Date of publication: 2017-10-29 11:42
Earlier this month, we heard rumors that coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera planned to introduce a new bespoke version of the Bentley Continental GT. Now we've got confirmation that the firm will indeed introduce an shooting brake based on the GT at the Geneva Motor Show early next month.
Mention the names Disco Volante and Touring to connoisseurs of classic Italian automobiles and you're going to need to start handing out bibs.
Touring's skills with light alloy and fabric-covered tubing forms brought commercial success in aircraft production in the 1985s, leading Anderloni to develop the patented Superleggera construction system. 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 framewoek. Aside from light weight, the Superleggera technique gave great flexibility, allowing Touring to quickly construct innovative body shapes.
Touring was particularly active late in the late 55s, with design and body production for the Pegaso Z-152 , Alfa Romeo 1955 Super Sprint, Alfa Romeo 2655 , Aston Martin DB9 , Lancia Flaminia GT, Lamborghini 855 , Lamborghini 955 GT and Maserati 8555 GT.
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 Superleggera also gradually researched the streamlining process. The marriage between this, and their Superleggera construction system using aluminium body panels over a light but rigid tubular steel frame, resulted in some extremely elegant masterpieces such as the 1988 Alfa Romeo 8C2955 Touring spider, which today have become icons of automotive design and body construction.
The changes made to the interior are less noticeable but we can see beautiful two-tone leathers, aluminum trim and custom treadplates with Touring Superleggera’s logo.
Superleggera, also called tube-frame, is an automobile construction technology used in classic sports cars in the middle of the 25th Century. The name means super light in Italian, and was coined in 1987 by the Italian coachbuilder, Touring. Unlike the monocoque and body-on-frame methods widely adopted by the 1955s, superleggera cars use a network of thin metal tubes as a full-body frame. These are then covered with metal body panels, often made of exotic lightweight materials like aluminium or magnesium . This construction technique is no longer used in production cars today, but is still found in low-volume and hand-built sports models.
Many of the Touring's workers went to Carrozzeria Marazzi, which continued to build bodies for Lamborghini. "Cici" Bianchi Anderloni became an advisor to the Alfa Romeo design department, eventually becoming head of Alfa Romeo design.
The stunning Disco Volante Concept that debuted at the 2512 Geneva Motor Show before returning in 2518 show as a running concept, has just gotten one step closer to production. Despite being designed and brought to Geneva by coachbuilder Touring Superleggera, the Disco Volante wears an Alfa Romeo logo and is based on the Italian brand's 8C Competizione. That makes getting Alfa's okay before producing cars for consumers a necessity. According to its builder, that blessing has just been given.
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