the Spider and Coupé and gave them a stronger engine with 903 cc and 52 hp. They were called Sport Spider and Sport Coupé. The Sport Spider body stayed essentially the same, but with a restyled front, whereas the Coupe gained twin headlights at the front and a revised tail with a slight lip on the trailing edge of the engine cover. Despite its popularity, the Coupe was the first model to cease production, being deleted in 1971.
Autobianchi Primula: Manufactured between 1964 and 1970, the Primula was Fiat’s first model with rack and pinion steering and is widely known for its innovative Dante Giacosa-designed front-wheel drive, transverse engine layout — that would be later popularised by the Fiat 128 to ultimately become an industry-standard front drive layout. The Primula was originally available with two or four doors, with or without a rear hatchback, referred to in Italian as “berlina”. Beginning in 1965, Autobianchi offered a coupé model, a more spacious 2-door fastback designed by Carrozzeria Touring. Prior to the Primula, all Fiat Group passenger cars were rear-wheel drive; the larger models followed the classic front engine powering the rear axle, and small cars were rear-engined. Meanwhile, a practical concept emerged, namely the front-wheel drive layout with the engine mounted transversely, which allowed for very efficient space utilisation. This arrangement had been popularised by the British Motor Corporation’s Mini, launched in 1959. That car had its transmission integrated into the engine’s oil sump, producing a very compact drivetrain for use on a small car. However the Mini had significant transmission problems early in its production run and the arrangement had poor refinement, high noise levels and was awkward to service. The early issues were resolved and the concept spread to larger BMC products, notably the 1100/1300 series built in Italy by Innocenti. These larger models did not require the transmission-in-sump arrangement for the purposes of space utilisation (as on the Mini) but retained it for design and parts commonality. Fiat’s chief designer, Dante Giacosa, recognised the potential of the concept and sought ways to improve on it – namely by removing the transmission from the sump. This would produce a larger overall powertrain unit but this was not essential in the type of cars Giacosa proposed. In return such cars would be easier to service and repair and benefit from greater refinement and lower noise levels. Fiat was cautiously accepting of Giacosa’s proposal and decided to experiment without risking damage to the image of its popular Fiat-branded cars. Thus the Autobianchi Primula emerged—a car marketed under a less crucial nameplate, for which it was an entry into a whole new class of vehicles. The key to Giacosa’s design was a compact concentric clutch release mechanism using a hydraulic piston mounted inside a hollow gearbox input shaft, thus doing away with the traditional external clutch lever and release arm and the internal clutch thrust bearing. This allowed the powertrain to be short enough to fit across the Primula’s engine bay while allowing for the required steering angles and the determined overall width. With the transmission mounted end-on to the engine and the final drive therefore offset from the car’s centre line, the Primula had unequal-length driveshafts. Initially, the Primula was fitted with the 1221 cc engine from the Fiat 1100 D (for the coupé it was uprated to 65 hp, but in 1968 it was replaced with Fiat 124 engines—the berlinas received the 1197 cc 60 hp engine from the standard versions, while the coupé was fitted with the more powerful 1438 cc 70 hp unit. All engines used in the Primula had overhead valves (OHV)—the later twin cam derivative of the 1438 cc unit was not used in any Autobianchi (Fiat did use it later in the Lancia Beta- the issue at the time in a transverse installation of a twin-cam head being the arrangement of the exhaust manifold of the necessarily cross-flow head). Unlike contemporaneous BMC and Peugeot models, which had the transmission in the oil sump, the Primula had its manual transmission placed end-on, above the differential. The Primula also featured disc brakes on all four wheels, uncommon in small cars of the time. The Primula’s particular configuration of front wheel drive and transverse engine, but with a gearbox on the end of the engine, ingenious Fiat-designed clutch release mechanism and unequal length drive shafts, rather than a gearbox in the sump like the Mini, has become universal among front-wheel-drive cars. Suspension was a single wishbone and upper transverse leaf spring in the front and a “dead” rear axle. The Primula is thus a car design of far greater significance than is often realised, as its design influence spread, far beyond even the mainstream high volume Fiats such as the 128 and the 127 of the late 1960s which used its driveline layout combined with MacPherson struts; to every front wheel drive transverse engined car in production today. Production reached approximately 75,000 before ending in 1970.
Lloyd Alexander TS: The TS was the top of the range version of the Alexander, the runabout passenger car manufactured by Lloyd, a member of the German Borgward group of automakers. The Alexander TS was produced from September 1958 to the end of 1961 when Borgward began to slide into the financial difficulties that led to its final disappearance from the market in 1964. The TS was a 4-seater saloon. Its characteristic features are the timing system with the camshaft in the cylinder heads, central beam chassis with platform, and independent front suspensions. It had a 2 cylinders in line 600 cc air-cooled engine which generated 50 bhp at 3250 rpm. It could reach 110 km/h and delivered a fuel consumption of 6,2 l/100 km
Autobianchi Bianchina: The Bianchina cars were the first Autobianchi models to be produced. Based on the Fiat 500, they were available in various configurations: Berlina (saloon), Cabriolet, Trasformabile (convertible), Panoramica (station wagon), and Furgoncino (van). The car was presented to the public on 16 September 1957 at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. Initially, the car was equipped with the smallest Fiat engine, air-cooled 479 cc producing 15 PS. In 1959, the engine power was increased to 17 PS and in 1960, the cabriolet version was launched. In the same year, the Trasformabile, whose engine cylinder capacity was increased to 499 cc (18 hp), was made available in a Special version with bicolour paint and an engine enhanced to 21 PS. The Trasformabile featured fixed B-pillar and partial roof, as the rest of the opening was covered with foldable fabric hood. Cabriolet version had no B-pillar. Also this was the only version to feature suicide doors. In 1962, the Trasformabile was replaced by a four-seat saloon. The engine and chassis were the same as in the Trasformabile. In 1965, a minor facelift was made. In France, the models were sold under different names: the Berlina became the Lutèce, the Familiare the Texane, and the Trasformabile was marketed as the Eden Roc. Production ceased in 1970.
The current Fiat 500 was launched – in a big way – in Torino in July 2007 and remains in production, with sales still rising every year. A special display of the model featured.
Fiat Cinquecento Sporting: The regulations for the Cinquecento Trophy were specially laid down to enable all drivers holding international driver and competitor licences to acquire experience in the sports sector. As with the earlier A112 Abarth Trophy, no official preparation was required: it was sufficient to purchase Abarth’s Transformation Kit to fit out the car for sports activity, which meant that this little pocket rocket was putting out 90 bhp from its 1121cc engine. Competitors were offered good reductions on the car and transformation kit prices, thus greatly reducing ever-increasing competition expenses and opening entries to a broader public. This single-make trophy was founded in 1993 and also held in 1994. It created lots of interest in France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Holland, where corresponding national trophy races are held prior to the final international meeting.
A separate gallery comprised a mouth-watering display of historic race cars. Like the rest of this museum, there was a mix of familiar and the more unusual.
1935 Monaco Trossi: This revolutionary racing car was the brainchild of Augusto Monaco, an engineer, and Carlo Felice Trossi, who put it through its paces during the Gran Prix at Monza in 1935. Its most outstanding feature is the two-stroke engine with sixteen cylinders arranged in two rows with a single combustion chamber for each pair of cylinders, with a capacity of 3982cc and an output of 250 bhp at 6000 rpm. This was front-mounted and air-cooled like an aero-engine. Another novelty for those times was front wheel drive, which made it unnecessary to install a long transmission shaft. It could reach 200 km/h.
1975 Alfa Romeo 33 TT/12: The 33/TT 12 (Telaio Tubolare, tubular chassis) appeared in 1973 with the Carlo Chiti-designed 12 cylinder 3.0L flat engine (500 bhp). The 1973 season was more or less development time and in 1974 the car won at Monza 1000 km and finished the season with second place in the championship. It wasn’t until 1975 that, after years of trying, Alfa Romeo won the 1975 World Championship for Makes. The season was one of almost total domination with seven wins in eight races., Winning drivers were: Arturo Merzario, Vittorio Brambilla, Jacques Laffite, Henri Pescarolo, Derek Bell and Jochen Mass. For 1976 Autodelta was concentrating on other things and the car was rarely used in competitions.
1948 TARF: A record-breaking vehicle with a twin-torpedo body composed of two separate chassis in steel tubes and hanging coverings. The one on the left was occupied by the driver, the other housed the motorcycle engine and transmission, and the fuel tank. Other features included all-independent suspensions and chain transmission to the rear wheels. Designed and driven by Piero Taruffi, the Tarf was initially equipped with a Guzzi 500 two-cylinder engine, and then with Gilera’s 350 cc, 500cc and 550 cc four-cylinder models. It set 22 international speed records between 1948 and 1957, and others records were established by a second version built in 1951.
1955 Nibbio II: A special record-breaker built by Giovanni Lurani, it had independent 4-wheel suspensions and was fitted with a Guzzi one-cylinder 350cc motorcycle engine, generating 39 bhp at 7500pm which allowed it reach 185 km/h. It had Ghia bodywork. Between 1956 and 1958, the Nibbio 2 set up some international 350 cc class speed records at Monza in the hands of Giovanni Lurani, Piero Campanella and Angelo Poggio.
1965 Dragster The Hawaiian: Dragsters were built to take part in the standing quarter-mile (402.25 metre) acceleration races that were all the rage in the United States for many years. The big and powerful engine and driver’s seat are placed at the rear to ensure the maximum grip for the driving wheels, while the chassis is reduced to a bare minimum to make the vehicle as light as possible. The braking system consists of a parachute housed in the rear of the car. The dragster on show, called The Hawaian by its maker, mounts a 7-litre V8 Chrysler Marine engine with blower, generating 1200 bhp allowing it to reach 320 km/h.
