Touring Superleggera Sciadipersia Cabriolet n02 debuts at Consorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
TOURING SUPERLEGGERA AT CONCORSO DI ELEGANZA VILLA D’ESTE
- The Sciàdipersia Cabriolet, a modern manifestation of the romance of travel, competes for the Design Award at Villa d’Este this year.
- Based on Maserati GranCabrio, Sciàdipersia Cabriolet is powered by the noble 4.7 litre, naturally aspirated V8 engine. Design takes inspiration from past Superleggera icons.
- The restoration department of Touring pays homage to the Italian design with a one-off Maserati A6G bodied by Frua, competing in Class C.
Style, distinction, heritage, words that well describe two realities in the automotive world: the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este and Touring Superleggera. The history of the Concorso and that of the Carrozzeria are forever intertwined with one another. Touring Superleggera has often chosen the Concorso as a privileged stage to unveil innovative prototypes, to create new stylistic trends, and to amaze both audiences and jury.
The Concorso also regularly stages exquisite restorations executed by Touring Superleggera’s restoration arm for its customers. They are invariably rare and beautiful, and this year’s Maserati A6G Frua is no exception.
Competing for the coveted Design Award in this 90th edition will be the second example of the Sciàdipersia Cabriolet, the open-top grand tourer recreating the luxury and elegance synonymous with the Golden Age of Motoring.
Four full-sized seats allow all occupants to enjoy their journey in supreme comfort, while the driver has the pleasure of harnessing the immense and smoothly-delivered power from one of the last great atmospheric V8 engines and revelling in its glorious soundtrack.
Just two months after the ultra-classic Night Blue Geneva car, the second unit features a delicate shade of sand over ochre and cream, with elaborate sunray stitching pattern, a perfect combination for the glamorous venue on the lake Como shores.
The already dramatic proportions of Sciàdipersia coupé are further emphasised in the Cabriolet version. The side view portrays an arrow about to be loosed from a bow, with a suggestion of fletches at the rear. The sharpened front, powerful haunches and Kamm-tailed rear are exaggerated by the smooth flowing lines, depicting a tautness and dynamism that appears even greater with the roof lowered.
The deliberately extended rear overhang is said to hint at the long tails of a morning suit, in-keeping with the overall sense of style and occasion.
Sharp edges and flat surfaces revert to suggestions of elegant styles from the 1970s, while the clever use of different treatments for the brightwork finishes reveal the true hand-crafted coachbuilt nature of the Sciàdipersia.
Fittingly for an open car, themes are copied across from the exterior to the interior space. The car displays an obvious horizontal divide, emphasised by a continuous line encircling the passengers.
The result is typical of Touring's designs, displaying perfect proportions and restrained elegance without the need for unnecessary and flashy ornamentation. Simple, classic and timeless design that continues to set standards by treading its own unique path, defining a style of its own, and deliberately diverging from common trends.
The Sciàdipersia Cabriolet is inspired by Touring’s masterpieces of the past. As Touring designed and manufacture the body of Maserati’s first series production car, the 3500GT, the car had outstanding success, which led to a very restricted run of convertible versions. Just three of these very special models were produced, the first being revealed at the Geneva Show in 1958. In the same year, the ruler of Iran approached Touring to commission “a grand design of regal elegance”. The Maserati 5000GT Shah of Persia was born.
“We are thrilled at the idea of contending for the Design Award again this year, with a growing number of other companies that follow suit in entering the coach built domain. It is good for the Concorso and for our business alike.” So Piero Mancardi, CEO of Touring.
1952 Maserati A6G Gran Sport 2000 coupé Frua – VIN 2028
The owner was attracted by Touring Superleggera's reputation for accuracy and expertise in the construction techniques of the manufacturing period.
The whole project lasted twelve months. The work started - as usual at Touring - with disassembly and pressurised water scouring. This highlighted the need for structural intervention on the rocker panels, cross members and floor panels.
After validation on the measurement platform, the body was totally removed and inspected. In agreement with the owner, it was decided to preserve and repair as many parts as possible, including straightening of the accident-damaged right side frame members.
The body was then re-assembled on its underpinnings and adjusted for gap and surface alignment. After fitment trial of trim and brightwork the Frua was painted in the original, typical Amaranto maroon shade replacing the superposed, hackneyed bright red.
New cabin upholstery, wire harness and instruments, seals and chrome work completed the work before aesthetic and functional quality control and sign-off.
The A6G Gran Sport is sole Maserati known to be designed with road and track intention alike. After a number of successful races, the manufacturer modified the 2-litre A6GCS to be suitable for the road, aiming at increasing its production numbers.
The best Italian coach builders contended for the most creative design on a chassis bound to success for its outstanding mechanical qualities. After the 1952 Torino show introduction, this Frua coachwork won the Gran Premio d’Onore at Concorso d’Eleganza dei Giardini del Pincio in Rome, a prominent show at that time. It was awarded another victory in September at the Concorso d’Eleganza di Stresa.
The current owner required Touring a refurbishment to original conditions, with “concours” finish.
Touring Certificate of Authentic Restoration
The value of classic cars restored by Touring Superleggera is enhanced by the Certificate of Authentic Restoration. It states that the most accurate historical research has been performed, and that materials, parts and refurbishing techniques are authentic or compatible with the original.
