Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera

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Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l.
Private
Fate Production ceased 1966
Production resumed 2008
Predecessor Carrozzeria Falco (owned by Vittorio Ascari, older brother of race driver Antonio)
Founded Milan, Italy (March 25, 1926 (1926-03-25))
Founder Felice Bianchi Anderloni
Gaetano Ponzoni Vittorio Ascari
Headquarters Terrazzano di Rho, Milan, Italy
Area served
Worldwide
Products Bentley Continental Flying Star by Touring
Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring
Touring Berlinetta Lusso
Services automotive design, coachbuilding, engineering, homologation, non-automotive industrial design, restoration of classic cars
Website www.touringsuperleggera.eu


Original Carrozzeria Touring badge
Later badge design


Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera is an automobile coachbuilder established on 25 March 1926 in Milan, Italy by Felice Bianchi Anderloni (1882–1948) and Gaetano Ponzoni. Carrozzeria Touring became well known for both the beauty of its designs and patented superleggera construction methods.[1]

After achieving success through the middle of the 20th century, business began to decline as automobile manufacturers replaced body-on-frame automobile construction with monocoque construction and increasingly took coachbuilding in-house. The original firm ceased production in 1966, but Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni and Carrozzeria Marazzi preserved the "Touring Superleggera" trademark and used it on several occasions to support the company's heritage. The trademark was purchased by the current owner, a family business, which resumed business activities in 2006 under the name Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l.; the firm is headquartered nearby Milan, its hometown. Head of Design is Louis de Fabribeckers.

History[edit]

Carrozzeria Falco becomes Carrozzeria Touring[edit]

Carrozzeria Touring traces its roots to the 1926 purchase of a controlling interest in the Milan-based coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Falco, by Milanese lawyers Felice Bianchi Anderloni (1882–1948) and Gaetano Ponzoni from Carrozeria Falco's founder, Vittorio Ascari. The new owners changed the name of the firm to Carrozzeria Touring. Bianchi Anderloni, a former test driver for Isotta-Fraschini and Peugeot Italia employee, assumed styling and engineering duties while Ponzoni assumed responsibility for administration of the firms business activities.[2]

Early work[edit]

Carrozzeria Touring's location at Via Ludovico da Breme 65 placed the coachbuilder in close proximity to automobile manufacturers Alfa Romeo, Citroën and Isotta-Fraschini. Predictably, Touring's first bodywork assignments were for chassis produced by these companies.[2]

Development of the Superleggera construction system[edit]

Bianchi Anderloni came to Touring more as an automobile designer than a car constructor, and learned the mechanics of the trade as the company progressed. The company licensed Charles Weymann's system of fabric-covered lightweight frames, a predecessor of their own Superleggera construction system. Touring hired Giuseppe Seregni, who previously collaborated with Bianchi Anderloni on the 1927 Isotta-Fraschini 'Flying Star', as Carrozzeria Touring's first professional designer.

Touring's skills with light alloy and fabric-covered tubing forms brought commercial success in aircraft production in the 1930s, leading Bianchi Anderloni to develop the Superleggera construction system, patented in 1936. This "super lightweight" system consists of a structure of small diameter tubes to form the body's shape with thin alloy panels attached to cover and strengthen the framework. Aside from light weight, the Superleggera construction system gave great flexibility, allowing Touring to quickly construct innovative body shapes.

In 1937 at Mille Miglia, Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B was the first appearance of a Touring car built with the Superleggera system.

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia from the Ralph Lauren collection

Prior to World War II, Touring gained fame for their Superleggera bodies, particularly those made for the Alfa Romes 8C 2900 and the BMW 328 chassis.

Post WWII activities[edit]

The company quickly re-energized after the war, with the Superleggera system widely licensed and copied. Felice Bianchi Anderloni died in 1948 and his son, Carlo Felice "Cici" Bianchi Anderloni, (1916–2003) took over management of the firm under the guidance of Ponzoni. The two would remain in charge of the firm until the company discontinued production in 1966.