1952 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante: The Alfa Romeo 1900 C52 “Disco Volante”,commonly known simply as Alfa Romeo Disco Volante (Italian for “Flying Saucer”), is a series of experimental sports racing cars produced between 1952 and 1953 by Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo in collaboration with Milanese coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring. The car was distinguished by streamlined, wind tunnel tested bodywork. Three spiders were made in 1952, with a 2-litre all-alloy four-cylinder engine; a year later one was modified into a coupé, and another one into a more conventional-looking spider. Two more examples were built fitted with a six-cylinder 3.5-litre engine from the Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM racing car. Four of the five cars built in total survive today. The 1900 C52 was originally developed in 1952 to take part to Sport category races. Its fully enveloping aerodynamic bodywork was developed and built together with Carrozzeria Touring, and wind tunnel tested. Studied to achieve a low drag coefficient even in crosswinds, the body featured a lenticular cross-section both viewed from the front and from the side; the underbody was faired-in. According to some the design of the Jaguar E-type has some design cues similar to the Disco Volante. Built around an all-new tubular space frame, the Disco Volante used lightened components from the Alfa Romeo 1900. As on the 1900, the engine was an inline-four with double chain-driven overhead camshafts, but used an aluminium block and inserted sleeves instead of the 1900s cast iron one. While the 1900s 88 mm stroke was retained, cylinder bore had grown from 82.55 mm to 85 mm, bringing total displacement to 1,997.4 cc; compression ratio was raised to 8.73:1. So configured, fed by two twin-choke sidedraught carburettors, the engine produced 158 PS (156 bhp) at 6,500 rpm. The transmission was 4-speed gearbox with synchronised forwards speeds and a multi plate dry clutch. Suspension was, as on other Alfa Romeos of the time, by double wishbones at the front and solid axle linked to the chassis by an upper triangle and two lower longitudinal reaction arms.] The brakes were drums on all four corners, and the 6.0×16″ tyres were fitted to wire wheels with duralumin rims. Thanks to its aerodynamic shape the car could attain a top speed of 220 km/h (140 mph). Three examples of the two-litre Disco Volante were built in total. In 1953 two of them were modified to carry out further aerodynamic tests. One was given a fixed roof, becoming an enclosed coupé; the other, doing away with the characteristic bulging wings in favour of more conventional ones, became the so-called “fianchi stretti” (Italian for “narrow hips”) spider. The latter car was the only Disco Volante to be raced in period—being fielded in some competitions during 1953—since the program did not progress past the experimental stage. Two more cars with the original spider body style were built fitted with a 3,495 cc, cast iron block, double overhead camshaft straight-six engine from the contemporary Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM racing car in place of the all-alloy four-cylinder; one was dismantled soon after its construction. Thanks to an output of 230 PS (227 bhp) at 6,000 rpm, the 3.5-litre Disco Volante could reach a top speed of 240 km/h (149 mph). The spider and coupé 2.0-litre prototypes are preserved in the Museum here, and are regularly used in classic car races. Estimated value of each is between 1 and 2 million Euro. The fianchi stretti spider is part of the Schlumpf collection, on display in the Musée national de l’automobile in Mulhouse, France. This is the unique remaining six-cylinder 3.5-litre spider.
1954 Lancia D50: A Formula One racing car, it was designed by Vittorio Jano for Lancia in 1954. The car’s design made use of many innovative features, such as the use of the engine as a stressed chassis member, the off-centre positioning of the engine to allow a lower overall height, and pannier fuel cells for better weight distribution and aerodynamics. The D50 made its race debut toward the end of the 1954 Formula One season in the hands of two-time and reigning World Champion, Italian driver Alberto Ascari. In its very first event Ascari took both pole position in qualifying and fastest race lap, although his car’s clutch failed after only ten laps. Following Ascari’s death, and in increasing financial trouble, the Lancia family sold their controlling share in the Lancia company, and the assets of Scuderia Lancia were given to Scuderia Ferrari. Ferrari continued to develop the car, although they removed many of Jano’s most innovative designs, and the car was rebadged as the Lancia-Ferrari D50 and later simply the Ferrari D50. Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1956 World Championship of Drivers with this car modified by Ferrari. During their competition lifespan D50s were entered into 14 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, winning five. Just six D50s were built and two of them are displayed in Italian museums.
1953 Lancia D24: The last of a series built by Lancia for sports car competition, the D 24 carried Manuel Fangio, Piero Taruffi and Eugenio Castellotti to the first three places in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana. The following year it won the Sicily Tour and the Targa Florio for Taruffi, the Mille Miglia for Alberto Ascari and the Oporto Grand Prix for Luigi Villoresi. Designed by Vittorio Jano’s technicians, the D 24 is a magnificent example of car engineering in keeping with Lancia’s long-standing tradition, with a V6 3284cc engine generating 245 bhp at 6500 rpm and a top speed of 250 km/h.
1958 Ferrari 246 F1: In 1958 the Formula 1 car was developed from the Dino 156 Ferrari model of 1957. The chassis structure was composed of two main tubes and other tubes of smaller diameter. The V6 engine was 2417cc and generated 280 bhp at 8500 rpm, giving a top speed of 270 km/h. Initially it had drum brakes and De Dion rear axle, multiple-disk clutch, 4-speed transmission and integral differential. This 1960 version, however, has disc brakes. It was in a 246 F1 that Mike Hawthorn won the World Championship in 1958. During 2001, the Ferrari company and the Museum restored this vehicle’s mechanicals and exterior from its original drawings and with original materials.
1963 Ferrari 156 F1: Changes in the Formula 1 championship regulations in 1961 (free-induction 1500 cc engines and 450 kg minimum weight) induced Ferrari to adopt F2 engines. At the same time, the single-seater was greatly altered when the engine was moved to the rear. These developments led to numerous variants of the basic V engine(first at 65° then at 120°). Cylinder heads with 4 valves and a version with a very short stroke were experimented. The Bosch injection system, with high pressure mechanical pump and in-cylinder injectors were the most noteworthy addition. The 1477cc engine generated 200 bhp at 10,200 rpm, giving a top speed of 240 km/h. The 156 F1 won Phil Hill the world title in 1961, and carried John Surtees to victory in the German and Mediterranean Grands Prix in 1963.
Three recent Ferrari Formula 1 cars were the Ferrari F2003, Ferrari F2011 and Ferrari F399
Alfa Romeo 179B: This single-seater derived from the 177 brought Alfa Romeo back into Formula 1 racing. It is powered by a 2995cc V12 at 60° engine with four 65° slanting valves per cylinder, direct electronic injection, electronic ignition, and cylinder block and heads in aluminium and magnesium alloy. It generated 525 bhp at 12,300 fpm, giving a top speed of 300 km/h. The chassis is composed of aluminium and honeycomb panels, while the Kevlar bodywork was one of the most aerodynamically efficient at the time.
Alfa Romeo 159: This is an example of the renowned Alfetta racing car that started life as the 158 in 1937 and then had its power gradually stepped up after the war to become the 159. It won a multitude of races as well as the World Championship for Nino Farina in 1950 and Juan Manuel Fangio in 1951. This admirable example of refined engineering had a straight-eight supercharged engine with a positive-displacement blower, single at first and then double-stage, while its power output was boosted to 225, 254, 310, 350 and 425 bhp, this being equivalent to a specific 283 hp/litre, a figure that was only outstripped many years later when Formula 1 engines began to be equipped with turbochargers. The model on display is a 159 with the 158 bodywork.
Maserati 250F: The 250 F was one of the most famous Formula 1 cars. It was designed by Gioachino Colombo and Vittorio Bellentani, and perfected by Giulio Alfieri. It featured a 6 cylinder 2493cc engine putting out 240 bhp at 7200rpm. This model was a leading Grand Prix star from 1954 to 1960 and won countless victories in the four corners of the world. Its most successful season was in 1957, when it carried off the Argentina, Munich, France and Germany Grands Prix, and won the World Drivers’ Championship for Manuel Fangio and the Constructors’ World Championship.
Bugatti Type 35B: Very well known as a model, indeed many would tell you that this is THE classic Bugatti, is the Type 35 and there were a number of these here. The Type 35 was phenomenally successful, winning over 1,000 races in its time. It took the Grand Prix World Championship in 1926 after winning 351 races and setting 47 records in the two prior years. At its height, Type 35s averaged 14 race wins per week. Bugatti won the Targa Florio for five consecutive years, from 1925 through 1929, with the Type 35. The original model, introduced at the Grand Prix of Lyon on August 3, 1924, used an evolution of the 3-valve 1991 cc overhead cam straight-8 engine first seen on the Type 29. Bore was 60 mm and stroke was 88 mm as on many previous Bugatti models. 96 examples were produced. This new powerplant featured five main bearings with an unusual ball bearing system. This allowed the engine to rev to 6000 rpm, and 90 hp was reliably produced. Solid axles with leaf springs were used front and rear, and drum brakes at back, operated by cables, were specified. Alloy wheels were a novelty, as was the hollow front axle for reduced unsprung weight. A second feature of the Type 35 that was to become a Bugatti trademark was passing the springs through the front axle rather than simply U-bolting them together as was done on their earlier cars. A less expensive version of the Type 35 appeared in May, 1925. The factory’s Type 35A name was ignored by the public, who nicknamed it “Tecla” after a famous maker of imitation jewellery. The Tecla’s engine used three plain bearings, smaller valves, and coil ignition like the Type 30. While this decreased maintenance requirements, it also reduced output. 139 of the Type 35As were sold. The Type 35C featured a Roots supercharger, despite Ettore Bugatti’s disdain for forced induction. Output was nearly 128 hp with a single Zenith carburettor. Type 35Cs won the French Grand Prix at Saint-Gaudens in 1928, and at Pau in 1930. Fifty examples left the factory. The final version of the Type 35 series was the Type 35B of 1927. Originally named Type 35TC, it shared the 2.3 litre engine of the Type 35T but added a large supercharger like the Type 35C. Output was 138 hp, and 45 examples were made. A British Racing Green Type 35B driven by William Grover-Williams won the 1929 French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
Bugatti Type 52: Seen in front fo the Type 35 is this exact replica, which was made in 1927 at Ettore Bugatti’s Molsheim works in Alsace for his son Roland. With its 12v electric engine and top speed of 15-20 km/h, and four wheel brakes it proved an excellent advertising gimmick and about ninety were eventually produced.
