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La dolce vita: the Spiaggina beach cars

The birth of the Spiaggina (Spiaggia = Beach) takes place in the immediate post-war period at the initiative of some Italian coachbuilders which transformed small mass production cars in order to make them suitable for the needs of wealthy customers during the holiday period in the seaside resorts.

The ‘Linea Tesa’ design by Carrozzeria Boneschi

At the turn of the 60s, Carrozzeria Boneschi, together with the designer Rodolfo Bonetto, gave life to a stylistic movement called “Linea Tesa”. As the name suggests, this design style features knife edged lines and clean cuts, in contrast with the trends of the time. This bravery shown by Carrozzeria Boneschi was not rewarded by success, but it was somehow a precursor of the 70s and 80s style.

The Panoramica by Zagato

The car with which Zagato inaugurated the “Panoramica” series in 1947 was a Fiat “1100”, characterized by a large and bright passenger compartment, in which the transparent surfaces were expertly made with a mix of crystal and Plexiglas, an experimental material that allowed the curvature.

Touring Superleggera Flying Star

The Flying Star is a type of body created by Touring Superleggera introduced at the 1931 Milan Auto Show on a Isotta Fraschini 8B chassis which gained a great success. It was also adapted to other chassis maintaining the same basic settings. The trademark elements of this kind of bodywork were basically a thick chrome strip on the side that starts from the radiator, runs along the entire car forming a ‘V’ at the doors and descends on the tail.

The Flamboyant Car Design

Between 1946 and 1950 Ghia, Stabilimenti Farina and Pininfarina proposed a limited series of car bodies with a low and flowing line whose most striking feature were the covered wheel arches on the front and rear, a solution that required to widen the car to allow steering. These cars had opulent shapes, built on the chassis of various brands and conceived with the primary function of showing off the main elegance competitions so widespread at the time (Ghia’s creations made a sensation at the “Jour d’Elegance” in Lausanne in 1946).