Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lampredi's Dedicated Fan - part 2


So, as in many situations.... the lady (then Martijn's girlfriend) determined the final choice for a convertible and combined with his pronounced preference for a Lampredi engine, he decided for a Fiat 124 Spider.

After some research, a specific Spider was bought of which he had the idea that with some "tender loving care" it would be quite the car he was looking for.
And .... also could be their perfect wedding car a few months later !

Anyhow, after his purchase, he found out that the car had made far too many kilometers without any servicing, so in his opinion a direct revision of the engine would be most required.
In that time an acquaintance brought to his attention Phil Ward's book "Fiat & Lancia Twin Cams".
In this "Twin-cam bible" is described in all details how to tune and upgrade a twin-cam engine.
So as you may guess, the revision of the engine of his Spider did not get a simple standard overhaul.

According to his character, doing half-hearted things is far from his nature. And taking the long road improving an engine (and car) to perfection there seems to be no end at all, together with all the information and advises during this almost endless journey: it took him 16 years and 4000 hours !
And yes, meanwhile Martijn & Mariëlle married in another car than their Spider....

Pictures mostly explain more than a thousand words.
So enjoy all visual details of the modifications of Martijn's unique 124 Spider down here and
ON  YOUTUBE .

Zoals zo vaak in zulke situaties.... bepaalde de vrouw (toen Martijn's vriendin) de uiteindelijke keuze voor een cabrio en in combinatie met Martijn's uitgesproken technische voorkeur voor een Lampredi krachtbron, besloot hij dat het dan een Fiat 124 Spider moest worden.

Na wat speurwerk werd een specifieke Spider gekocht waarvan hij het idee had, dat met wat "liefdevolle zorg" het helemaal de cabrio kon worden die hij zocht.
En .... toen ook zijn perfecte trouwauto kon zijn voor over 'n paar maanden !

Hoe dan ook, na zijn aankoop bleek dat de auto heel veel meer kilometers zonder enige service of onderhoud had gemaakt, dus zou een directe revisie van de motor volgens hem zeker dringend noodzakelijk zijn.
In die tijd maakte een kennis hem ook attent op Phil Ward's boek "Fiat & Lancia Twin Cams".
In deze "Twin-cam bijbel" wordt gedetailleerd beschreven, hoe een twin-cam motor opgevoerd en afgesteld moest worden.
Dus zoals je wel kunt raden, kreeg hierdoor de revisie van de Spider-motor niet een gewone "standaard" opknapbeurt.

Overeenkomstig zijn karakter, passen halfzachte oplossingen helemaal niet in zijn aard. En via de weg de motor (en de auto) tot enige perfectie te verbeteren ligt een lange open weg zonder eind, als je alle tussentijdse informatie en goede adviezen ook meetelt: het kostte hem 16 jaar en 4000 uur !
En ja, Martijn en Mariëlle trouwden in een andere auto dan in hun Spider....

Afbeeldingen en foto's vertellen vaak meer dan 1000 woorden.
Dus geniet hierbij van alle visuele details van de modifikaties en aanpassingen van Martijn's unieke 124 Spider hieronder en  OP  YOUTUBE .


MODIFICATIONS AND OUTLINE SPECIFICATIONS 1800 LAMPREDI

01  Balanced: crank, flywheel, rods and pistons - 25% lightened flywheel
02  Beta 1600 pistons boost compression up to 10.1 - 2000 Type water pump
03  130tc Fully ported head (specifications Guy Croft)
04  Equalized combustion chambers volume
05  Dimpled inlet to increase air flow, multiple angle valve seats
06  Custom valve guides (B1 copper/zinc/aluminum). These Lubricate under high °C
07  130tc-type head gasket and yield-type head bolts
08  Cam timing 26/66/66/26 lift 9.514. Adjustable cam pulley’s
09  Modified auxiliary shaft
10  Electric full race fuel pump (regulator required)
11  Fuel pressure regulator
12  Creating oil pressure before first run           
13  16-Row oil cooler
14  Thermostatically controlled
15  Completely overhauled Weber IDF 40 carburetors
16  CNC machined venturi using copper-calibrated tubes for the fuel intake
17  Installing the venturis
18  Left side upgrade - right side original setup
19  This setup provides torque at high rpm
20  By remaining the original 40 throttle valve there is no loss of bottom power
21  This would happen with a bigger setup (44 mm Weber’s)

