.

Carrozzeria Touring

Wikicars, a place to share your automotive knowledge
Jump to: navigation, search
Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera logo.

Carrozzeria Touring was an automobile coachbuilder established in 1926. Founder, Felice Bianchi Anderloni previously worked for Isotta-Fraschini as a test driver, as well as the Italian operations of Peugeot. The company was built from Carrozzeria Falco by Anderloni and Gaetano Ponzoni, adopting the Touring name shortly after. Carozzeria Falco belonged to Vittorio Ascari, brother of Alfa Romeo champion, Antonio Ascari. Anderloni and Ponzoni remained with the company until it ceased operations 40 years later.

The Touring Body Shop started its activity in a plant located in a suburb immediately north of Milan(in via Ludovico de Breme 65) only a short distance from Alfa Romeo, Italian Citroen, and the former Isotta-Fraschini plant. Predictably, Touring's first bodywork assignments were for these companies, as well as the creation of hunting and fishing vehicles for Queen Margaret.

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 Anderloni on the 1927 Isotta-Fraschini 'Flying Star,' as its first professional designer.

Touring's skills with light alloy and fabric-covered tubing forms brought commercial success in aircraft production in the 1930s, 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.

Prior to World War II, Touring gained fame for their Superleggera Alfa Romeo designs, particularly on the 8C 2900 chassis. Another famous Superleggera Touring body was found on the aerodynamic BMW 328. Anderloni died in 1948, just as the company was reconstructing after the war, but he and Federico Formenti were involved in a few post-war master works — the Alfa Romeo Frecchia d’Oro and Ferrari 166 coupe and spider.

The company quickly re-energized after the war, with the Superleggera system widely licensed and copied. Anderloni's son, Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni (1916–2003), commonly called Cici, took over management of the firm, with the guidance of Ponzoni. Touring was particularly active late in the 1950s, with series production taken on of the Pegaso Z-102, Alfa Romeo 1900 Super Sprint and 2600, Aston Martin DB4, Lancia Flaminia GT, Lamborghini 350 and 400 GT and Maserati 3500 GT. The firm also worked with Hudson Motors chief stylist Frank Spring on the development of the 1954 Hudson Italia.

This expansion proved unsustainable, however, as many companies took coachbuilding chores in-house. Touring also lost out to larger competitors like Pininfarina (with Ferrari) and ItalDesign. The company's efforts to adhere to traditional methods and high standards ultimately led to its downfall.

Many of the company's workers went to Carrozzeria Marazzi, continuing to build Maserati bodies. Cici himself went to Alfa Romeo as an advisor to the design department, and eventually took over the company's design altogether. Since 2003, the Villa d'Este Concours offers the Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni Memorial Trophy, to the most elegant car with Touring body.

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera started a new chapter in modern history when Marazzi entered in a collaboration agreement with the international automotive Zeta Europe BV group in 2006, which also included the transfer of the Touring Superleggera brand rights to Zeta Europe BV. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl. will remain Milan-based and has an extensive automotive design- and prototyping program for the years to come. It represents the continuation of a long and rich tradition of Italian style and coachbuilding.

List of Touring cars

Concept Cars

Galleries

References