Cici's first major project was to create a body for the Ferrari 166 Mille Miglia Touring barchetta, which debuted in 1948. Automotive design critic Robert Cumberford has referred to the body design for the 166 as "One of the most charismatic shapes ever." The egg-crate grill of the 166 became a signature Ferrari design element and is still in use by Ferrari today.[3]

Touring was particularly active late in the late 50s, with design and body production for the Pegaso Z-102, Alfa Romeo 1900 Super Sprint, Alfa Romeo 2600, Aston Martin DB4, Lancia Flaminia GT, Lamborghini 350, Lamborghini 400 GT and Maserati 3500 GT.

The Aston Martin DB4, the DB5 (famously driven by fictional character James Bond) and the DB6 were named after David Brown’s initials. He entrusted Touring Superleggera to design their next generation GT after the introduction of the successful DB2. The license agreement enabled Aston Martin to use the design and the Superleggera construction method at Newton Pagnell plant against a licence fee of £9 for each of the first 500 bodies and £ 5 for each further unit.

Contract manufacturing[edit]

Touring's fortunes began to decline as automobile manufacturers replaced body-on-frame construction with monocoque construction. The carmakers began to build their own bodies in their production lines. However, they were not able to produce less than a few thousand units yearly. Therefore, they decided to assign the body production to coachbuilders. This led coachbuilders to invest in additional manufacturing capacity. Once Touring Superleggera had the new plant in Nova Milanese completed, market fluctuation caused the loss of contractors. The company had to wind-up in 1966, although bankruptcy never occurred.

Legacy[edit]

During the winding up, roughly the 80% of Touring Superleggera’s archives caught fire. The documents included precious information Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni cherished the most. Therefore, he devoted considerable energy to get in touch with every owner, with the aim of reconstructing the missing information. He started the Touring Superleggera registry, leading it from 1995 on. The credit for the success belongs to Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, who devoted considerable energy to rebuild the Touring Superleggera’s archives that caught fire during the winding up. Thanks to his efforts spent in chasing every owner, he managed to retrieve precious information for future reference. He led the Touring registry from 1995 on. In 1995, he contributed to the revival of Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este He served as the President of the Jury till 2003, time of his death. After 2003, the show began to award the "Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni Memorial Trophy" to the most elegant car with a body by Touring.[4]

21st Century[edit]

In 2006, a group of private investors specializing in high-end automotive makes, bought the brand and trademarks from the late owner. A newly created firm, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l. was established in Milan to provide automotive design, engineering, coachbuilding, homologation services, non-automotive industrial design, and restoration of historic vehicles.[5]

The new firm has shown several notable projects. At the 2008 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, Touring debuted the Bellagio Fastback Touring, based on the Maserati Quattroporte and the A8 GCS Berlinetta Touring, a concept car powered by a Maserati drivetrain.[6] At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Touring Bentley Continental Flying Star premiered: a shooting-brake model based on the Bentley Continental GTC,[7] coach built in limited series, with the endorsement of Bentley.[8] In 2011, it was followed by Gumpert Tornante by Touring [9], a superfast Grand Tourer commissioned by the German sports car manufacturer.

On the stage of 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Touring Superleggera showcased a static style model based on the space-frame chassis of the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. It was a tribute to the C52 Disco Volante, a racing car with Touring Superleggera design body introduced in 1952. The name in Italian stands for “Flying Saucer”. It represents one of the most iconic cars of the history of automobile. The Disco Volante was very streamlined, windtunnel tested and with the body built on a tubular space frame. The C52 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante shocked the crowd for its utterly out-of-the-ordinary design, influencing the automobile design for decades. The style model gave birth, in 2013 to the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring[10], a bespoke car limited-series of eight units that won the Design Award at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este the very same year.

