Coordinates: 45°32′34″N 0°04′07″E / 45.542819°N .0686401°E / 45.542819; .0686401

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l.
TypePrivate
PredecessorCarrozzeria Falco (owned by Vittorio Ascari, older brother of race driver Antonio)
FoundedMilan, Italy (March 25, 1926 (1926-03-25))
FounderFelice Bianchi Anderloni
Gaetano Ponzoni Vittorio Ascari
FateProduction ceased 1966
Production resumed 2008
Headquarters
Terrazzano di Rho, Lombardy
,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Louis de Fabribeckers
ProductsBentley Continental Flying Star by Touring
Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring
Touring Berlinetta Lusso
Servicesautomotive design, coachbuilding, engineering, homologation, non-automotive industrial design, restoration of classic cars
Websitewww.touringsuperleggera.eu
Original Carrozzeria Touring badge
Original Carrozzeria Touring badge
Later badge design
Later badge design

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera is an Italian automobile coachbuilder. Originally established in Milan in 1925, Carrozzeria Touring became well known for both the beauty of its designs and patented superleggera construction methods.[1] The business folded in 1966. In 2006 its brands and trademarks were purchased and a new firm established nearby to provide automotive design, engineering, coachbuilding, homologation services, non-automotive industrial design, and restoration of historic vehicles.

Carrozzeria Touring was established on 25 March 1926 by Felice Bianchi Anderloni (1882–1948) and Gaetano Ponzoni. After achieving success through the middle of the 20th century, the business began to decline as automobile manufacturers replaced body-on-frame automobile construction with unitary design and increasingly took coachbuilding in-house.

After the original firm ceased production in 1966, 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 acquired by the current owner, a family business, which began conducting its activities in 2006 under the name Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l.; the new firm is headquartered nearby Milan, its hometown.

History

Carrozzeria Falco becomes Carrozzeria Touring

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 Carrozzeria 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

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

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
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

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. Chief designer at that time was Federico Formenti.[3]

Formenti's first major project was to create a body for the Ferrari 166 MM 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.[4]

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

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

During the winding up, roughly the 80% of Touring Superleggera’s archives caught fire. Seeking to reestablish a record of the firm's production, Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni got in touch with every owner, creating the Touring Superleggera registry and leading it from 1995 on.

In 1995, he contributed to the revival of Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, serving as President of the Jury until his death in 2003. In his honor the show began to award the "Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni Memorial Trophy" to the most elegant car with a body by Touring.[5]

21st century

Alfa Romeo Disco Volante at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show
Touring Superleggera Sciàdipersia
Touring Superleggera Sciàdipersia

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.[6]

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.[7] At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Touring Bentley Continental Flying Star premiered: a shooting-brake model based on the Bentley Continental GTC,[8] coach built in limited series, with the endorsement of Bentley.[9]

In 2011, it was followed by Gumpert Tornante by Touring,[10] a superfast Grand Tourer commissioned by the German sports car manufacturer.

On the stage of the 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 a Touring Superleggera designed 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, wind tunnel tested and with the body built on a tubular space frame. The C52 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,[11] a bespoke car limited-series of eight units that won that year's Design Award at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este .

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 Touring Superleggera merged their teams to explore new design languages for the British brand.[12][13]

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. [14]

List of Touring cars

Touring bodied Alfa Romeo 6C2300B
Touring bodied Alfa Romeo 6C2300B
BMW 328 Touring Coupé
BMW 328 Touring Coupé
Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta
Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta
Ferrari 340 America Berlinetta
Ferrari 340 America Berlinetta
Pegaso Z-102 BS 3.2 Competition Touring Spyder (c.1952)
Pegaso Z-102 BS 3.2 Competition Touring Spyder (c.1952)
Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint
Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint
Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider
Maserati 5000 GT  Scià di Persia (1959)
Maserati 5000 GT Scià di Persia (1959)
O.S.C.A. 1600 GT
O.S.C.A. 1600 GT
Alfa Romeo 2000 Sprint Praho
Alfa Romeo 2000 Sprint Praho

Notable designers

Awards

1931
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D’Este

Concorso d'Eleganza di Genova Nervi

1932
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D'Este

1949
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D'Este

1953
Concorso d'Eleganza di Stresa

1988
Concorso d'Eleganza di Stresa

1996
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

1997
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

1999
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

2000
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

2001
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

2005
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

2007
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

2008
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Festival Automobile International

Vuitton Classic

2009
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Vuitton Classic

2010
Vuitton Classic

2012
Salon Prive

Windsor Castle Concours

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

2013
Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

Governor’s Cup at Elegance at Hershey

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

2014
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

Concours d’Elegance Chantilly Arts & Elegance

2015
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

References

  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. ^ "Il Designer Dimenticato". driventowrite.com. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  4. ^ 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.'
  5. ^ 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...
  6. ^ "Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl - Company - Activities". Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl website. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl. 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. 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...
  7. ^ 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...
  8. ^ Baedeker, Jan (23 April 2010), "Bentley Continental Flying Star by Touring", Classic Driver, Zurich, Switzerland, archived from the original on 2015-07-24
  9. ^ "The Origins of the Bentley Continental Flying Star by Touring" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design
  10. ^ Whitcombe, Charis (28 February 2011), "Geneva 2011: Gumpert Tornante by Touring", Classic Driver, Zurich, Switzerland, archived from the original on 2015-07-24
  11. ^ Clarkson, Jeremy (broadcaster) (24 October 2014). Jeremy drives the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante (Series 21, Episode 4) (Television production). Passo Pordoi, Italy: Top Gear.
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Drinnon, Dale (May 2015), "Historical reinterpretation", Octane Magazine
  15. ^ Self, Mike (April 2015). "Detroit: A Mini Wonderland". Roundel. BMW Car Club of America: 89.
  16. ^ "Touring Superleggera Berlinetta Lusso". Autocar.co.uk. Retrieved 5 March 2015.