22  Port matched intake manifold to prevent airflow obstructions
23  Custom made air horns. Full radius - completely CNC machined, creating more air intake
24  These trumpets are speeding up the airflow enhancing the response of the engine
25  K&N sport filter
26  Electronic ignition with high voltage coil (65000) improving the ignition of modern fuel
27  High performance ignition control module
28  Best standard manifold is the BS1 1600 because of tube-dimensions
29  Ceramic coated to prevent heath build-up (standard manifold only used with standard cams)
30  Most effective standard exhaust system is the 1800
31  Tubes are 50 mm like an Abarth-system

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lampredi's Dedicated Fan - part 1

Martijn Voigt's 1976 Fiat 124 Spider 1800

"Thank you Aurelio Lampredi for designing such a magnificent masterpiece", Martijn Voigt often said and thought many years ago about the "heart" of his very first car: the Lancia Beta H.P. Executive.

The thrill of this early and exciting automotive experience never left his mind and made the decision for another car in later years, easy: it definitely should have a Lampredi twin-cam engine, Martijn knew for sure.
Martijn's wife Mariëlle - then his girlfriend - suggested with a romantic smile, that it possibly could be a convertible this time and the new car was born, the name: Fiat 124 Spider !

After 16 years and more than 4000 hours of complete restorating and rebuilding: enjoy here Martijn's and Mariëlle's magnificent  NEW DAZZLING CREATION .

"Bedankt Aurelio Lampredi voor dit prachtig stuk meesterwerk", zei en dacht Martijn Voigt vele jaren geleden vaak over het "hart" van zijn allereerste automobiel: de Lancia Beta H.P. Executive.

De opwinding van die vroege, allesoverheersende auto-ervaring is nooit meer uit zijn hoofd weg geweest en maakte de beslissing voor een andere auto in latere jaren gemakkelijk: het moest hoe dan ook wéér met een Lampredi twin-cam motor zijn, wist Martijn heel zeker.
Martijn's vrouw
Mariëlle - toen zijn vriendin - stelde met een romantische glimlach voor, dat het deze keer dan ook een cabrio zou kunnen zijn en de nieuwe auto was geboren, de naam: Fiat 124 Spider !

Na 16 jaar en meer dan 4000 uren van volledige restauratie en opnieuw opbouwen: geniet hier van Martijn's en Mariëlle's  NIEUWE OOGVERBLINDENDE CREATIE
.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tom Tjaarda, a unique designer and an amiable man


The half-Dutchman designer that you should have known


Last week on June 1, died at the age of 82, the legendary car designer Tom Tjaarda. Legendary? Tjaarda? Not the only car designer from Dutch born origin: there are more famous Dutch car designers nowadays.

 In full his name was Tjaarda van Starkenburg and although he was born in automobile-city Detroit, he was the son of the Dutch Jan Tjaarda van Starkenburg, who once emigrated to the US as John Tjaarda also became well-known as a car designer. About his design studies, known as the "Sterkenberg Series", it is said that these influenced Ferdinand Porsche's Hitler car design and the Volkswagen beetle design. Father John earned finally word-wide fame for the at that time very futuristic looking Lincoln Zephyr (1936).

Tom was a student in architecture at the Michigan University, scouted by the Ghia Design Studios where he was trained on the job in Italy as from 1958. After two years he moved to competitor Pininfarina. In his career he switched several times between these two design houses, via Fiat and Ford finally ending in his own design studio. His remarkable consistent career brought him the unofficial title "last of the gentlemen-designers", not only because he was extremely modest and friendly, a characteristic that all his students would confirm. All his designs were sophisticated and noble, because of their extreme understatement. He designed two Ferrari's of the non-noisy type, the 365 California (1966) and the super-sophisticated 330 GT 2+2 (1964).

And he got worldwide fame by his two amazing elegant sports cars: the almost forgotten Innocenti 950 Spider (1960) and the Fiat 124 Spider (1966) - the latter being such a historic, successful design, that last year a retroversion was launched. Many styling cues recall the original 124 Spider like the muscular front and rear fender, the sharp horizontal rear lamps to the power domes on the hood. Characteristic design details deliberately derived from the original design from Tom Tjaarda.

