Motor

Italian Fantasy | Porsche and the world of Italian Carrozzeria

In the late 1950s, Porsche began developing plans for a model larger than 356. For Carrozzeria Gia in Turin and its sign designer Sergio Sartorelli, it was a unique opportunity to show off their abilities.

During the heyday of Carrozzeria in Italy, Carrozzeria Gia was one of the most active coachbuilders internationally. It was largely due to the generous personality and language skills of Naples-born Luigi Segre, and of course design talent and insight into business. He and his team were relied upon by executives of the world's leading automakers for their amazing design and craftsmanship, who were able to answer any challenge in a surprisingly short time.

Segre has been renowned as a member of the United States OSS [Strategic Intelligence Service] during the war, suffering German troops along with Partizans in the Italian mountains. In the meantime, she learned the American way of thinking and English, and at the end of the war, taking advantage of engineering education, Carrotzeria Gear, founded in 1915 as a coach builder by Giant Gir, to create a tailor-made body for the wealthy. I joined the company. In 1948, stylist and manager Felice Mario Boano took over the management of the gear, but his policy of building special cars and prototypes remained unchanged. Pinin Farina and Stabilimenti Farina also worked on special production vehicles, but their gears were different. Although Segre sometimes confronted Boano for narrowing his gear work, he led Carrozzeria in 1954.

In the early 1950s, Gear expanded its business overseas. Chrysler's head, Kaufman "KT を Keller, told them, who had also taken on show models, and said they would like to see the work of the Italians. After the Turin show in 1950, he commissioned Gyre and Pinin Farina to carry Chrysler's standard chassis and mount their bodies. The aim was, of course, to determine the quality of Carrozzeria's work, and gear won in the competition. Since then, Carrozzeria Gear has contracted a special Chrysler model.

Overjoyed by this decision was Virgil Exner, director of the Advanced Design Studio at Chrysler in 1949. His first job was the Chrysler K310 in late 1951, a nifty coupe that blended American and Italian design. Giavanni Sabonuzzi, who translated the Exner idea on the gear side, was a creative engineer who was good at aerodynamics. A particularly novel design that came out of Exner's idea was the Chrysler D'Elegance, a short-wheelbase coupe with a distinctly bold line introduced in 1953.

Segre and Boano were also selling gear to other big guys. One of them is Wilhelm Kalman. At the age of 87 in 1951, he was still leading Kalman, a mass-producer of specialty bodywork. Already producing a VW cabriolet, Kalman is eager for a more sporty model that appeals to VW's tough boss, Heinz Nordhof, and at a European show Kalman confided to Segre, a good listener.

Immediately Segre purchased the Beetle. It is said that Boano's son, Jean Paolo, picked up his car at a French dealer and drove to Turin. It was early 1953. Carrozzia Geir decided to build a car that could be a coupe or convertible. The main members of the team are Sabonuzzi and Boano, and the talented designer and engineer Sergio Koggiola. The size of the push-out American car and the VW Beetle platform are quite different, but they have created a semi-notchback coupe based on the theme of Chrysler Delegance. The distinctive feature was the independently shaped rear fender, which had a clear line extending from there to the front wheel house.

The style of VW Kalman Gear, which evolved this novel rear fender idea and combined it with a unique nose shape, was very appealing to Nordhoff. The coupe and cabriolet, launched in 1955, became very popular from the outset and contributed greatly to Kalman's business.

Another fascinating roadster based on Exner's idea was displayed at the Gear Booth at the Paris Salon in 1953. The car was based on a Porsche chassis provided by Zuffenhausen and was the first rim for Porsche in gear.

… continue to next time


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