1926 Maserati Tipo 26B: The Maserati brothers’second racing car built at their Bologna factory, this model is derived from the 26 which made its debut when it came third in the 1927 Targa Florio driven by Alfieri Maserati. The 26 B has a straight-eight 1980cc 155 bhp engine, supercharged with a Roots blower and twin overhead camshaft timing. In 1928 the car won the Italian Makes Championship thanks to the skill of drivers such as Ernesto Maserati, Baconin Borzacchini, Ajmo Maggi and others.
1925 Itala 11: Designed by Giulio Cesare Cappa, this small racing car made its debut in 1925 and was one of the first single-seaters. Its leading-edge specifications included a just over 1-litre, V12 engine with Roots positive-displacement supercharger which generated 60 bhp at 7000 rpm, all-independent suspension, reinforced wooden chassis and integral engine, transmission and differential. A 1500 cc version known as the 15 was also designed.
1912 Acquila Italiana 25/30 HP: Aquila Italiana was founded in Turin in 1906 and remained in business until 1917. Its sound reputation rested on the avant-garde ideas of Giulio Cesare Cappa, one of the leading designers of the day, and its subsequent successes on the racetrack. A distinctive feature of the sports model is its compact 6 cylinder 3921cc engine with overhead inlet and lateral exhaust valves. The 25/30 HP was also one of the first cars to be fitted with hydraulic front dampers. It put out 60 bhp at 3600 rpm and could reach 130 km/h.
1914 Fiat S57/14B: This is one of the three vehicles Fiat prepared for the Automobile Club de France Grand Prix raced on the Lyon track just before World War I ( 5 July 1914) and won by Christian Lautenschlager’s Mercedes. The S 57/14 B came back to racing when peace returned and chalked up several successes. It was driven to victory in the 1919 Parma-Poggio di Berceto by Antonio Ascari, and in the 1921 Targa Florio by Guido Masetti. It had a 4 cylinder 4492 cc engine, generating 135 bhp at 3500 rpm, giving it a top speed of 145 km/h.
1907 Fiat 130 HP: This racing car mounts a mighty over-16-litre engine with overhead V at 90° valve timing. It puts out 130 bhp at 1600 rpm, an impressive figure for the time, and could reach 160 km/h. In 1907, three 130s driven by Felice Nazzaro, Vincenzo Lancia and Louis Wagner took part in the Automobile Club de France Grand Prix on the Dieppe circuit. Nazzaro came first at the extraordinary average speed of 113.612 km/h.
1903 Fiat 16/20HP: This model was produced from 1903 to 1906 with three wheelbase (2.120, 2.585 and 2.830 mm) to accommodate different kinds of coachwork. The example on display is a sports two-seater version on a short chassis with coachwork by Alessio of Turin. It had a 4 cylinder bi-block engine of 4179 cc, with a max power output: 20 bhp at 1200 rpm giving a top speed of 70 km/h. A total of 690 16/20s were manufactured.
1930 Alfa Romeo P2: This is a modified version of the P2 racing car, designed by Vittorio Jano, which on its debut in 1924 won the 200 Miles of the II Circuito di Cremona, driven by Antonio Ascari. It was the first of a series of victories, including the Italian Grand Prix with Ascari, two European Grands Prix with Giuseppe Campari and Ascari, the first World Championship with Gastone Brilli Peri, the Monza Grand Prix and the seventh Circuito di Alessandria (also called Circuito Pietro Bordino) with Achille Varzi. The model was modified in 1930 and it too made a name for itself in various races, including the Circuito di Alessabdria and the Targa Florio, once again in the hands of Achille Varzi. The P2 model is considered the grandsire of all Alfa Romeo’s famous racing cars. It featured an 8 cylinder supercharged engine of 1987 cc which generated 175 bhp at 5500 rpm with a top speed of 225 km/h.
1954 Mercedes W196: In its day, this was the most innovative Formula 1 car on account of its straight-eight motor equipped with positive-drive valve timing (i.e. without return springs), two plugs per cylinder and direct injection. The RW 196 mounted two kinds of bodywork: conventional with uncovered wheels, and fully flaired for very high speed racing. This model’s first victory coincided with its debut in the Grand Prix of France held at Rheims in 1954, when Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling came first and second. It also carried Fangio to the world title in the same year and the next. It featured an 8 cylinder 2496 cc engine with a max power output of 290 bhp at 8000 rpm and could hit 290 km/h.
1980 Ferrari 312 T5: After Jody Scheckter became World Champion Driver in 1979, Ferrari presented the T5 version in 1980 while preparing to launch the 126C fitted with a turbocharged power plant. The car bearing the number 2 (number 1 had been assigned to Schekter) was driven by Gilles Villeneuve, the driver who tragically lost his life in 1982 during the practice runs for the Belgian Grand Prix. The 312 T5 is another example of Ferrari’s series with the transverse transmission (hence the T) favoured by its design philosophy. The body is fitted with miniskirts to obtain the ground effect. its engine contains 12 cylinders at 180° with a capacity of 2992 cc and a max power output: 515 bhp at 12,300 rpm.
2005 Ferrari F205
1951 Ferrari 500F2: Ferrari built a new model for the World Championship open to F2 cars in 1952 and 1953. The 500 F2 mounted a straight-4 engine designed by Aurelio Lampredi. The chassis is similar to the “375” type (two side members and cross-members, independent front wheels, rear De Dion axle, four gears integral with the differential) and its engine has twin ignition and two twin-body carburettors. It was at the wheel of this car that Alberto Ascari became World Champion in 1952 and 1953.
Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti: The Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI was a FIA Class 1 touring car that Alfa Corse raced from 1993 to 1996 in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft and the subsequent International Touring Car Championship. A high revving 2.5 L 60° V6 engine was coupled to a four wheel drive system, rated at 426 PS (420 bhp) at 11,500 rpm. Alfa Corse entered two 155 V6 TIs for works drivers Alessandro Nannini and Nicola Larini; the 1993 season was dominated by Larini winning 11 of 22 races. In 1994, the rivals from Mercedes seemed to have the advantage, but Alfa did manage to win a further eleven races. A more consistent performance from the Germans gave them the title. Since the 1995 season, the team got new sponsorship livery from Martini Racing. The 1996 version had a 2.5 L 90° V6 engine based loosely on the PRV engine rated at 490 PS (483 bhp) at 11,900 rpm. The car has a top speed of around 300 km/h (190 mph) and weighed 1,060 kilograms (2,340 lb). The Alfa 155 V6 TI has a record of 38 wins (plus 3 other non championship races). The victories were obtained by seven different drivers: 17 (+1) Nicola Larini, 13 (+1) Alessandro Nannini, 2 Stefano Modena, 2 (+1) Christian Danner, 2 Michael Bartels, 1 Kris Nissen and 1 Gabriele Tarquini.
1914 Bedelia: One of the “cyclecars” which were popular in France in period, this rather curious automobile, where the driver sits behind the passenger, was manufactured by the Bourbeau et Devaux Co. of Paris between 1910 to 1925 to a design by Robert Bourbeau. Rather than scaling down existing motor-car designs, Bourbeau chose to adapt mainly motor-cycle practice for his design, giving rise to the cyclecar designation. The low and light car carried its two passengers in tandem with the passenger seated at the front, while in the rear was the person doing the steering. Single-cylinder or 10 hp V-twin engines were used. Drive was to the rear wheels through a belt which could be moved between pulleys to give a two speed transmission. The front axle was centre pivotted with suspension by a single mid mounted coil spring and the steering was by a cable and bobbin. Elliptic leaf springs were used at the rear. The method of changing gear was unusual. The rear driver had to operate a lever which slackened the belt by moving the rear axle forwards and then the passenger had to move the belt between pulleys by means of a separate lever. Quite how the car was driven without a passenger is not clear. On later cars the levers were moved so that the driver could steer the car for himself. The car’s launch coincided with a “Petroleum/gasoline War” involving the competing commercial interests of the United States, Romania and other countries. France, having no indigenous oil supplies of its own, and the Algerian reserves not yet discovered, was particularly badly hit, and the government exacerbated the challenge for the infant auto-industry with new car taxes. The light-weight Bedélia cyclecar’s introduction was therefore timely, and the marque gained a further impetus as a result of a Bédélia winning the 1913 Cyclecar Grand Prix held at Amiens. In fact, a Morgan came in first, Morgan enthusiasts have claimed it as a win to the present day and it was largely on publicity from this success that Morgan broke into the French market, resulting in the creation of the Darmont company and, tangentially, Sandford, an example of which was also to be seen here. Despite Morgan’s claims, the second placed French car was subsequently awarded the victory. Before World War I, Bédélia cyclecars sold very well, even in Britain. Manufacturing rights were obtained by a dealer, a Monsieur Binet in 1920 and he had an updated version of the cars made for him by Mahieux of Levallois-Perret, Seine. The body design was modified to let the driver and passengers sit and a conventional three speed gearbox was fitted. Engines of up to 990 cc were offered. But by the mid 1920s, the cyclecar boom was over, with affordable “proper” cars, such as the Austin Seven and Citroen 5CV, seen as infinitely preferable to these small machines, and in 1925, the Bédélia Company collapsed
1928 Fiat 520: The first of a long series of Fiat six-cylinder cars, the 520 is a middle-upper class vehicle mounting a six-cylinder, 2244cc side-valve engine, which generated 46 bhp at 3400rpm and a top speed of 90 km/h. It was also the first Italian car to have left-hand steering. A total of over 20,000 cars in the torpedo, saloon, cabriolet, spider and taxi versions of this model were placed on the market between 1927 and 1929. The saloon version cost 31,000 Lire when launched. This car has belonged to donna Virginia del Bourbon, married to Edoardo Agnelli and mother of Gianni and Umberto Agnelli.
