31 January 2017

FCA Heritage stars at “Automotoretṛ 2017”

 

  • The 35th edition of the international classic car show will be hosted from 3 to 5 February at Lingotto Fiere in Turin.
  • The brands Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth will be present in Pavilion 1 with an important selection of classic vehicles.
  • And indeed, the website www.fcaheritage.com, the online point of reference for enthusiasts, is dedicated to the history of the brands.
  • Alongside these valuable vehicles, there will also be an Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, one of the supercars of today that most effectively represents the sporting DNA of the brand.

 

FCA Heritage will take part in the 35th edition of "Automotoretrò", to be staged in Turin from 3 to 5 February together with the eighth edition of "Automotoracing". During the last edition, the two motoring events attracted over 65,000 visitors, 300 drivers, more than 1,200 exhibitors and 14 vehicle producers.
This exhibition marks the début of the new FCA heritage stand, where classic and modern cars of the four brands represented by the department will be displayed side-by-side. The stand will show off eight jewels from Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth which are all sure to attract the attention of the expert, enthusiastic public expected to flock to the event from all over Europe. The website www.fcaheritage.com is dedicated to the history of the brands. This is a new portal that serves as the online showroom of the FCA Heritage department and aims to be a point of reference for all those interested in the stories, events and initiatives involving the classic cars of the Group's Italian brands. On the website, enthusiasts will have the chance to sign up for the FCA Heritage newsletter, and remain continuously in the loop about the activities and services provided from time to time for the various brands of the group. Additionally, the owners of classic vehicles branded Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia will be able to request, both online and at the stand, the "Certificate of Origin" for Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia vehicles and the certificates of authenticity for the Lancia and Abarth vehicles on sale during the event.

 

Inspiration for the exhibition space is the reproduction of a 1950s-style garage with objects and tools that either directly or indirectly evoke mechanical craftsmanship. Continuing the theme, service areas - like offices and storage - are set up in two large crates which again make reference to mobility. The recovery of basic elements from heritage is the fulcrum of the narrative told by the stand.

 

Each brand will be exhibiting two classic cars, in line with criteria that involve matching a standard production model with a prototype or one-off vehicle linked to the mass-produced vehicle. A decision that reveals the historical and technical fil rouge linking the two vehicles and enables the public to admire both mass-produced vehicles and the more exceptional rarities in the same way. The duo of Lancia vehicles celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of the Flaminia, produced since 1957: the charming 1958 Coupé Pininfarina stands proudly alongside the 1960 Loraymo - the vehicle owned personally by renowned Franco-American designer Raymond Loewy - with which it shares its chassis and engine. The 2600 Sprint is the Alfa Romeo alternative to the Flaminia when it comes to 1960s high-performance Grand Touring models: the version designed by Bertone in 1962 is counterbalanced by the prototype of the SZ (1963), made by Zagato, manufactured using the same mechanical parts. At Fiat all eyes are on the utility segment, represented by the only existing prototype of the innovative Fiat 700 (1940), vehicle designed by Dante Giacosa that was meant to enter the market in a segment between the Fiat 500 Topolino and the Fiat 1100, of which a contemporary version, built in 1948, is displayed. The Abarth exhibition is hot on the trail of sporting flair with no holds barred, showing off the 1000 Monoposto Record of 1960, which enabled the House of the Scorpion to break no less than eight records on the track in Monza, and the 1000 Bialbero, which inherited its engine. A modern vehicle, but one characterised by references to its glorious past in its style and the elegant hand-crafted feel of the body is the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, which perfectly embodies the sporting spirit and technical excellence of the brand: it displays the breathtaking style and pleasant driving experience of a true supercar.

 

Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint (1962)

The long, clean-cut design of the 2600 Sprint was penned by Giorgio Giugiaro who, as early as in 2000, had already anticipated some of the characteristic stylistic features that would have reached maturity later in the Giulia GT family. The only significant change compared to its cousin with 2-litre engine is the air vent on the engine bonnet, which makes the front appear more aggressive.
The 2600 engine was the 6-cylinder twin-shaft version, completely in lightweight alloy, measuring 2584 cm3. With three double body carburettors, it reached the power of 145 HP at 5900 pm, for a maximum speed of 197 km/h. The transmission featured five gears and disc brakes, initially only assembled on the front axle, and later on all four wheels. The weight increased slightly, but the power and the incredible elasticity of the straight-six engine made for a particularly pleasant driving experience, as confirmed by the newspapers of the period, which praised its gentle movement and lack of vibrations, favouring a comfortable, quiet ride. And there are only good things to be said about its performances and definition too: smooth, powerful, modular braking; soft and comfortable suspensions; flawless road holding. All unique features which are the result of the long experience gained by Alfa Romeo in races.
Some vehicles, equipped with special fittings, were used by the Forces of Law (the well-known "Panthers"), whereas the vehicle's sporting career was nothing to write home about, limited by its large dimensions, hefty engine and clear vocation for Grand Touring, which would make it a huge success commercially.

