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The story of Carrozzeria Scioneri from Savigliano

Apart from a few Lancias and Alfa’s, the atelier founded in ’43 in Savigliano (Cuneo) by Cavalier Antonio, a simple pannel-beater, made a name for himself for his custom-built cars fitted on chassis of the Turin-based company, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. But from 1969 to 1984 the activity was limited to the simple customization of the most popular models.

The beginning

Antonio Scioneri began his activity as an apprentice at Carrozzeria Vittoria and then at Fissore. He worked at Fissore from 1928 to 1943. Between the end of 1943 and the beginning of 1944 with great effort, he managed to become independent and opened his own workshop in the town of Savigliano, in the Italian region of Piedmont, as “Scioneri Carrozzeria Automobili” where he performed subcontracting commissions for his two former employers, both engaged in providing cabins for Fiat and Lancia military trucks.

1953 Fiat 1400 Promiscua

At the end of the war Antonio Scioneri continues taking care of everything he can find, from the repair of old vehicles to the reconversion of military trucks. He takes out the subcontract for an important order of fittings for the Army, but the client does not pay and he is forced to go bankrupt in 1950. He starts again, however, immediately and gradually takes on a certain notoriety with the outfitting of trucks, especially on behalf of the Italian importer of Hanomag. At the beginning of the 1950s, he began to deal with cars, first with some station wagons based on Fiat 1100 and later, in 1953, with a coupé, again on 1100.

Carrozzeria Scioneri in 1954 - Photo courtesy of Centro della Memoria Savigliano

The success

The real turning point came in 1955 with the birth of the Fiat 600. Antonio Scioneri realizes there is a big market in Italy for cars that are slightly different from the Fiat versions, which were extremely standardized and had very long delivery times. He organizes an alternative sales network on his behalf, made up of small provincial dealers, and manages for a small surcharge, to offer cars with personalized design elements, improved finishes and way faster delivery times.

1957 Fiat 500 Elaborata

In 1956, while still very young, Antonio Scioneri’s son Renato joined the company. He was a good salesman and gives further imputs to this type of business model. The formula works very well and is soon extended to a large part of the Fiat range – 500, 600 Multipla and 1100 – and occasionally also to Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Lancia Appia, although the latter are rather a promotional initiative of the respective manufacturers and do not have a real sales feedback.

In 1957, Scioneri unveiled officially its first model for the Turin Motor Show.
It was a car derived from the Fiat 1100 with a very special line, halfway between a saloon and a coupe. Scioneri also produced some particular versions, such as the Fiat 600 with four doors and giardiniera.

Fiat 600 berlina. Courtesy of "Io Carrozziere"

The workshop was expanded in 1958 with the creation of a new department dedicated to the “customization” of new automobiles. The new business consisted of changing or adding chrome parts and the addition of a two-tones body painting, like it was done for the American models of that time. With this type of customization Scioneri achieved great success, standing out, among others, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Scioneri Two-tone, and the Fiat 600D Scioneri Two-tone.

In 1959 Scioneri also tried to create a more luxurious model, based on a Fiat 1500 which was designed by Michelotti. This seemed to be not the right direction, in fact Scioneri decided to concentrate the production on spider and coupé versions of the Fiat 600. The idea of a true sports car, however, was not abandoned; once again, based on a design by Michelotti, Scioneri unveiled another ephemeral 1500 two-door sedan in 1961 and finally, in 1962 the beautiful Sportinia, also based on a Fiat 1500 chassis. In 1960, Scioneri’s workshops had become too small and moved to new plant in another area of Savigliano.

1961 Fiat 1500 Sportinia

The main activities, however, remain customization of series cars, and in smaller numbers, sport cars derived from the 600s, replaced later in 1964 by similar models based on the newly created Fiat 850.

The decline

In the mid-1970s, the business began to decline. The great proliferation of small coachbuilders made this market very competitive and the smallest companies were forced to close their doors or diversify its activity for more orders.

In case of Scioneri, the dramatic drop in sales that happened from 1974, forced the company to cease production of automobiles, and to resume the business of customizing large series models by modifying the interiors, creating luxury versions for Fiat models.

The offer includes a large part of the Fiat range, up to the 124 sedan, plus the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

Fiat Ritmo Scioneri Jolly

Other successful versions of the Fiat 128, 127 and, even later, the Ritmo followed between the end of the 1960s and the 1970s. Despite the relatively good sales achieved, the company’s financial situation began to deteriorate dramatically, to the point that Scioneri had to close its doors definitely in late 1979.

