Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider 1300

December 1959.

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The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider is a two-seater car marketed in Italy between 1956 and 1962. Daughter of the era of the "discovery" boom where Italy, England and partly Germany were particularly active, it is universally recognized as one of the spider aesthetically and technically more successful. Excellent performance, reduced dimensions and weight, the Giulietta Spider in the "Veloce" version was also very successful in the racing environment. During the span of seven years, about 14300 Spiders and about 2800 Spider Veloce were produced, divided into three series: the first between 1955 and 1959, the second from 1959 to 1961, the third until mid-1962 when the Giulia took over. Spider. The sale price at launch was set at approximately 1,900,000 Lire for the entry model and 2,250,000 for the Spider Veloce. The history of this iconic open two-seater begins with the request of the then American importer who commissioned Alfa Romeo to produce 600 Giulietta cars on a spider body. Both Bertone and Pininfarina were consulted for the realization, putting forward two very different interpretations. Alfa Romeo chose the latter's proposal and in 1955 the prototypes and pre-series were presented.

His name has been the subject of various versions and anecdotes. The most curious says that in October 1950 a delegation of eight Alfa Romeo executives was sent to the Paris Motor Show for the presentation of the new "1900" model. During a dinner offered in their honor by the French Alfa Romeo dealer, in a well-known Parisian restaurant, the executives were jokingly addressed by a decayed Russian prince who, to make ends meet, performed in public places inventing nursery rhymes and poems. customer address. That evening the "burlesque poet", to mock the austere and staid attitude of the guests of honor, recited: "Je vois huit Roméo, mais aucune Juliette!" (I see eight Romos, but no Juliet!). The episode was remembered by some of these executives in the meeting to decide the commercial name of the new model "type 750" and the choice fell on "Giulietta", in fact inspired by a Franco-Russian street artist. The name "Giulietta" was taken from the house of the biscione to name two of its future models, respectively from 1977 and 2010.

Alfa Romeo, always at the forefront, built the Giulietta model in the 1950s, presenting the Coupé version in a rather anomalous way even before the usual Sedan. In one name: “Giulietta Sprint”. A fantastic car with a unique, aerodynamic and at the same time beautiful, agile, high comfort line, with an adequate distribution of masses and an excellent weight-to-power ratio. This was followed by the introduction of the Berlina and the special series designed by the best coachbuilders of the time, recognized in Italy and around the world, such as the elegant Spider designed by Pininfarina, the SS (Sprint Speciale) designed by Bertone and the SZ (Sprint Zagato) designed by homonymous Zagato body shop.

One of the innovations made by Alfa Romeo with the Giulietta was a more efficient braking system than the competition in circulation: Girling system (of English derivation, typically mounted on cars of larger sizes and categories) with the application of 2 cylinders for each wheel on the front axle. The peculiarity lies in having a cylinder per shoe, suitably oversized, thus allowing a more performing, powerful and precise braking. On the rear axle, on the other hand, only one cylinder per wheel was mounted but, through the use of levers, it distributed the braking power equally in both the upper and lower parts. For the hydraulic part, the pipes together with the larger brake pump than the standard, adequately distributed the oil to all 6 cylinders. A brake pump with rubber pads and larger pistons (25mm) allowed a greater supply of brake fluid.

In 1962 with the maximum evolution of the Giulietta 1300 third series and then the Giulia 1600, a new system was adopted for a short period, before the use of the brake discs, which provided for 3 cylinders applied on the 3 shoes for each wheel on the axle. front, thus bringing even more efficiency to braking.