I  MET  TOM TJAARDA  AT  SEVERAL  OCCASION  PERSONALLY  IN  ITALY  AND  IN  THE  NETHERLANDS,  ESPECIALLY  ( BUT NOT ONLY)  TALKING  ABOUT  HIS  FIAT  124  SPIDER  DESIGN,  WHICH  UNIQUE  GENESIS   HE  WROTE  EXCLUSIVELY  AND  FOR  THE  FIRST  TIME  IN  HIS  LIFE  FOR  ME.

And indeed, through the direct contact that I had with Tom, I can say that he was one of the most modest, amiable, sophisticated and talented persons I ever met.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Time-out for my own startup












As you might have noticed, I am not spending much time these days to my beloved, time-consuming Fiat 124 Spider blog "La Bella Macchina" since the beginning of this year.
And that has a significant reason.
To be honest, I am too busy in a startup of a new personal adventure: a new enterprise in my old line of business again as a designer and creating craftsman.

So, this is not a goodbye or farewell message, but just an announcement of a temporary time-out.
I do regret daily that I am not able to split up myself and combine the time consuming activities owing to my new business ambitions and my undiminished, lifelong passion for the Fiat 124 Spider.


Although I am 72 years of age, I have all the energy and enthusiasm in the world to make a success of my new thrilling enterprise, because I am eager to go at least   FOR ANOTHER 15 YEARS.
Why? Because I strongly intend to reach the age of 87. ( I like that number ;-)) ).

I will be back soon. Ciao !

Monday, January 4, 2016

The dream goes on


Apart from all technical blah-blah......

WHAT  A  STUNNING  ITALIAN  BEAUTY !

WITH  TOP  OR  TOPLESS

Sunday, November 29, 2015

One Hundred - I made it !


  / story / info / news / leader / column / comment / headline / text / blog / series /
background / tidings / message / report / notice and communication  about
I'LL SOON MOVE ON WITH NUMBER  101

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fiat 124 Spider 2016 Screensaver












Although screensavers are obsolete nowadays, I had a lot of fun making a screensaver of a bunch of new Fiat 124 Spider images. To share this fun with you, I made different zip-files to be able to download and install this screensaver. Make your choice out of either one of these 2 methods:

1. a so-called .scr file ( screensaver file ) that should be unzipped and copied directly in your Windows\Sysnative or Windows\System32 directory dependent on your Windows system and can be downloaded  HERE,

2. or a small and easy installation proggie, when unzipped can be installed directly on your system and should be downloaded  HERE.
And last but not least, you are able to  MUTE SOUND  in the screensaver  SETTINGS  and vice versa.
Enjoy  !  ( like I did  ) 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Where’s Charlie? Has Fiat Cut Sheen?



PROJECT FOR FIAT 124 SPIDER WITH CONTROVERSIAL ACTOR PUT IN THE "DRAWER."

In light of Charlie Sheen’s announcement about being HIV positive, Fiat has decided to shelve plans of rolling out a Fiat 124 Spider ad featuring the  CONTROVERSIAL ACTOR

Fiat hired Charlie Sheen to promote the Abarth 500’s US launch several years ago through a commercial called “ HOUSE ARREST ” and recently he was asked to star in a 124 Spider ad. However, it’s highly unlikely the clip will be aired as The Detroit Bureau reports Fiat is not too happy with  CHARLIE SHEEN'S ANNOUNCEMENT  about being HIV positive. This makes sense since airing the ad would not have a positive impact on Fiat’s image and consequently on 124 Spider’s sales.

Interestingly, an incomplete video of the ad was played on November 3 to reporters gathered at a sneak preview event for the Fiat 124 Spider organized at  FCA’S HEADQUARTERS  in Michigan. The ad hasn’t aired at the LA Auto Show as marketing chief Olivier Francois has decided to put it in a “drawer of creative material”, according to spokeswoman Diane Martin. She did not exclude the possibility of launching the ad at some point in the future, but obviously this is unlikely to happen soon.

Based on the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Fiat 124 Spider is scheduled to go on sale in United States and Europe in 2016.

Source: thedetroitbureau.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A LEGEND IS BACK - DISCOVER THE
2016 FIAT 124 SPIDER !


FOR THE VERY FIRST UNVEILED IMPRESSIONS, HAVE A LOOK
HERE,  HERE,  HERE,  HERE,  HERE  and  HERE.
FOR ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2016 ONLY A VERY LIMITED
QUANTITY 
OF 124 SPIDERS WILL BE EXCLUSIVELY NUMBERED !  