If the restored car has Touring bodywork, the certification extends to the truthful respect of the authentic shapes and details.
Touring Superleggera and the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
Touring Superleggera and the Concorso grew up together. Since the early editions, Villa d'Este was the ideal stage to showcase innovative prototypes, give rise to new stylistic trends whilst delighting the selected attendees.
A real “Hall of Fame” developed beginning in 1931: the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este was assigned to the Isotta Fraschini 8A SS Spider and the Gran Premio Referendum to the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider, a pair of dream two-seaters introducing the “Flying Star” design. The latter won-over the public after having already conquered the panel, an unusual achievement and a sign of the great interest aroused by the design produced by the Milanese coachworks.
The series continued the following year when the Coppa d’Oro for sedan and Grand Prix bodies was awarded to the sleek and rigorous Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider Coupe.
In 1949 the public judged Touring's coupé version of the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS an absolute masterpiece.
From the moment it won the prize the model was named by popular acclaim “Villa d'Este”, thus contributing considerably to spreading the fame of the princely residence in the world of motoring.
In 1953 the Concorso, which had moved to Stresa, saw Touring win the ‘Grand Premio d’Onore’ with the Pegaso Z102 Berlinetta “Thrill”.
Since the competition was revived with the insertion of classic cars, with a decisive contribution by Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni who presided the Jury until his death in 2003, the cars designed by Touring obtained another 11 Best of Show or Class Awards.
The 2014 edition saw the appearance of MINI Superleggera™ Vision, a concept codesigned by Touring and MINI to explore new design languages, as the BMW Group’s annual design statement.
In 2015 the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este was awarded to the 1950 Ferrari 166MM barchetta with Touring Superleggera body, first owned by “L’Avvocato” Gianni Agnelli who personally specified the two-tone bluegreen painting and other bespoke details.
As for the Design Award destined to contemporary cars, the iconic Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring won it twice: the Coupe in 2013 and the Spyder version in 2016.
The History of Touring Superleggera
Carrozzeria Touring was established in 1926 by one of the world's foremost car designers, Felice Bianchi Anderloni, and the company immediately sealed its position as a creator of the finest designs of the time, winning the most prestigious concours d’elegance. The wealthiest customers and the most exalted brands like Alfa Romeo, Isotta Fraschini, Mercedes, Lancia and BMW came to Touring to have their coachwork designed and built. In the post war period just about all of Europe's top sports and luxury car makers went to Touring for their landmark cars. Ferrari (most of that firm's production up until 1952), Lamborghini, Maserati, Pegaso, Aston Martin and Bristol are just a few of the many great names whose cars were clothed by Italy's most distinguished couturier.
The patented “Superleggera” (or extra light) construction method allowed Touring’s designs to excel on the race track, and an unprecedented 11 outright wins on the Mille Miglia, together with victories in grand prix, Le Mans and every other conceivable major series are testimony to that.
Some of the better-known masterpieces from Touring include the Isotta Fraschini Flying Star (1931), the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900s (1937), 2500 Villa d'Este (1949), and Disco Volante (1952), the Maserati 3500 GT (1957), the Ferrari 166MM Barchetta (1949), the Aston Martin DB4, 5 and 6 and the Lamborghini 350GT (1963), but the back catalogue is one of the noblest and most extensive of any coachbuilder.
More recently the historic name was purchased by a private European group specialising in luxury car brands.
This led to the Maserati Bellagio (2008), the A8GCS Berlinetta, which won the “Best Supercar of the Year” award in 2009, and the Bentley Continental Flying Star (2010).
In 2011 Touring Superleggera created the Tornante, a supercar commissioned by Gumpert, and in 2012 a new Disco Volante was unveiled to celebrate the 60th anniversary of a true icon of automotive design, the Disco Volante C52. True to its tradition, Touring used innovative shapes and volumes to create a stunning new design, which debuted in production form at the Geneva Salon in 2013. Based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, the car went on to win the prestigious Design Award at Villa d'Este, before displaying at Pebble Beach and the St. James Palace Concours of Elegance and again winning at Chantilly.
In 2014 Touring was commissioned by MINI to produce a new concept, exploring new frontiers of automotive design. The MINI Superleggera™ Vision was displayed at Villa d’Este before winning the coveted “Best Concept Car of the Year” awards at Salon Privé and the Automobile International Festival in Paris. MINI Superleggera™ Vision epitomizes Touring Superleggera's ability to provide to manufacturers turn-key projects, delivering creativity and flexibility as much as rigour in engineering and execution.
In 2016 The Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder, based on the 8C Spider, was debuted at the Geneva Salon before going on to win the “Design Award” at Villa d'Este and the “Spirit of Motoring” award at the Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance.
2017 saw Touring Superleggera designing a full electric hypercar for the German manufacturer Artega, as the Artega Scalo Superelletra was debuted at the Geneva Salon. This car, with incredible performance, blends perfect styling from Italy's leading coachbuilder with technological efficiency from Germany.
The Sciàdipersia Coupé was presented at the Geneva show in 2018 as an innovative vision of the Gran Turismo concept. Based on the Maserati Gran Turismo, this is a true four-seater in which to fully relish longer journeys.
All of Touring's products are designed and manufactured at the headquarters in Terrazzano di Rho, just outside Milan, Italy.