Revealed in 2014, MINI Superleggera™ Vision is a concept car created in collaboration with BMW Group. It is an electric roadster blending British style with the Italian coachbuilding tradition. Anders Warming, head of MINI design and Louis de Fabribeckers, head of design at Touring Superleggera merged their teams to explore new design languages for the British brand.[11][12]

The Touring Berlinetta Lusso appeared in 2015. It is a street legal 2-seater coupe featuring a three-volume form based on Ferrari F12berlinetta. Like all modern Touring Superleggera models, it combines hand-beaten aluminium panels with carbon fibre. The series will be built in 5 units. [13]

Touring Superleggera bespoke activity is one of a kind as the development cycle of Touring Superleggera encompasses every stage under the same roof: from design to manufacturing of street-legal validated cars and the restoration of classic cars. Touring Superleggera meets a growing demand of personalization and exclusiveness, beyond the limits of the large scale series-production. Advances techniques help accelerating design and testing on parts, accessories and systems. Craftsmen are supported by computer technology, tooling and modern processes.

List of Touring cars[edit]

Touring bodied Alfa Romeo 6C2300B
BMW 328 Touring Coupé
Pegaso Z-102 BS 3.2 Competition Touring Spyder (c.1952)
Maserati 5000 GT Scià di Persia (1959)


Awards[edit]

1931
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D’Este

  • Coppa d'Oro Villa D'Este - Isotta Fraschini 8B spider "Flying Star"
  • Gran Premio Referendum - Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider "Flying Star"

Concorso d'Eleganza di Genova Nervi

  • Premio Assoluto e Premio di Categoria - Isotta Fraschini 8B spider "Flying Star"

1932
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d’Oro Villa D’Este & Gran Premio Referendum – Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Coupé Spyder Touring

1949
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d’Oro Villa D'Este – Alfa Romeo 8C 2500 SS Coupé Touring

1953
Concorso d'Eleganza di Stresa

  • Gran Premio d'Onore – 1953 Z102 Berlinetta "Thrill"

1988
Concorso d'Eleganza di Stresa

  • Best of Show – 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Spyder

1996
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Trophy A.C. Como - Best in Show by the Jury – 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

1997
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d'Oro Villa D'Este – 1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport
  • Trophy A.C. Como - Best in Show by the Jury – 1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport

1999
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Best of class – 1960 Maserati 5000 GT Touring
  • Best of class – 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Touring Spyder

2000
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Trophy BMW - Best in Show by the Jury – 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B MM

2001
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d'Oro Villa D'Este – 1951 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS "Villa d’Este" Cabriolet Touring.
  • Trophy BMW Italia - 1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta Touring.

2005
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Best of class – Ferrari 166 MM barchetta

2007
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Trophy BMW Italia - 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Flying Star Touring

2008
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Trophy BMW Group Best in show by the Jury - 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Berlinetta Touring.
  • Trophy Auto & Design - Pegaso Thrill

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Best of show - 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta

Festival Automobile International

  • Gran Prix de la Plus Belle Supercar de l’Année - 2008 A8GCS Berlinetta Touring.

Vuitton Classic

  • Best of show - 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Spyder Touring

2009
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d'Oro Villa D'Este - 1938 Alfa Romeo, 8C 2900B
  • Trophy BMW Group Best in show by the Jury - 1938 Alfa Romeo, 8C 2900B

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Road & Track Trophy - 1949 Ferrari 166MM barchetta Touring.

Vuitton Classic

  • Classic Concours Awards - 1949 Ferrari 166MM Berlinetta

2010
Vuitton Classic

  • Classic Concours Awards - 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

2012
Salon Prive

  • Best of Show - 1950 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta

Windsor Castle Concours

  • Best of Show - 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Class M-2 Ferrari Competition - 1951 First Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta
  • Class O-2: Postwar Sports Closed 2nd - 1958 Pegaso Z-103 Touring Berlinetta
  • Class O-3: Postwar Sports Touring 2nd - 1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Touring Coupé
  • Special Awards: The Vitesse Elegance Trophy - 1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Touring Coupé

2013
Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

  • Best in class Lamborghini - 1966 Lamborghini 350
  • Best in class Sports and GT Cars (1958-1962) - 1958 Pegaso Z-103 Touring Berlinetta
  • Best in class Sports and GT Cars (1963-1974) - 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible

Governor’s Cup at Elegance at Hershey

  • Best of Show - awarded to an unrestored 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Spider from the collection of Robert and Sandra Bahre of Alton, New Hampshire. The Carrozzeria Touring-bodied Superleggera Alfa, built on the short chassis, also won the Ciao Italy Award for Best Italian Pre-War car exhibited.

