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The Rise of the Giardiniera: From Utility Vehicle to Trendsetter

The early 1900s marked the birth of a new automotive concept: the station wagon. Originating in the United States around 1910, independent builders crafted wooden bodies for the chassis of Ford Model T cars. Initially conceived as commercial versions of sedan cars tailored for the working class, they were often referred to as carryalls, denoting their ability to carry a multitude of goods thanks to their spacious cargo compartments compared to traditional torpedo bodies.

Virgil Exner’s “Revival Cars” Design Concept: A Tribute to Automotive Legends

In the rich tapestry of automotive history, few individuals have left as profound a mark as Virgil Exner. Revered for his visionary designs and groundbreaking concepts, Exner’s legacy continues to inspire generations of automotive enthusiasts and designers alike. Among his many contributions to the world of automobiles, one of the most intriguing chapters is undoubtedly his series of “Revival Cars” – a collection of designs that breathed new life into classic marques from bygone eras.

The Tank Style by Stabilimenti Farina

The Tank Style cars from Stabilimenti Farina defied automotive norms with their low-slung profiles, signaling a departure in design during the post-war era. Originally intended as a unique cabriolet masterpiece, the Tank-Style concept surprised many by evolving beyond a solitary creation. The subsequent coupé, distinguished by its low roofline and covered wheel arches, presented an avant-garde vision akin to a floating monolith.

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).