Lancia Augusta Carrozzeria Ghia


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A car heir to the Lambda but closed as the new times of daily use required. In Lancia, the technological heir to the Lambda would certainly have wanted a larger engine (probably a 2-liter) and dimensions (4 and a half meters like the Lambda), but a car of this kind could only be designed for foreign countries exactly as Lambda had been. In Italy one had to turn to the Italian bourgeoisie who pulled the belt and turned the fabric of the Sunday coat to save money. A car therefore which, while remaining revolutionary, had to be small, light, economical and consequently cost relatively little compared to the Lancias produced up to that day. A car of this kind would certainly have been manageable, but it had to comfortably accommodate an entire family and go at the same speed as all other Lancias. It was not easy to rethink everything that had been done up to that moment and try to invent something new, no one intended to dedicate it to mass production, however this new model of limited dimensions had to be a sort of utilitarian (according to the canons of the time ) albeit elite. And here, ideas such as closet doors for increased accessibility to the passenger compartment blossomed, practically almost the entire side of the car opened, the wheelbase was lengthened eliminating any front and rear drift, the masses, from the engine to the occupants, were all "central" with respect to the axles of the wheels, the leather became steel and the first non-deformable body was born that allowed to stand on just over 800 kg, which was never seen before for a closed 4-seater car of almost 4 meters. The car is narrow, you want it narrow for the narrow medieval alleys of Italian cities, inside with the vertical development and with a large window it must appear large, spacious, it must not oppress rear passengers intent on conversing nor must it give a feeling of insecurity to whoever drives or who is next to the driver. It must be silent, it must not vibrate, the engine must hardly be heard when traveling in 4 ° at a cruising speed of 80 km / h (crazy speed for our state cars of the time) and must also endure hours and hours of everything. gas on the edge of 100 km / h (as was proven in the Golden Cup of the Littorio - Giro d'Italia of 6000 km from north to south, from west to east). In short, antithetical qualities were sought, a completely new project full of unknowns in a difficult and critical period. On one thing, however, we did not want to bet, but to move with lead feet, on the line that had to be pleasant, classic, slender, slender, light, but completely conventional, accessible to all ... with the history of the myth of aerodynamics many monsters had already been born between '30 and '33 who then decreed failures even before they were born and this, in those difficult times, was absolutely impossible to afford. And Vespa indeed Augusta was born that surprised everyone, monopolized foreign and national salons in '32 / '33, was loved by contemporaries who accepted and loved it as a new person in the family, was honest and measured, as modest as it was generous, and then it was forgotten, the following generations remember the lovers as terrible and capricious as they were bad, but they forget the many honest mothers of Italy who sacrificed themselves to the last without even showing it. Augusta is a bit like that: it has not left the sporting glories of the Aurelia, nor the great feats of its direct descendant Aprilia, but only so many memories in every home where it has lived.

Alfa Romeo 2000 Touring


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Created to replace the 1900 Super, the latest version of the revolutionary 1900, from which it inherited the mechanical parts practically unchanged, the new 2000 sedan (internal code 102) was presented to the public during the Turin Motor Show in 1957, while the deliveries begin in June of the following year. If mechanically the 2000 sedan does not undergo substantial changes compared to the 1900 Super, except for the lengthened wheelbase to 2720 mm, the bodywork is completely new and reflects the new comfortable setting of the car, more devoted to comfort than to sportiness. Even the name distances itself from its progenitor because it "goes up" from 1900 to 2000 without any actual change in displacement. The new Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider, designed and built by the Touring body shop, is also presented together with the 2000 sedan, which is operated by the house. [3] In fact, after having chosen Pininfarina to produce the convertible version of the 1900 regularly listed, Alfa Romeo decides to entrust the construction of the new 2000 Spider to the Milanese body shop, which at that time was transforming itself from an atelier into a real industrial manufacturer. . Although the Touring bodywork is known for the Superleggera method, in which the exterior body panels are made of aluminum, the 2000 Spider is a modern all-steel monocoque car. This choice must be framed from the point of view of the containment of the price compared to the previous 1900C SS "Superleggere". The 2000 Spider is therefore a classic two-seater open car based on the sedan chassis, from which it inherits the steering, brakes and suspension, but with a shortened wheelbase from 2720 mm to 2500 mm and an engine boosted to 115 HP thanks to the increase in the compression up to 8.5: 1 and the adoption of two Solex 40 PHH double-barrel carburettors. The gearbox is always 5-speed but has the lever on the tunnel. Thanks to these changes and the different bodywork, the spider reaches 170 km / h.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta 1800