 

Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ Prototype (1963)

After the presentation of the 2600 Sedan, Sprint and Spider, the first prototype designed by Zagato appeared on the stand of the coachbuilder at the Turin Motor Show in 1963. The wheelbase was a shortened version of the 2600 Spider and the body was characterised by a streamlined and minimal structure, featuring a flashy and slightly recessed Kardon tail, just like in race cars. The front of the vehicle was also unique, featuring a large-sized shield.
The same prototype- this time in yellow- was presented at the Alfa Romeo stand at the next edition, but the public had to wait until the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1965 to see the definitive vehicle. Here, the model presented had been further developed: the bodywork had been fully revamped, especially at the front which hosted an even larger badge, set higher up, the headlights became more vertical in shape, the engine bonnet clean and essential - with no leather laces or air intakes (now partially hidden behind the bumper bars).
The prototype featured the same longitudinal, 6 in-line cylinder engine as the 2600 Sprint, with 145 HP.

 

Fiat 1100 (1948)

In 1937, Fiat presented the Fiat 508 C Balilla, a vehicle whose very name indicated the link of continuity with the previous Fiat 508 Balilla. An important vehicle: for Fiat it was a bestseller in the 1930s, coming a close second only to the Topolino. The new 508C, also known as Balilla 1100, features the four-valve engine at the front and 4-gear system characteristic of the sporting version of the Balilla and inspired by its contemporaries, the Fiat 1500 and the 500.
The engine, increased to 1089 cc, enables the vehicle to reach speeds of up to 110 km/h. The braking system is hydraulic on the four wheels; the vehicle features an independent front suspension and hydraulic shock absorbers.
Two years after the launch, in 1939, the second series was launched, known commercially as Fiat 1100 and presenting the new "windbreaker" front, already introduced in the Fiat 2800. The vehicle remained in production until after the war (1948), and over 74,000 were produced, featuring six different versions of body work, including the cabriolet, the long sedan for public transport and the "S" a small, two-seater sedan with an aerodynamic design, soon used in sporting races by private owners

 

Fiat 700 Prototype (1940)

In 1938, Dante Giacosa and his team began studying a new design, referred to with the technical code "700", for a vehicle that would enter the market in a segment between the Fiat 500 Topolino and the Fiat 1100. During the design phase, the plan was to offer a sedan, and also a transformable model and a cabriolet. The various prototypes were built in the "Special Bodywork" section of the Lingotto plant, while the actual serial production was scheduled to take place in the Mirafiori plant, but was blocked by the war shortly afterwards.
From a technical point of view, the most significant element of this design was the self-bearing bodywork in lightweight alloy: for Fiat it would have been the first time that such a feature was offered on a vehicle of mass production. Another noteworthy element was the "700,000 type" engine with aluminium base, mainly designed to reduce the weight of the vehicle (here benefiting from the trials already carried out on the 1936 Fiat 500 Topolino A), which ended up weighing a mere 650 kg.
The braking system featured hydraulic brakes on all 4 wheels. The suspensions were on a straight axis, with hydraulic springs and shock absorbers. The gearbox was also made of lightweight alloy.
The Fiat 700 was officially presented on 15 May 1939, during the opening ceremony of the Mirafiori plant, and the only surviving prototype is the one conserved in the Fiat Historical Museum, exhibited during the show.

 

Lancia Flaminia Coupé (1958)

At the Geneva Motor Show in 1958, Pininfarina exhibited an elegant prototype of a coupé vehicle - named Florida II - built on a shortened version of the wheelbase of the Flaminia sedan; a few months later, at the Turin Motor Show in November 1958, the final mass production version was presented, produced from January 1959 on.
The Flaminia Coupé, with a chassis approximately 12 cm smaller than that of the sedan, was mounted with two different types of engine, one 2500 cm3 and the other 2800 cm3. The 2.5 engine, in turn, was also available in a power-enhanced version, with triple-bodied Solex carburetor.
Depending on the engine, the maximum speed was 170 km/h; 178 km/h (with triple-bodied carburetor) or 180 km/h. All the engines were 6-cylinder V monobloc engines in lightweight alloy.
Optionals could include disc brakes and, from 1960, also air conditioning, a piece of equipment rarely found in Italian vehicles back then.
The bodywork, designed and manufactured by Pininfarina, had 2 doors and four seats, and stood out for its distinctively harmonious lines, which gave the vehicle a particular kind of elegance.
The car was assembled by Pininfarina and a total of 5236 vehicles were produced between 1959 and 1967. The sale price was 3,202,200 Italian lire for the 2.5 and 3,564,000 for the 2.8.