1923 Fiat 519S: This is the “souped-up” version of the de luxe 519 with the same six-cylinder 4766cc engine and overhead timing presented by Fiat in 1922. IT generated 77 bhp at 2600rpm, giving a top speed of 126 km/h. Its distinguishing features include the torpedo coachwork with deflector radiator and rakish split windscreen, shorter wheelbase and lighter weight.
1930 Lancia Lambda: Built in 9 series over a 10 year period, the Lambda pioneered a number of technologies that soon became commonplace in our cars. For example, it was the first car to feature a load-bearing monocoque-type body, (but without a stressed roof) and it also pioneered the use of an independent suspension (the front sliding pillar with coil springs). Vincenzo Lancia even invented a shock absorber for the car and it had excellent four wheel brakes. The narrow angle V4 engine which powered is not something which was widely copied. Approximately 11,200 Lambdas were produced. Most of them had the open Torpedo style body, but some of the last Series 8 and 9 cars had Weyman saloon bodies.
1936/47 Fiat 500 Barchetta Bertone: The starting date of 1936 is because the chassis and driveline were derived from the 1936 Fiat 500 Topolino. The young son Nuccio Bertone of the Bertone founder bought a 500 with his own cash and worked with other two mechanics outside of business to build his personal racecar and this took about 11 years to complete finally after the WW 2 at 1947! It was his first personal “racing” barchetta,with this car he started his racing driver career. After 60 years Bertone wanted to create a Geneva 2007 show car that salutes the Fiat 500 with Barchetta bodywork that was created by Nuccio Bertone in 1947 as a one-off for his own racing career. “The decision to celebrate the company’s 95th anniversary with a minimalist yet sophisticated model is perfectly in keeping with the Bertone philosophy,” the company says.
1958 Lancia Aurelia B20: Designed by Vittorio Jano, the Lancia Aurelia was launched in 1950 and production lasted until the summer of 1958. The very first Aurelias were the B10 Berlinas. They used the first production V6 engine, a 60° design developed by Francesco de Virgilio who was, between 1943 and 1948 a Lancia engineer, and who worked under Jano. The first cars had a capacity of 1754 cc, and generated 56 hp. During production, capacity grew from 1.8 litres to 2.5 litres across six distinct Series. Prototype engines used a bore and stroke of 68 mm x 72 mm for 1569 cc; these were tested between 1946 and 1948. It was an all-alloy pushrod design with a single camshaft between the cylinder banks. A hemispherical combustion chamber and in-line valves were used. A single Solex or Weber carburettor completed the engine. Some uprated 1991 cc models were fitted with twin carburettors. At the rear was an innovative combination transaxle with the gearbox, clutch, differential, and inboard-mounted drum brakes. The front suspension was a sliding pillar design, with rear semi-trailing arms replaced by a de Dion tube in the Fourth series. The Aurelia was also first car to be fitted with radial tyres as standard equipment. Aurelia was named after Via Aurelia, a Roman road leading from Rome to France. The B21 version was released in 1951 with a larger 1991 cc 70 hp engine and a 2-door B20 GT coupé appeared that same year. It had a shorter wheelbase and a Ghia-designed, Pininfarina-built body. The same 1991 cc engine produced 75 hp in the B20. In all, 500 first series Aurelias were produced. This is generally believed to the first car to use the name GT, or Gran Turismo. The B20 GT Aurelia had a successful career in motorsport, too. In the 1951 Mille Miglia the 2-litre Aurelia, driven by Giovanni Bracco and Umberto Maglioli, finished 2nd beaten only by the Ferrari America. The same year it took first in class and 12th overall at LeMans. Modified Aurelias took the first three places on 1952’s Targa Florio with Felice Bonetto as the winner and another win on Lièges-Rome-Lièges of 1953.
Lancia Delta Integrale: The Integrale evolved over several years, starting off as the HF Turbo 4WD that was launched in April 1986, to homologate a new rally car for Lancia who needed something to fill the void left by the cancellation of Group B from the end of 1986. The Delta HF 4X4 had a four-wheel drive system with an in-built torque-splitting action. Three differentials were used. Drive to the front wheels was linked through a free-floating differential; drive to the rear wheels was transmitted via a 56/44 front/rear torque-splitting Ferguson viscous-coupling-controlled epicyclic central differential. At the rear wheels was a Torsen (torque sensing) rear differential. It divided the torque between the wheels according to the available grip, with a maximum lockup of 70%. The basic suspension layout of the Delta 4WD remained the same as in the rest of the two-wheel drive Delta range: MacPherson strut–type independent suspension with dual-rate dampers and helicoidal springs, with the struts and springs set slightly off-centre. The suspension mounting provided more isolation by incorporating flexible rubber links. Progressive rebound bumpers were adopted, while the damper rates, front and rear toe-in and the relative angle between springs and dampers were all altered. The steering was power-assisted rack and pinion. The car looked little different from the front wheel drive models. In September 1987, Lancia showed a more sophisticated version of the car, the Lancia Delta HF Integrale 8V. This version incorporated some of the features of the Delta HF 4WD into a road car. The engine was an 8-valve 2 litre fuel injected 4-cylinder, with balancing shafts. The HF version featured new valves, valve seats and water pump, larger water and oil radiators, more powerful cooling fan and bigger air cleaner. A larger capacity Garrett T3 turbocharger with improved air flow and bigger inter-cooler, revised settings for the electronic injection/ignition control unit and a knock sensor, boosting power output to 185 bhp at 5300 rpm and maximum torque of 224 lb/ft at 3500 rpm. The HF Integrale had permanent 4-wheel drive, a front transversely mounted engine and five-speed gearbox. An epicyclic centre differential normally split the torque 56 per cent to the front axle, 44 per cent to the rear. A Ferguson viscous coupling balanced the torque split between front and rear axles depending on road conditions and tyre grip. The Torsen rear differential further divided the torque delivered to each rear wheel according to grip available. A shorter final drive ratio (3.111 instead of 2.944 on the HF 4WD) matched the larger 6.5×15 wheels to give 24 mph/1000 rpm in fifth gear. Braking and suspension were uprated to 284 mm ventilated front discs, a larger brake master cylinder and servo, as well as revised front springs, dampers, and front struts. Next update was to change the engine from 8 valves to 16. The 16v Integrale was introduced at the 1989 Geneva Motorshow, and made a winning debut on the 1989 San Remo Rally. It featured a raised centre of the bonnet to accommodate the new 16 valve engine, as well as wider wheels and tyres and new identity badges front and rear. The torque split was changed to 47% front and 53% rear. The turbocharged 2-litre Lancia 16v engine now produced 200 bhp at 5500 rpm, for a maximum speed of 137 mph and 0–100 km/h in 5.5 seconds. Changes included larger injectors, a more responsive Garrett T3 turbocharger, a more efficient intercooler, and the ability to run on unleaded fuel without modification. The first Evoluzione cars were built at the end of 1991 and through 1992. These were to be the final homologation cars for the Lancia Rally Team; the Catalytic Evoluzione II was never rallied by the factory. The Evoluzione I had a wider track front and rear than earlier Deltas. The bodyside arches were extended and became more rounded. The wings were now made in a single pressing. The front strut top mounts were also raised, which necessitated a front strut brace. The new Integrale retained the four wheel drive layout. The engine was modified to produce 210 bhp at 5750 rpm. External changes included: new grilles in the front bumper to improve the air intake for engine compartment cooling; a redesigned bonnet with new lateral air slats to further assist underbonnet ventilation; an adjustable roof spoiler above the tailgate; new five-bolt wheels with the same design of the rally cars; and a new single exhaust pipe. Interior trim was now grey Alcantara on the Recaro seats, as fitted to the earlier 16V cars; leather and air conditioning were offered as options, as well as a leather-covered Momo steering wheel. Presented in June 1993, the second Evolution version of the Delta HF Integrale featured an updated version of the 2-litre 16-valve turbo engine to produce more power, as well as a three-way catalyst and Lambda probe. A Marelli integrated engine control system with an 8 MHz clock frequency which incorporates: timed sequential multipoint injection; self-adapting injection times; automatic idling control; engine protection strategies depending on the temperature of intaken air; Mapped ignition with two double outlet coils; Three-way catalyst and pre-catalyst with lambda probe (oxygen sensor) on the turbine outlet link; anti-evaporation system with air line for canister flushing optimised for the turbo engine; new Garrett turbocharger: water-cooled with boost-drive management i.e. boost controlled by feedback from the central control unit on the basis of revs/throttle angle; Knock control by engine block sensor and new signal handling software for spark park advance, fuel quantity injected, and turbocharging. The engine now developed 215 PS as against 210 PS on the earlier uncatalysed version and marginally more torque. The 1993 Integrale received a cosmetic and functional facelift that included. new 16″ light alloy rims with 205/45 ZR 16 tyres; body colour roof moulding to underline the connection between the roof and the Solar control windows; aluminium fuel cap and air-intake grilles on the front mudguards; red-painted cylinder head; new leather-covered three-spoke MOMO steering wheel; standard Recaro seats upholstered in beige Alcantara with diagonal stitching. In its latter years the Delta HF gave birth to a number of limited and numbered editions, differing mainly in colour, trim and equipment; some were put on general sale, while others were reserved to specific markets, clubs or selected customers
Land Rover Safari
Alfa Romeo 4C Competizione: First seen as a concept at the 2011 Geneva Show, the production model did not debut for a further 2 years. Production got underway later that year at the Maserati plant in Modena, and the first deliveries were late in 2013. Production was originally pegged at 1000 cars a year and a total of just 3500, which encouraged many speculators to put their name down in the hope of making a sizeable profit on selling their cars on. That plan backfired, and in the early months, there were lots of cars for sale for greater than list price. Press reaction to the car has been mixed, with everyone loving the looks, but most of them feeling that the driving experience is not as they would want. Owners generally disagree – as is so often the case! For sure, it has no radio, and no carpets and no luggage space to speak of, but you know that when you buy it. It won’t be the car everyone, but if you can live with these limitations, you are sure to enjoy it. Indeed, all owners I have ever spoke to do love their car. I know I would if I could find space (and funds!) for one in my garage!