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At the end of the sixties, in Alfa, it was evident that the lines of the 1750 and Giulia - although long-lived - would not have withstood the impact with the new stylistic trends; on the other hand it was necessary to introduce innovations that did not stray too far from the tastes of already loyal customers. At first it was decided to renew the 1750 with aesthetic updates and a new more European engine which, in 1971, was presented with the name 2000. At the same time, the project 116 was also launched. by Giuseppe Scarnati, he designed an intermediate car between 2000 and Giulia, ready to replace the first model that had lost too much ground on the market. Tense and angular lines and a particular attention to the interior space, to dress up a traditional and prestigious layout of a sports saloon, a sector in which Alfa Romeos, at the time, were considered to be at the forefront. It is also necessary to mention the albeit marginal contribution of Giorgetto Giugiaro who, commissioned in 1968 to design the new Alfa coupé, was finishing the work on what would later become the Alfetta GT. In order to reassure customers about the abandonment of the traditional scheme for the modern transaxle, recourse was made to the mention of Alfa Romeo sporting glories by choosing the name of Alfetta and thus formalizing the nickname with which the fans had nicknamed the Alfa Romeo 158 and 159. from Formula 1 who won the world championship in 1950 and 1951 with Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio. The new model immediately proved to be of an excellent level, both in terms of aesthetics and performance, but the controversy raged equally, dividing the Alfists. In fact, although the Alfetta had gained enormous strength and stability due to the more complex gearbox control levers, it had partially lost the smoothness of engagement of the ratios, compared to the previous models. Parallel to the new model, the company decided to leave the 2000 and Giulia in production until 1977, causing - in part - a series of phenomena of partial internal competition.

Lancia Aurelia B52 Stabilimenti Farina


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In 1952, Lancia fitted the Aurelia chassis to be supplied to body builders with the most powerful 2-liter engine already adopted on the B21 sedan. The new chassis, thus equipped, are called B52 and B53: the B52 replaces the B50 and is the normal chassis, while the B53 replaces the B51 and is the one intended for bulkier and heavier bodies. These two-liter engine chassis - whose production does not even reach 200 units - are used, like their predecessors, by the most renowned Italian body builders and also by some foreign body builders (such as the Swiss Beutler and Worblaufen). On the B52 chassis, Pininfarina builds, among others, almost all the famous PF200s (of which we speak extensively separately), while the 1953 Vignale coupé designed by Giovanni Michelotti (and built in several examples, even slightly different from each other), is worth mentioning. , and the Ghia-Boano Junior, a coupé released in two versions: the first, from 1952, rather conventional, and the "Boano-Junior 2" of the following year, which instead arouses a sensation due to the boldness of the line (of the nose in particular). It should be noted that even this last "Junior", built by Ghia, is however the result of the design of Felice Mario Boano, a stylist who in that same 1953, after leaving Ghia, founded his own body shop. The B53 chassis - on which Viotti still builds a couple of station wagons and which other coachbuilders use for large cars - is also used for an unidentifiable "military use".

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint



The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, later renamed "Giulia Sprint", is a sports car produced by the Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1954 to 1965. The design and development of the coupé was completed jointly with the sedan and, in the first months from 1953, the prototype of the future "Sprint" made by Giuseppe Scarnati, who later became famous as the "ugly duckling", had already brilliantly faced road tests. The general lines were therefore already set and it was a matter of refining the bodywork and making it elegant, in the few months preceding the opening of the Show. A first hitch occurred due to the unavailability of the Zagato and Touring bodies, whose production potential was already saturated by other Alfa Romeo models. Carrozzeria Boneschi presented one of its proposals, of an American style, which was rejected. This was the reason that prompted the manager of the "Giulietta project", Rudolf Hruska, to brush up on his Turin contacts and ask for the help of Mario Boano, manager of Ghia, and of Nuccio Bertone. Hruska also enlisted Giovanni Michelotti, as Alfa Romeo consultant for the evaluation of the stylistic solutions proposed. Franco Scaglione and a very young Giorgetto Giugiaro also worked on the refinement work, mainly carried out by Boano. The three made a myriad of changes which, while maintaining the original setting of the volumes, made the body stylistically pleasing and balanced in all its parts. The Alfa Romeo logo and the Sprint wording on the rear trunk above the license plate holder typical of the first series, known as the "airplane" Thus was born the Giulietta Sprint presented as a pre-series prototype at the Turin Motor Show on 19 March 1954. In reality the models proposed were two, one red and one blue, different from each other in many details, but which even had the rear hatch that could be opened, a real novelty for the time. This solution was then abandoned for mass production, as water infiltrations were feared, due to the low inclination of the rear window area and the precarious seal of the gaskets of the time.