 

Lancia Flaminia Loraymo (1960)

This one-of-a-kind car was based on a chassis Flaminia Coupé V6 created by industrial designer Raymond Loewy, famous for the iconic Coca Cola bottle and the Lucky Strike cigarette trademark. American of French origin, Loewy had worked for Studebaker and a number of railway manufacturers. He designed the car for his personal use and had it made by Rocco Motto coachbuilder in Turin.
The vehicle, presented at the 47th edition of the Paris Motor Show in October 1960, in the dark amber metal colour that it continues to sport today, was named Loraymo, a word formed by combing part of the designer's name and surname, and which corresponded with the telegraphic address of the Loewy studio.
Its most obvious style features includes a large grille enclosed in a chrome-plated steel bezel doubling as a bumper, retracted front wings, fog lights protruding from the body, a slight convexity in the central part of the body for a "Coca-Cola bottle" effect that improved the aerodynamic performance of the car, no boot lid (the boot could only be accessed from the passenger compartment) and rear spoiler on the roof to reduce aerodynamic turbulence, a feature that the car would surprisingly share with the later Stratos.

 

Abarth 1000 Bialbero (1963)

Even if the design and performances of the 1000 Bialbero are those of a real racing car, the wheeled chassis and most of the mechanical parts derive from the popular vehicle that motorised Italy in the 1950s, the Fiat 600. For this reason, the Bialbero is the emblem of the sharpness and ability of Carlo Abarth to develop designs and also the value of the original Fiat design, which could, in this way, show off its notable potentials for development.
The engine cylinder head with twin cam - created in collaboration with Mr Gioachino Colombo, engineer - was installed by Abarth on the cylinder block of the 600 with no need for any changes in particular; the first twin cam engine - with a displacement of 747 cc - was presented in 1957.
In autumn 1960 the version with displacement incremented to 982 cc made its début, installed for the very first time in the record-breaking single-seater exhibited in the fair: that same year, Abarth presented the new 1000 Bialbero racing sedan with Zagato bodywork at the Turin Motor Show.
In 1961, the partnership between Abarth and Zagato came to an end and in the three years afterwards, the vehicle underwent a series of evolutions in terms of its design: from that point on, Carlo Abarth himself decided that the sides of the various models would bear the phrase "Carrozzeria Abarth" (Abarth Coachbuilder).
The vehicle on display is one of those created, from 1963 onwards, by coachbuilder Sibona & Basano, which carried out an accurate restyling operation, mainly on the nose and tail - which were extended - and widening the mudguards so that large tyres could be mounted. The vehicles with this new look of theirs, enabled Abarth to win its second consecutive title as World Champion GT Manufacturer in the Class 1000 category.
The four-cylinder engine, with almost a litre of displacement, and a power of 104 HP at 8,000 rpm enables the vehicle to reach a maximum speed of approximately 220 km/h.

 

Fiat Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record (1960)

The vehicle, fruit of the partnership between Fiat, Abarth, Pininfarina and Turin Polytechnic University, presents a brand new tubular bearing structure and bodywork that is the result of detailed studies in the wind tunnel. To show off the reliability and enormous power of the new 1000cc twin cam, Carlo Abarth decided to line the monoposto up on the track at Monza from 28 September to 1 October 1960, to set new records in international class G (from 751 to 1100 cm3). Nine drivers took turns behind the steering wheel, and in the last few days of September they set the new international records for the 12 hours, the 2000 miles, the 24 hours, the 5000 km, the 5000 miles, the 48 hours and the 10,000 km. The feat continued until 1 October when they broke the world record for the 72 hours, travelling 13,441.4 km at the average speed of 186.687 km/h.
The monoposto was entirely made in the Abarth plant in terms of the chassis, engine and the mechanical parts. The body was made by Pininfarina.

 

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Alongside these valuable vehicles, room has also been set aside for the charming Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, a vehicle closely linked to the past because it represents the sporting essence intrinsic to the Alfa Romeo DNA: excellent performances and technical excellence, designed to provide a combination of the ultimate driving experience and breathtaking style. The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is fitted with the powerful all-aluminium direct injection 1.750 cm3 turbocharged engine with dual-core intercooler which ensures performances that can be compared to those of a supercar: a maximum speed of 257 km/h, 4.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h, 1.1 g of lateral acceleration and 1.25 g of maximum deceleration when braking. The supercar personality of this vehicle can also be glimpsed in the ultra-lightweight materials used: carbon fibre for the monocoque, aluminium for the front and rear frames and SMC (Sheet Moulded Compound) for the outer body.

 

Turin, 1 February 2017

 

 

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