Porsche Panamera: Not Italian, so not quite sure why this car was in the gallery, but it was!
Alfa Giulietta Sprint: This is a wooden bodywork mock-up for the prototypes of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint coupé, one of the models that best represents Italian style and automobile engineering. The mock-up itself is a work of art, the fruit of high-level craftsmanship and manual skills at a time when the computer was nowhere in the offing. It was used by Bertone to design the tools and equipment needed for its volume production of the coupé’s bodywork.
Ferrari 308 GTB: The 308 GTB was launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1975 as a direct replacement for the Dino 246. Designed by Pininfarina with sweeping curves and aggressive lines, the 308 has gone on to become one of the most recognised Ferraris of all time. Fitted with a 2.9 litre DOHC V8 engine fed by four Webber 40DCNF Carburettors, the power output of 255bhp was sufficient to propel the 308 from 0 to 60mph in 6.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 159 mph.Tougher emissions standards in the 1980s challenged Ferrari more than many other marques. In 1980, fuel injection was adopted for the first time on the 308 GTB and GTS models, and power dropped quite noticeably fro 240 bhp to 214bhp. Two years later, at the 1982 Paris Motor Show, Ferrari launched the 308 quattrovalvole, in GTB and GTS form. The main change from the 308 GTBi/GTSi it succeeded were the 4-valves per cylinder—hence its name, which pushed output back up to 240 hp restoring some of the performance lost to the emission control equipment. The new model could be recognised by the addition of a slim louvred panel in the front lid to aid radiator exhaust air exit, power operated mirrors carrying a small enamel Ferrari badge, a redesigned radiator grille with rectangular driving lights on each side, and rectangular (in place of round) side repeaters. The interior also received some minor updates, such as a satin black three spoke steering wheel with triangular centre; cloth seat centres became available as an option to the standard full leather. Available included metallic paint, a deep front spoiler, air conditioning, wider wheels, 16-inch Speedline wheels with Pirelli P7 tyres, and a satin black roof aerofoil (standard on Japanese market models). Apart from the 32-valve cylinder heads, the V8 engine was essentially of the same design as that used in the 308 GTSi model. The gear and final drive ratios were altered to suit the revised characteristics of the four valves per cylinder engine. One other significant benefit of the QV four valve heads was the replacement of the non-QV models sodium valves which have been known to fail at the joint between the head and the stem. Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and Marelli Digiplex electronic ignition were carried over from the GTBi/GTSi. The car was produced in this form until the launch of the 328 models in the autumn of 1985 which had larger 3.2 litre engines and a number of styling changes. 308 GTB models are becoming increasingly sought after, with prices rising steadily and quite steeply.
Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider: The 2600, or 106 Series, were an evolution of the model first seen in 1958 as a replacement for the 1900, and called the 2000 and known internally as the 102 Series. This was the time when Alfa was still in transition from being a maker of exclusive coachbuilt and racing cars to one that offered volume production models. The 102 Series were never likely to be big sellers, in a world that was still recovering economically from the ravages of the Second World War, but the range was an important flagship, nonetheless. The 2000 models ran for 4 years, from 1958 to 1962, at which point they were updated, taking on the name of 106 Series, with minor styling changes being accompanied by a larger 2600cc engine under the bonnet. As with the 2000 models, the new 2600 cars were sold in Berlina (Saloon), Sprint (Coupe) and Spider (Convertible) versions, along with a dramatically styled SZ Coupe from Italian styling house Zagato and a rebodied Berlina from OSI, all of them with an inline twin overhead cam six cylinder engine of 2.6 litres, the last Alfas to offer this configuration. Just 6999 of the Sprint models were made and 2255 Spiders, very few of which were sold new in the UK where they were exceedingly expensive thanks to the dreaded Import Duty which made them much more costly than an E Type. Many of the parts were unique to these cars, so owning one now is far harder than the more plentiful 4 cylinder Alfas of the era. Whilst the rather square styling of the Berlina, which won it relatively few friends when new and not a lot more in recent times means that there are few of these versions to be seen, the Sprint and Spider models do appear from time to time, and market interest in the cars is now starting to accelerate, with values rise accordingly. Seen here were the regular Coupe, the Spider and the 2600 Zagato.
Maserati Mexico: The Maserati Mexico’s design derived from a 2+2 prototype bodywork shown on the Vignale stand at the October 1965 Salone di Torino and built upon a 4.9-litre 5000 GT chassis, rebodied after it had been damaged. As the car after the show was sold to Mexican president Adolfo López Mateos, the model became known as the Mexico. By coincidence, John Surtees won the Mexican Grand Prix on a Cooper-Maserati T81 the following year. Vignale’s prototype was so well received that Maserati immediately made plans to put a version into production. The production Maserati Mexico debuted in August 1966 at the 20° Concorso internazionale di eleganza per auto in Rimini, while its international première was at the October Paris Motor Show. It was built on the first generation Quattroporte chassis with a wheelbase shortened by 11 cm (4.3 in). Originally powered by a 4.7-litre 90° V8 fed by four twin-choke 38 DCNL5 Weber carburetors that produced 290 bhp, the car managed to turn out a top speed between 240–250 km/h (149–155 mph). In 1969, however, contrary to Maserati tradition, the Mexico was also made available with a smaller engine, the 4.2-litre V8 engine. Apart from the smaller engine option the Mexico underwent few changes during its lifetime. Its luxurious interior included a rich leather seating for four adults, electric windows, wooden dashboard, iodine headlights and air conditioning as standard. Automatic transmission, power steering and a radio were available as optional extras. The 4.7-litre version was fitted with 650×15″ Borrani chrome wire wheels and the 4.2-litre version with steel disc wheels. When leaving the factory all Maserati Mexicos originally fitted Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres (CN72). The Mexico was the first production Maserati to be fitted with servo assisted ventilated disc brakes on all four wheels. In May 1967, under commission from the German concessionaire Auto Koenig for one client, Herr Rupertzhoven, Maserati built a ‘Mexico’ similar to Vignale’s original prototype design but was the work of Frua. Appearing like a 4-seat Mistral and built on the same tubular chassis as the 3500 GT (2600 mm wheelbase), this prototype ‘Mexico’ was fitted with the Mistral’s six-cylinder 3.7-litre Lucas fuel-injected engine. It was finished in Oro Longchamps with a black leather interior. Its dashboard came from the Quattroporte. 485 Mexicos were produced, 175 equipped with the 4.7 engine and 305 with the 4.2.
Lancia Flaminia Presidential: The Flaminia saloon was introduced in 1957 and quickly made its mark as one of the most luxurious and refined cars of those days with its high-class interior finish and an undreamt-of ride comfort. There were several special versions, such as the 4-seater Pininfarina coupé, the Touring coupé and cabriolet, and the Zagato coupé. The Presidential model is a cabriolet-landaulet with an extra-long wheelbase made for the President of the Republic by Pininfarina in 1960 and 1961. The only four produced were restored by Fiat Auto in 2001 and returned to President Ciampi, who generously donated one to the Turin Museum. In addition to the elongated chassis and some technical modifications, the Presidential has a special set of gear ration to suit the speed required during parades and processions.
A series of panels on one of the walls of this gallery celebrated the lives and creativity of a number of legendary designers.
SPECIAL DISPLAY: MARCELLO GANDINI – HIDDEN GENIUS
The Museum regularly houses a special display and these tend to include cars which are brought in from elsewhere to create something truly remarkable. Opened a couple of weeks before my visit, and running through until May 2019 was an exhibition paying tribute to the amazing work of legendary designer Marcello Gandini. Curated by the Italian journalist and design expert Giosuè Boetto Cohen, the show traces Gandini’s history from when he was a junior designer at Bertone to when he worked independently designing, among other things, motorcycles, helicopters, and factories. Of course, the onus is very much on the cars and the stars of the show include the Lancia Stratos Zero, flown in especially by the American collector Phillip Sarofim, and the Lamborghini Marzal owned by the Swiss collector Albert Spiess. The Alfa Romeo museum has contributed the Carabo and a study of the Montreal, while Bertone sports cars such as the Maserati Khamsin and Lancia Stratos HF also make an appearance as do some other cars that you may not even realise were designed by Gandini. This was such an impressive display, it was worth the museum admission cost in its own right.