With the 1980s Renato Scioneri continued his strategy of luxury versions at a relatively low price, but now, even the big manufacturers like Fiat are now offering different trim levels and the alternative proposals of the coachbuilders are less and less competitive. In any case, the business continues with the Panda “Valentina”, the custom versions of the Uno, Tipo and the Cinquecento.

2 Tatra T613 at the Scioneri Workshop

In 1989 Renato Scioneri also unsuccessfully attempted an agreement to import and develop the Tatra T613 and tried to build a van derived from the Fiat Uno, but times became increasingly difficult.

Fiat Punto Scioneri 3 doors

The custom versions of the Fiat Punto, presented in 1994, are the latest innovations. In 1995, the death of his father Antonio, who had also retired from business ten years earlier, further reduced Renato Scioneri’s confidence; his last presence is at the Turin Motor Show in 1996 with a Fiat Tipo, which was no longer in production. In fact, the last years of activity concern only the trade of cars and components, which ends definitively in 2005. Renato dies shortly after, in 2008.

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Celebrating 115 years of Carrozzeria Garavini, the brand sees its rediscovery and relaunch in the world of cars, design and elegance.

At Garavini, craftsmanship, manufacture and uniqueness come together to create works of art on wheels that go beyond the concept of a simple means of transport to become symbols of passion and refinement.

115 years after its foundation, the company has decided to start again with the Alfa Romeo 4C, in the 10th anniversary year of the model’s presentation, in collaboration with the IAAD in Turin. This partnership between the historic brand and the design institute represents an opportunity to create a high-end sports car that combines outstanding Italian aesthetics with the best technologies.

Poltu Quatu immediately turned out to be the ideal location for the premiere of the project, thanks to the famous Concours d’Elegance which, as the perfect combination of worldliness, elegance and the joy of living the dolce vita, allows the meeting from all over the world of those enthusiasts who, more than anyone else, can appreciate the value and style of a vision such as Garavini’s.

The project takes its inspiration from the 1930s Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 by Garavini, the star of the Italian Dolce Vita and the birth of the classic car movement in Italy. The Garavini Perenne represents an extraordinary sports car that combines the Italian tradition of elegance and style with innovation and high quality craftsmanship. Garavini’s tribute to the model, the 4C, which, with its debut 10 years ago, decreed the real relaunch of Alfa Romeo, is no coincidence: symbolic value, as happens in all valuable initiatives, has a decisive weight in the conception and realisation of unique products.

The soul of the project is Luca Babbini, a young entrepreneur with experience in research and development for various industries, in particular the automotive industry. Babbini’s path, which started at IAAD and has been refined through subsequent collaborations, has always been linked to a passion for luxury, not so much as a material passion, but derived from the emotion that an object or an experience conveys.

“When I crossed Garavini’s path,” explains Luca Babbini, Garavini Design Director, “with family origins and values that can be traced back to mine, I thought it was a sign: the awareness of this affinity has allowed us to give life to a new chapter, a reality in which passion for craftsmanship, luxury and family heritage come together. The Garavini Perenne will be an opportunity to enhance the Turin area but in an international key, thanks to the freshness and desire to do that only a young team, such as that of Garavini and that of the IAAD master’s degree course in Transportation Design, can guarantee.”

On 8 July on the occasion of the Poltu Quatu Classic, a preview of the concept on which the students of the IAAD master’s course in Transportation Design are working, reasoning and declining the Garavini values of elegance and attention to detail, aimed at creating a modern classic with a first series of 15 examples, which aspires to become a timeless model, a source of inspiration for the present and the future. The lines are classic, inspired by a sporty use that smells of fresh air and speed. Driving pleasure is at the heart of the design with a set-up dedicated to usability on the road as well as on the track.

Again Luca Babbini: ‘The valorisation of young people is a key aspect of the project: it always seems, in the common narrative, that unreachable challenges and moments of continuous crisis await us, but the future is full of opportunities and style and beauty are not a closed chapter. The creation of new classics is the true ambition of a project, which looks to the future aware of its past but with the confidence that it can still make a difference. The Turin area, then, is rich in excellent craft realities with which to create synergies and develop a true pole of high craftsmanship. There is nothing to stop us from looking beyond the automotive field and broadening the declination of our values with incursions into other sectors… in short, there is a lot to build on, and the Garavini lifestyle begins today with Garavini Perenne.

The result of this partnership is a high-end compact sports car with a sculptural aesthetic design. Garavini is committed to satisfying a discerning international audience that appreciates the art of automotive design and Italian craftsmanship. The ability to excite both long-time enthusiasts and new customers is a challenge Garavini sets itself, aiming to create a fascinating and successful future for the brand.

The Garavini Perenne will be released in 2025.