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes By Public Referendum at Villa Erba – 2013 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring
  • Class Winner Aston Martin – 1962 Aston Martin DB4 SS Saloon TouringClass
  • Class Winner Lamborghini - 1965 Lamborghini 350 GTS Spider Touring

2014
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Mention of Honour class “Villa d’Este Style” - 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500ss Berlinetta Aerlux
  • ASI Trophy to the best preserved post war-car Hudson Italia Prototype H01

Concours d’Elegance Chantilly Arts & Elegance

  • Prix Richard Mille - 2013 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring
  • Les Années Design (les Concept-Cars 1960-1970 ) - Prix Le Point - 1966 Lamborghini Flying Star Touring II
  • Les Grandes Carrosseries Maserati - 1958 Prix Spécial N°1 - Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Touring (1958)

2015
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Best of Show by Public Referendum at Villa d'Este, Coppa d’Oro Villa d'Este, BMW Group Trophy & Mention of Honor - 1949 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta Touring.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl - Company - History". Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl website. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl. 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. ...the ‘Superleggera’ (Super lightweight) construction system was patented in 1936... 
  2. ^ a b "Registro Internazionale Touring Superleggera - Body shop's History". Registro Internazionale Touring Superleggera website. Registro Touring Superleggera. 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. The Touring Body Shop was created at the beginning of 1926 when two lawyers, Felice Bianchi Anderloni and Gaetano Ponzoni, who were old friends, bought major shares of the Falco Body Shop, which belonged to Vittorio Ascar... 
  3. ^ David N. Seielstad (2009). "The Little Boat That Made Ferrari". MSN Autos. Microsoft, courtesy of Pebble Beach Company. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. Cumberford...described as, 'One of the most charismatic shapes ever.' 
  4. ^ Dott. Jean-Marc Droulers (2004). "Memorial Day of Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni". Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este website. BMW AG. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. He was the President of our Jury for a number of years... 
  5. ^ "Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl - Company - Activities". Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl website. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl. 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2010-06-02. The Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera is a multifarious company that operates in four different areas. -Making of special custom-built bodies for private clients... 
  6. ^ Heseltine, Richard (June 2008). "Touring Masers". Octane (United Kingdom). p. 26. Both projects were officially unveiled at May's Concorso d'Eleganza at Ville d'Este... 
  7. ^ Baedeker, Jan (23 April 2010), "Bentley Continental Flying Star by Touring", Classic Driver (Zurich, Switzerland), archived from the original on 2015-07-24 
  8. ^ "The Origins of the Bentley Continental Flying Star by Touring". Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design 
  9. ^ Whitcombe, Charis (28 February 2011), "Geneva 2011: Gumpert Tornante by Touring", Classic Driver (Zurich, Switzerland), archived from the original on 2015-07-24 
  10. ^ Clarkson, Jeremy (broadcaster) (24 October 2014). Jeremy drives the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante (Series 21, Episode 4) (Television production). Passo Pordoi, Italy: Top Gear. 
  11. ^ Pollard, Tim (24 June 2014), "Nine nuggets we learned when we drove the Mini Superleggera", CAR Magazine (Peterborough, England), archived from the original on 2015-07-24 
  12. ^ Warming, Anders ; De Fabribeckers, Louis (24 May 2014). MINI Superleggera™ Vision - The Creative Process (Television production). Terrazzano di Rho, Italy: MINI (BMW Group), Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l. 
  13. ^ Drinnon, Dale (May 2015), "Historical reinterpretation", Octane Magazine 
  14. ^ "Touring Superleggera Berlinetta Lusso". Autocar.co.uk. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  • Tavoletti, Giacomo (August 2004). Il signor Touring: Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni (in Italian and English). Automobilia. ISBN 978-88-7960-162-7. 
  • Bianchi Anderloni, Carlo Felice; Anselmi, Angelo Tito (1982). Carrozzeria Touring (in Italian). Italy: Edizione di Autocritica. ASIN B0000EccO. 
  • "An Important Maserati Sale". www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk. RM Auctions, Inc. 2003. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 

External links[edit]