Lamborghini Miura: Some will say was the first true supercar. For sure, this car, produced between 1966 and 1973, is widely considered to have instigated the trend of high performance, two-seater, mid-engined sports cars. When released, it was the fastest production road car available. The Miura was originally conceived by Lamborghini’s engineering team, Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani, and Bob Wallace who in 1965 put their own time into developing a prototype car known as the P400. The engineers envisioned a road car with racing pedigree – one which could win on the track and be driven on the road by enthusiasts. The three men worked on its design at night, hoping to convince Lamborghini such a vehicle would neither be too expensive nor distract from the company’s focus. When finally brought aboard, Lamborghini gave his engineers a free hand in the belief the P400 was a potentially valuable marketing tool, if nothing more. The car featured a transversely-mounted mid-engine layout, a departure from previous Lamborghini cars. The V12 was also unusual in that it was effectively merged with the transmission and differential, reflecting a lack of space in the tightly-wrapped design. The rolling chassis was displayed at the Turin Salon in 1965. Impressed showgoers placed orders for the car despite the lack of a body to go over the chassis. Bertone was placed in charge of styling the prototype, which was finished just days before its debut at the 1966 Geneva motor show. Curiously, none of the engineers had found time to check if the engine would fit inside its compartment. Committed to showing the car, they decided to fill the engine bay with ballast and keep the car locked throughout the show, as they had three years earlier for the début of the 350GTV. Sales head Sgarzi was forced to turn away members of the motoring press who wanted to see the P400’s power plant. Despite this setback, the car was the highlight of the show, immediately boosting stylist Marcello Gandini’s reputation. The favourable reaction at Geneva meant the P400 was to go into production by the following year. The name “Miura”, a famous type of fighting bull, was chosen, and featured in the company’s newly created badge. The car gained the worldwide attention of automotive enthusiasts when it was chosen for the opening sequence of the original 1969 version of The Italian Job. In press interviews of the time company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini was reticent about his precise birth date, but stressed that he was born under the star sign Taurus the bull. Early Miuras, known as P400s (for Posteriore 4 litri), were powered by a version of the 3.9 litre Lamborghini V12 engine used in the 400GT at the time, only mounted transversely and producing 350 hp. Exactly 275 P400 were produced between 1966 and 1969 – a success for Lamborghini despite its then-steep price. Taking a cue from the Mini, Lamborghini formed the engine and gearbox in one casting. Its shared lubrication continued until the last 96 SVs, when the case was split to allow the correct oils to be used for each element. An unconfirmed claim holds the first 125 Miuras were built of 0.9 mm steel and are therefore lighter than later cars. All cars had steel frames and doors, with aluminium front and rear skinned body sections. When leaving the factory they were originally fitted with Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres (CN72). The P400S Miura, also known as the Miura S, made its introduction at the Turin Motorshow in November 1968, where the original chassis had been introduced three years earlier. It was slightly revised from the P400, with the addition of power windows, bright chrome trim around external windows and headlights, new overhead inline console with new rocker switches, engine intake manifolds made 2 mm larger, different camshaft profiles, and notched trunk end panels (allowing for slightly more luggage space). Engine changes were reportedly good for an additional 20 hp. Other revisions were limited to creature comforts, such as a locking glovebox lid, a reversed position of the cigarette lighter and windshield wiper switch, and single release handles for front and rear body sections. Other interior improvements included the addition of power windows and optional air conditioning, available for US$800. About 338 P400S Miura were produced between December 1968 and March 1971. One S #4407 was owned by Frank Sinatra. Miles Davis also owned one, which he crashed in October 1972 under the influence of cocaine, breaking both ankles. The last and most famous Miura, the P400SV or Miura SV featured different cam timing and altered carburettors. These gave the engine an additional 15 hp to a total of 380 hp. The last 96 SV engines had a split sump. The gearbox now had its lubrication system separate from the engine, which allowed the use of the appropriate types of oil for the gearbox and the engine. This also alleviated concerns that metal shavings from the gearbox could travel into the engine with disastrous and expensive results and made the application of an optional LSD far easier. The SV can be distinguished from its predecessors from its lack of “eyelashes” around the headlamps, wider rear wings to accommodate the new 9-inch-wide rear wheels and Pirelli Cinturato tyres, and different taillights. 150 SVs were produced.
Lancia Stratos: Bertone had no previous business with Lancia, who were traditionally linked with Pininfarina, and he wanted to come into conversation with them. Bertone knew that Lancia was looking for a replacement for the ageing Fulvia for use in rally sports and so he designed an eye-catcher to show to Lancia. Bertone used the running gear of the Fulvia Coupé of one of his personal friends and built a running showpiece around it. When Bertone himself appeared at the Lancia factory gates with the Stratos Zero he passed underneath the barrier and got great applause from the Lancia workers. After that a co-operation between Lancia and Bertone was formed to develop a new rally car based on ideas of Bertone’s designer Marcello Gandini who already had designed the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. Lancia presented the Bertone-designed Lancia Stratos HF prototype at the 1971 Turin Motor Show, a year after the announcement of the Stratos Zero concept car. The prototype Stratos HF (Chassis 1240) was fluorescent red in colour and featured a distinctive crescent-shaped-wrap-around windshield providing maximum forward visibility with almost no rear visibility. The prototype had three different engines in its early development life: the Lancia Fulvia engine, the Lancia Beta engine and finally for the 1971 public announcement, the mid-mounted Dino Ferrari V6 producing 190 hp. The use of the Dino V6 was planned right from the beginning of the project, but Enzo Ferrari was reluctant to sign off the use of this engine in a car he saw as a competitor to his own Dino V6. After the production of the Dino car had ended the “Commendatore” (a popular nickname for Enzo Ferrari) agreed on delivering the engines for the Stratos, and Lancia then suddenly received 500 units. The Stratos was a very successful rally car during the 1970s and early 1980s. It started a new era in rallying as it was the first car designed from scratch for this kind of competition. The three leading men behind the entire rallying project were Lancia team manager Cesare Fiorio, British racer/engineer Mike Parkes and factory rally driver Sandro Munari with Bertone’s Designer Marcello Gandini taking a very personal interest in designing and producing the bodywork. Lancia did extensive testing with the Stratos and raced the car in several racing events where Group 5 prototypes were allowed during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Production of the 500 cars required for homologation in Group 4 commenced in 1973 and the Stratos was homologated for the 1974 World Rally Championship season. The Ferrari Dino V6 engine was phased out in 1974, but 500 engines among the last built were delivered to Lancia. Production ended in 1975 when it was thought that only 492 were made (for the 1976 season, the Group 4 production requirement was reduced to 400 in 24 months. Manufacturer of the car was Bertone in Turin, with final assembly by Lancia at the Chivasso plant. Powered by the Dino 2.4 litreV6 engine that was also fitted to the rallying versions, but in a lower state of tune, it resulted in a power output of 190 hp, giving the road car a 0–100 km/h time of 6.8 seconds, and a top speed of 232 km/h (144 mph). The Stratos weighed between 900 and 950 kilograms, depending on configuration. Power output was around 275 hp for the original 12 valve version and 320 hp for the 24 valve version. Beginning with the 1978 season the 24 valve heads were banned from competition by a change to the FIA rules. Even with this perceived power deficit the Stratos was the car to beat in competition and when it did not suffer an accident or premature transmission failure (of the latter there were many) it had great chances to win. Despite the fact that the Stratos was never intended to be a race car, there were two Group 5 racing cars built with 560 hp, using a single KKK turbocharger. The car won the 1974, 1975 and 1976 championship titles in the hands of Sandro Munari and Björn Waldegård, and might have gone on to win more had not internal politics within the Fiat group placed rallying responsibility on the Fiat 131 Abarths. As well as victories on the 1975, 1976 and 1977 Monte Carlo Rally, all courtesy of Munari, the Stratos won the event with the private Chardonnet Team as late as 1979. Without support from Fiat, and despite new regulations that restricted engine power, the car would remain a serious competitor and proved able to beat works cars in several occasions when entered by an experienced private team with a talented driver. The last victory of the Stratos was in 1981, at the Tour de Corse Automobile, another World Rally Championship event, with a victory by longtime Stratos privateer Bernard Darniche. When the Fiat group favoured the Fiat 131 for rallying Lancia also built two Group 5 turbocharged ‘silhouette’ Stratos for closed-track endurance racing. These cars failed against the Porsche 935s on closed tracks but proved successful in hybrid events. While they failed in the Tour de France Automobile, one of these cars won the 1976 Giro d’Italia Automobilistico, an Italian counterpart of the Tour de France Automobile. One of the cars was destroyed in Zeltweg, when it caught fire due to overheating problems. The last surviving car would win the Giro d’Italia event again before it was shipped to Japan to compete in the Fuji Speedway based Formula Silhouette series, which was never raced. The car would then be sold and reside in the Matsuda Collection before then being sold to the renowned collector of Stratos’, Christian Hrabalek, a car designer and the founder of Fenomenon Ltd, who has the largest Lancia Stratos Collection in the world, 11 unique Lancia Stratos cars, including the fluorescent red 1971 factory prototype and the 1977 Safari Rally car. His interest in the car led to the development of the Fenomenon Stratos in 2005. The Stratos also gained limited success in 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a car, driven by Christine Dacremont and Lella Lombardi, finishing 20th in 1976
