The ultimate italian coachbuilder site




Carrozzeria Saturn was founded in 1971 by Rinaldo Mina and Gabriele Martino. Its founding goes back largely to the American entrepreneur James O’Donnell. At the end of the 1960s, O’Donnell acquired the rights to the design for a luxury vehicle in a retro style from designer Virgil Exner, which combined classic design elements such as free-standing headlights and fender imitations with contemporary body structures. While other investors with similar concepts had failed several times in previous years - including the Duesenberg Model D from 1966 - O’Donnell managed to start series production. For his version of Exner's retro models, he chose the Stutz brand name, which was reminiscent of the Stutz Motor Car Company of America, a traditional brand from the interwar years. The design of the cars and their structure was geared towards economic efficiency. In order to save development costs, as many components as possible should be taken over from US large-scale models from the General Motors group. This included the drive technology and the body-in-white. Only the outer body parts were independent. O’Donnell's Stutz models were therefore not newly built cars, but merely extensive conversions of series vehicles. O’Donnell had the conversions carried out in Italy. On the one hand, there were image reasons for this - Stutz advertised in several brochures with phrases such as “handicrafts by Italian artists” - and on the other hand economic considerations: Italian workshops were able to carry out the necessary modifications much more cheaply than US companies. Since no existing body shop could be won for the Stutz order, O’Donnell decided to set up his own body shop in northern Italy. This company was named Carrozzeria Saturn. He was resident in the Piedmontese municipality of Cavallermaggiore. Saturn manufactured all Stutz models until 1987. During this time, a total of around 600 vehicles were built at Saturn. Production ended in 1987 with the introduction of a new, on the Pontiac Firebird based Cabriolet Stutz Bearcat II, which had a plastic body. After the end of the relationship with Stutz, Saturn could not get any sustainable follow-up orders; the company ceased operations in 1991

Inventory Total Listings (7)