Lancia Aurelia B20



On the occasion of the Turin Motor Show inaugurated on April 2, 1951, Lancia is showing the B20 to the public for the first time, a splendid high-performance coupe with an attractive “clean” line. Even if, at the time of launch, the B20 is approved for three people (all to be accommodated in the single front seat), it can be safely said that this new Aurelia, in fact, inaugurates a formula that will be enormously successful in the following twenty years. , that of the “2 seater plus 2 makeshift grand tourer”. According to an interview released years later by Mario Felice Boano, the line of the B20 was conceived by himself while collaborating with the Ghia body. According to this thesis, the construction of the initial batch (about a hundred copies) would have been entrusted by Gianni Lancia to Ghia, which, however, would have turned to the Viotti body shop (better equipped for a numerically more consistent production), to physically build the first 98 specimens. Considering the immediate success of the B20 and the consequent high production rate necessary to satisfy all requests, the production was then definitively entrusted to the even more equipped Pininfarina, which made anyway, from the beginning, some slight modifications to some bodywork details. This version of events is not entirely convincing for at least two reasons. In the first place, the production records show that Viotti actually built 98 cars, but that these are not the first 98 but rather units "distributed" throughout the first series (between the B20-1001 and the B20-1405). As a result, Pininfarina has built B20s from the very beginning. Second: the designer of the Aurelia, Francesco De Virgilio, does not absolutely remember Boano's involvement but, on the contrary, has always believed that the author of the car was Pininfarina. According to some, then, there would also be a third reason to doubt Boano's words, namely that the line of the B20 closely resembles that of other Pininfarina creations of the early post-war years. However, this statement is only apparently irrefutable because it must be remembered that the famous Lancia A10 prototype with 8-cylinder V engine of the late 40s - certainly bodyworked by Ghia - has a line that to some extent anticipates that of the B20, to the point of make Mario Felice Boano's theses at least "possible". A further "photographic proof" of a shared paternity of Ghia on the B20 resides in two images (not available) which appear on pages 176 and 177 of the volume "Ghia" by Valerio Moretti (Publisher Automobilia, 1991) and which portray two B20s in phase of preparation within the Ghia factories. The doubt about the actual authorship of the B20 lines has been resolved, the fact remains that, from 1951 to 1958, production was in the hands of Pininfarina, which built 3773 coupes out of a total of 3871. But let's go back to the first B20 and its peculiarity: obviously derived from the B10 sedan, from which it inherits almost all the characteristics (from the independent four-wheel suspension to the controls, from the steering wheel to the dashboard), this "monocoque" coupe with shortened wheelbase (266 cm instead of 286), however, is fitted with an engine with displacement brought almost to the threshold of two liters (1990.97 cm³ to be exact) delivering 75 HP thanks to a compression ratio of 8.4: 1 (which requires the use of super fuel). Very tapered and small in size (428 cm long and 154 cm wide) it is, together with the almost contemporary Alfa 1900 Sprint, one of the most manageable and fastest Italian sports cars of the moment. Accredited with a maximum speed of about 160 km / h (obtained thanks to a longer bridge ratio than that of the sedan), the B20 immediately asserts itself even in competitions, as can be easily deduced by reading the appropriate chapter. Despite a price that can only be "substantial" (2,600,000 Lire at its debut), the B20 is immediately successful in commercial terms, so much so that, in less than 1 year, 500 units are sold.