1971 Lamborghini Countach: Which small boy (and perhaps car loving girl) did not lust after a Countach back in the 1970s and 1980s. A dramatic looking car, this was the stuff of dreams that you would only ever see at the London or NEC Motor Shows. Countach first made an appearance, as a concept in 1971, but it was 1973 before the production car made its debut, and despite unfortunate timing with fuel shortages and a recession, and a number of financial problems for its maker, the car sold well throughout its production life. The Countach entered production as the LP400 with a 3929 cc engine delivering 370 hp. The first production Countach was delivered to an Australian in 1974. Externally, little had altered from the final form of the prototype except at the rear, where conventional lights replaced the futuristic light clusters of the prototype. The styling had become rather more aggressive than Gandini’s original conception, with the required large air scoops and vents to keep the car from overheating, but the overall shape was still very sleek. The original LP400 rode on the quite narrow tyres of the time, but their narrowness and the slick styling meant that this version had the lowest drag coefficient of any Countach model. The emblems at the rear simply read “Lamborghini” and “Countach”, with no engine displacement or valve arrangement markings as is found on later cars. By the end of 1977, the company had produced 158 Countach LP400s. In 1978, a new LP400 S model was introduced. Though the engine was slightly downgraded from the LP400 model (350 bhp), the most radical changes were in the exterior, where the tyres were replaced with 345/35R15 Pirelli P7 tyres; the widest tyres available on a production car at the time, and fibreglass wheel arch extensions were added, giving the car the fundamental look it kept until the end of its production run. An optional V-shaped spoiler was available over the rear deck, which, while improving high-speed stability, reduced the top speed by at least 16 km/h (10 mph). Most owners ordered the wing. The LP400 S handling was improved by the wider tyres, which made the car more stable in cornering. Aesthetically, some prefer the slick lines of the original, while others prefer the more aggressive lines of the later models, beginning with the LP400 S. The standard emblems (“Lamborghini” and “Countach”) were kept at the rear, but an angular “S” emblem was added after the “Countach” on the right side. 1982 saw another improvement, this time giving a bigger, more powerful 4754 cc engine. The bodywork was unaltered, however the interior was given a refresh. This version of the car is sometimes called the 5000 S, which may cause confusion with the later 5000 QV. 321 of these cars were built. Two prototypes of the 1984 Countach Turbo S were built by Lamborghini, of which one is known to exist. The Turbo S weighed 1,515 kg (3,340 lb), while its 4.8 litre twin-turbo V12 had a claimed maximum power output of 758 PS and a torque output of 876 N·m (646 lb·ft), giving the car an acceleration of 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 335 km/h (208 mph). A turbo adjuster, located beneath the steering wheel, could be used to adjust the boost pressure from 0.7 bar to 1.5 bar at which the engine performed its maximum power output. The Turbo S has 15″ wheels with 255/45 tyres on the front and 345/35 on the rear. In 1985 the engine design evolved again, as it was bored and stroked to 5167 cc and given four valves per cylinder—quattrovalvole in Italian, hence the model’s name, Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole or 5000 QV in short. The carburettors were moved from the sides to the top of the engine for better breathing—unfortunately this created a hump on the engine deck, reducing the already poor rear visibility to almost nothing. Some body panels were also replaced by Kevlar. In later versions of the engine, the carburettors were replaced with fuel injection. Although this change was the most notable on the exterior, the most prominent change under the engine cover was the introduction of fuel injection, with the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, providing 414 bhp, rather than the six Weber carburettors providing 455 bhp. As for other markets, 1987 and 1988 model Quattrovalvoles received straked sideskirts. 610 cars were built.
1984 Renault 5 “Supercinq”: The “Supercinq” appeared in the autumn of 1984, with RHD models going on sale in February 1985. Its launch came within 18 months of Ford, General Motors, Peugeot, Fiat and Nissan all launching new competitors in the supermini sector. Although the bodyshell and chassis were completely new (the platform was based on that of the larger Renault 9 and 11), familiar 5 styling trademarks were retained; with the new styling being the work of Marcello Gandini. The new body was wider and longer featuring 20 percent more glass area and more interior space, with a lower drag coefficient (0.35), as well as 68.9 mpg at 56 mph in the economy models. The biggest change was the adoption of a transversely-mounted powertrain taken directly from the 9 and 11, plus a less sophisticated suspension design, which used MacPherson struts. When launched, it had the following ranges: TC, TL, GTL, Automatic forms. The entry-level TC had the 956 cc engine rated at 42 bhp, while the TL had the 1108 cc engine rated at 47 bhp, and the GTL, Automatic, TS and TSE had the 1397 cc engine rated at 59 hp for the GTL, 67 hp for the Automatic, and 71 hp for the TS and TSE). The TC and TL had a four-speed manual gearbox, while the GTL, TS and TSE had a five-speed manual gearbox (which was optional on the TL), and the Automatic had a three-speed automatic gearbox. 1987 saw the introduction of the 1721 cc F2N engine in the GTX, GTE (F3N) and Baccara (Monaco in some markets, notably the United Kingdom). Renault decided to use the naturally aspirated 1.7 litre from the Renault 9/11, which utilised multipoint fuel injection, in addition to the sports orientated 1.4 litre turbo. Under the name GTE, it produced 94 hp. Although not as fast as the turbo model, it featured the same interior and exterior appearance, as well as identical suspension and brakes. The Baccara and GTX versions also used the 1.7 engine – the former sporting a full leather interior, power steering, electric windows, sunroof, high specification audio equipment and as extras air-conditioning and On-Board Computer. The latter was effectively the same but the leather interior was an option and there were other detail changes. As with the previous generation, the 5 Turbo was again assembled at the Alpine plant in Dieppe, where forty cars per day were constructed in 1985. The model was starting to show its age by 1990, when it was effectively replaced by the Clio, which was a sales success across Europe. Production of the R5 was transferred to the Revoz factory in Slovenia when the Clio was launched. It remained on sale with only 1.1 and 1.4 litre petrol and 1.6 litre naturally aspirated diesel engines, as a minimally equipped budget choice called the Campus. until the car’s production run finally came to an end in 1996. A number of limited edition models were offered throughout the model’s life. These tended to be market specific. The “Famous Five” was produced for the UK in March 1990, just before the unveiling of the follow-on Clio. Based on the TR, it had the 55bhp 1.1 litre petrol engine, and was available with three or five doors. As well as the special stickers on the side of the car, still evident on this one, the model had reclining seats, a special two-tone upholstery, heating, quartz clock, sunroof, variable speed wipers, a Boombox Philips radio, side vents on the dashboard and tinted windows.
1974 Bertone Mini 90/120: Innocenti, under the ownership of the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) developed rebodied versions of the Mini, known as the Innocenti Mini 90L and 120L, which were released at the Turin Show in 1974. The new, Bertone-styled Mini was originally launched in two versions, the 90L and 120L – the former having the 998 cc A-series engine putting out 43 bhp, and the latter the 1275 cc unit, with an extra 20 bhp on tap. These outputs were later uprated to 49 bhp and 65 bhp respectively. As for the English-built Mini, the Innocenti received the “dry” rubber cone suspension, which provided excellent handling but at the cost of a very bumpy ride. All Leyland-engined Innocentis received a four-speed manual transmission. At one point there were even plans for the Bertone-designed Mini to replace the original English Mini, but these came to nothing. Within a year of the car’s launch, BLMC went bankrupt and in May 1976 Innocenti was sold to De Tomaso and GEPI. BL retained a 5% stake. The new owners renamed the company Nuova Innocenti (“New Innocenti”) and continued to build the car without any real change. Innocenti’s Mini version was generally nicely equipped and had a better finish than their English brethren, leading to higher sales and a better reputation in many continental European markets (aside from Italy), such as France. The largest improvement was the addition of a rear hatch, allowing for improved access to the (still tiny) luggage compartment. The drag resistance was also marginally lower than that of the original Mini, 0.41 Cd rather than 0.42. At the 1976 Turin Auto Show the sporting Innocenti Mini de Tomaso was first shown. It entered series production in early 1977 and featured moulded plastic bumpers rather than the filigrane, chromed units used for the 90/120. There were also integral foglights, a bonnet scoop, and wheelarch extensions to accommodate the alloy wheels which completed the sporting appearance. Power at introduction was 71 bhp, but this crept up to 74 bhp. In 1980, the facelifted and better equipped Mini Mille made its appearance. The Mille (1000) replaced the larger-engined 120 in most markets, and featured moulded plastic bumpers, headlights which sloped backwards, and redesigned taillights. Overall length increased by a couple of inches (5 cm). There was also a “90 LS II” version introduced for 1981, and the “90 SL” for the 1982 model year. By 1982, however, Alessandro de Tomaso’s deal with BL had ended. For various reasons, politico-industrial as well as due to British Leyland’s reluctance to provide engines to what was a competitor in many continental markets, the decision to thoroughly reengineer the Innocenti Mini was reached. After a lot of testing, the car was finally adapted to take a three-cylinder Daihatsu engine and various other mechanical parts. Because of Daihatsu’s minuscule European presence, selling engines to Innocenti would have a minimal negative impact on their own sales, instead offering a door to many European markets that they had yet to reach. Thanks to Alfa Romeo’s Arna deal with Nissan a few years earlier, the Italian political resistance against Japanese companies had been lessened and DeTomaso encountered no political difficulties. The car continued for several years later, with Daihatsu engines.
1970 Lancia Stratos Bertone Zero: One of the most amazing concept cars ever, this dates from 1970, pre-empting the Lancia Stratos HF prototype by 12 months when it was first shown to the public at the Turin Motor Show in 1970. The futuristic bodywork was designed by Marcello Gandini, head designer at Bertone, and it featured a 1.6 lire Lancia Fulvia V4 engine. For a long time the car was kept in Bertone’s museum, and then in 2011 it was sold at auction in Italy for €761.600 More recently it has been on display in the exhibit “Sculpture in Motion: Masterpieces of Italian Design” at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and then until it arrived in London for this event, it has been shown in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA at the Dream Cars exhibition. The body was wedge-shaped, finished in distinctive orange and was an unusually short, at just 141 inches in length and only 33 inches tall, and shared little with the production version. The Zero appeared in Michael Jackson’s 1988 film, Moonwalker. At this event, the car won the RM Auctions Award for “Most Innovative Car of its Era”.
1968 Lamborghini Espada: The Espada, a 4-seat grand touring coupé, arrived in 1968. The car was designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. Gandini drew inspiration and cues from two of his Bertone show cars from 1967, the Lamborghini Marzal and the Jaguar Piraña. The name “Espada” means “sword” in Spanish, referring to the sword that the Torero uses to kill the bull in the Corrida. During its ten years in production the car underwent some changes, and three different series were produced. These were the S1 (1968–1970), the S2 (1970–1972) and the S3 (1972–1978). Each model featured interior redesigns, while only minor details were changed on the exterior. The Espada was launched at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show. The original design of the dashboard was inspired by the Marzal concept car, and featured octagonal housings for the main instruments, topped by an additional binnacle for the secondary gauges. Wheels were Campagnolo alloys on knock-off hubs, of the same design seen on the Miura. The tail lights were the same units mounted on the first series Fiat 124 Sport Coupé. 186 were made up until January 1970. At the 1970 Brussels Motor Show Lamborghini unveiled the Espada S2. Outside the only change was the deletion of the grille covering the vertical glass tail panel. Inside changes were more radical: all-new dashboard, centre console and steering wheel were installed. The instrument binnacle was of a more conventional rectangular shape, with round gauges. A wood-trimmed fascia extended along the entire width of the dashboard. Power output increased to 350 PS (345 bhp) due to a higher 10.7:1 compression ratio; the brakes were upgraded to vented Girling discs. Power steering was offered as an option. 575 Series II Espada were made, making it the most popular and desirable variant. The Espada S3 was launched in 1972. Its 3.9 litre V12 engine produced 325 PS (321 bhp) With the second redesign the dashboard changed to a aluminium-trimmed cockpit that kept all instruments and most controls (including the radio) within easy reach of the driver. Newly designed wheels on five-stud hubs replaces the earlier knock-off wider wheels fiitted with Pirelli Cinturato 215/70WR15 CN12 tyres, making the Espada S3 instantly recognisable; other exterior changes included the square instead of hexagonal mesh grille and tail lights from the Alfa Romeo 2000 replacing the previous Fiat-sourced ones. In 1974 a Borg Warner automatic transmission became available. From 1975 large impact bumpers had to be installed to meet United States safety requirements; some people consider cars produced with them as a separate fourth series, but Lamborghini did not officially change the model designation. In total, 1217 Espadas were made, making it the most successful Lamborghini model until the expansion of Countach production in the mid-1980s.
Bertone Tundra: The Volvo Tundra was a concept car built and designed by Bertone in 1979. Bertone was told to do “something delicious” based on the Volvo 343. The angular design was by Marcello Gandini and continued the themes developed for the Lamborghini Silhouette and the Reliant (Anadol) FW11. It was rejected by Volvo, who thought it was too modern and difficult to sell. Bertone instead sold a very similar design to Citroën, where it was produced as Citroën BX. The Tundra’s rear side window had a pulled down top edge, a theme which was continued on the BX’ C-pillar. The overall effect was of a “floating roof,” a design idea which has become popular in the 2010’s. The car featured a digital speedometer and was powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine giving 70 PS.
1969 Bertone Runabout: The Autobianchi Runabout was designed by Marcello Gandini while at Bertone and was first shown at the 1969 Turin Motor Show. The car featured a mid-mounted Fiat 128 engine and gearbox. The wedge shape design took many styling cues from contemporary power-boat designs. And the distinctive head lamps were mounted on the roll over bar. The prototype was a serious proposal at the time and became the basis for the Fiat X1/9. The design project for the Runabout took its inspiration from the motorboat world. As in the case of other prototypes inspired by the design concepts and styling applied to other fields, here once more Bertone took his inspiration from outside the motoring world. The Runabout was in fact inspired by the racing speedboats around at the end of the 1960’s. Despite its unusual look and evident dream car status, the prototype was used as the starting point for the design of the future Fiat X1/9, which was launched a couple of years later. The engine itself was that of the 128, even though the car was presented under the Autobianchi marque. With its pointed shape, generous rollbars hosting the headlamps and the colours chosen by its designer, the car was aimed at a young market. The Runabout is an invitation to fun, stress-free travelling, evoking the sheer joy of driving in places where traffic is no more than a distant memory.
Alfa Romeo Carabo: Well known by those of a certain age, thanks to the fact that Matchbox made a model of it, the Alfa Romeo Carabo is a concept car first shown at the 1968 Paris Motor Show. It was designed by Marcello Gandini, working for the Bertone design studio. The Carabo name is derived from the Carabidae beetles, as evoked by the car’s iridescent green and orange colouring. The wedge design came into fashion in the late 1960s. The Carabo is often considered the winner of the ‘Wedge War’ award of 1968 and as the direct predecessor of the Lamborghini Countach and having heavily influenced many car designs to follow well into the next decade. It was never intended for production but was fully functional and showcased features never expressed in any other car design of its day, including its wedge design and scissor doors. The prototype was built on the chassis of an Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (chassis No. 750.33.109.), which features a mid-mounted 2.0 litre V8 engine mated to a 6-speed Colotti manual transmission. The Carabo engine made 230 bhp at 8,800 rpm and 200 Nm (148 lb/ft) of torque at 7,000 rpm. This allowed it to be able to reach a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The scissor doors later appeared on the Lamborghini Countach, which was also designed by Marcello Gandini.
Lamborghini Marzal: Originally presented by Lamborghini at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show, the Marzal Concept was making its first public appearance for a very long time, following a fastidious restoration. Designed by Nuccio Bertone and Marcello Gandini as a potential four-seater Lamborghini, the Marzal never really caught on. Its gullwing-style doors, made mostly from glass, weren’t to Ferruccio’s taste, as he believed that a woman’s legs shouldn’t be there for all to see. However, that doesn’t mean that some of its features weren’t applied to some of Lambo’s next vehicles, including the Espada, which came out the following year with similar exterior and interior (dashboard) cues. The Marzal show car uses a 2-litre inline-six engine for propulsion, which is basically half of the company’s 4-litre V12 unit of the era, found in the Miura. It works together with a five-speed manual transmission to feed 175 horses to the rear wheels. Unlike most concepts, which tend to be locked away and forgotten, the Lamborghini Marzal was actually driven publicly once. It was shortly after its Geneva presentation, during the Monaco Grand Prix, not as a racer, but as a pace car, by Prince Rainier of Monaco and his wife, Princess Grace. The Marzal Concept is not resting in the Lamborghini Museum, as it was sold at auction in 2011, for $2 million, to a private collector.
Maserati Khamsin: The Khamsin was conceived to take over from the Ghibli. First seen on the Bertone stand at the November 1972 Turin Auto Show, it was designed by Marcello Gandini, and was Bertone’s first work for Maserati. In March 1973 the production model was shown at the Paris Motor Show. Regular production of the vehicle finally started a year later, in 1974. The Khamsin was developed under the Citroën ownership for the clientele that demanded a front-engined grand tourer on the lines of the previous Ghibli, more conventional than the mid-engined Bora. In 1977 a mild facelift added three horizontal slots on the Khamsin’s nose to aid cooling. Inside it brought a restyled dashboard and a new padded steering wheel. One Khamsin was delivered to Luciano Benetton in 1981. Despite the many improvements over its predecessor, the Khamsin didn’t replicate its success; partly due to the concurrent fuel crisis that decreased demand for big V8 grand tourers. Production ended in 1982, with 435 vehicles made, a mere third of the Ghibli’s 1274 examples production run. 155 of which had been exported to the United States
1967 Alfa Montreal Concept: The Montreal was introduced as a concept car in 1967 at Expo 67, taking its name from the city where the event was held. Originally, the concept cars were displayed without any model name, but the public took to calling it The Montreal. It was a 2+2 coupe using the 1.6-litre engine of the Alfa Romeo Giulia TI and the short wheelbase chassis of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT, with a body designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. Two of these concept cars were built and both belong to the Alfa Museum in Arese.
It was not just cars, as there were a number of motorbikes here and even a helicopter.
The final car I came across – part of the permanent displays was this 1973 Ferrari 365 GT/4 2+2, which went into production at the end of 1972. The mechanicals were those of the 365 GTC, but the rear seating was more comfortable. Pininfarina conferred both élan and harmony on this automobile. The flank carries a tip-to-tail motif and the roof is both large and extraordinarly elegant. It was powered by a 4390cc V12 engine which generated 310 bhp. A total of 520 GT4s had been made when production came to an end in 1976 when the car was replaced by the visually similar 400GT.
This is an excellent museum, well worth a visit. Although the lighting is a bit gloomy in places – as evidenced by the photos – you can get a good view of an interesting array of cars, that really tell the story with a mix of familiar and less familiar models. As with most museums, the collection of cars exceeds the space to display them all, so a return visit is likely to find some different cars on display, even before taking account of the fact that there are regular changes to the special display. I certainly plan to return.
More details can be found on the museum’s own website: https://www.museoauto.com/en/