 A FEW HIGHLIGHTING VIDEOS FROM THE LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW:
       1.REVEALED HIGHLIGHTS
      2.AVAILABLE COLORS     
  3.VIDEO PREVIEW        

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fiat 124 caught entirely undisguised












Source: autoblog.com  / Author: Brandon Turkus  / Image credit: Fiat

Dear automakers, please continue making these kind of mistakes. Thanks to what we're guessing is some lax security, the all-new, Mazda MX-5 Miata-based Fiat 124 was spotted taking part in a photo shoot near Santa Barbara, CA.

The images show what we'd consider a fairly simple rebadging job. The 124 gets new front and rear clips that not only harken back to the original 124 (not to mention other Fiat roadsters, like the Barchetta), but also serves to distance this droptop from the rest of the company's US range.

The similarities between the 124 and the car it's based on are even more obvious in the cabin. This is an MX-5 interior with Fiat's big, red badge on the tiller. That means the same quality materials and knob-dial infotainment system that have been so well received in the Miata.

It's under the hood, though, where the Fiat really differs from its Japanese cousin. According to our spy, the vehicle shown here features some kind of two-pedal setup – probably the six-speed Euro twin-clutch used in the 500L and Dodge Dart. Don't worry, though, a six-speed stick will also be on offer. Regardless of transmission, we can expect a 180-horsepower version of the 1.4-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder offered in the 500 Abarth. And if that's not enough good news, a dedicated Abarth model will likely arrive after launch, which our spies claim will use the 1.75-liter turbo and DCT from the Alfa Romeo 4C.

While this represents a good look at the new 124, we'll probably be waiting until the LA Auto Show in November for the official look. Stay tuned.





Monday, September 28, 2015

Fiat 124 Spider spied with top down












Source: autoblog.com / Author: Chris Bruce / Image Credit: Chris Doane Automotive

With fall officially here, the days are rapidly running out for much of the country to put the top down and enjoy a convertible. Fiat apparently wants to take advantage of the good weather while it lasts, given these fresh spy shots of the 124 Spider testing with the roof down.

In terms of styling, these photos show the droptop with an extremely similar look to the ones from July. The roadster still appears to have rounded headlights and a wide grille up front, which the kidney-shaped cladding does nothing to hide. The hood bulge continues to be there, too, and so is the spiderweb-pattern camouflage. However, these new shots let us check out the roll hoops that are visible with the top out of the way, and we even get to see the manual roof in operation. Also, note there are now dual exhausts at the rear, rather than the quad tips from before.

Underneath all this camo and cladding, we know that the 124 Spider shares underpinnings with the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. The engine remains a mystery, but competing rumors suggest the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the current 500 Abarth or the 1.7-liter turbo four from the Alfa Romeo 4C. Thankfully, an answer might not be too far away because the roadster is mooted to debut this year, possibly at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. With the latest Miata receiving high praise from critics, the motoring world soon gets to find out whether Fiat can find any room for improvement.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Waiting












A few definitions of waiting:
1. to stay in place in expectation of.
2. to not do something until something else happens.
3. to remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon.
4. for me it depends on what I'm  waiting for : in this case the sooner, the better !

Let's talk again about the new and highly anticipated Fiat Spider:
as the numerous spy photos in recent days, increased sightings of road tests sign that the premiere of the " FIAT 124 " or " FIAT 124 SPIDER " - provided that  ONE OF THESE  officially registered TRADEMARKS  will be the final name of the new two-seater sports car  - is fast approaching.

As confirmed in a recent interview by Roberto Giolito, Head of Fiat Design, "the car will look very masculine and to see it one will have to wait just a few months; Geneva Motor Show in 2016 or perhaps even earlier."

Yeah, but what engine will end under the hood of the new Fiat Spider? And what power will get its Abarth variant?
Some American newspapers have even suggested the presence in the range of 124 Spider a turbo version with 1750 Alfa Romeo 4C. Moreover, at first the car was to be born with the snake logo on the hood; that was before the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, SERGIO MARCHIONNE, would owe on the total "Italian and exclusivity mechanical" Alfa.

Exactly for this reason I believe that the engine of the 4C will remain there in its place ( and in the boot of the Giulietta QV ). Because the 4-cylinder turbocharged 1.4 T-Jet FCA, with capacities ranging between 120 and 190 hp, it seems more than appropriate to meet the needs of a very diverse clientele.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 3












Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website  SPIDERSWEB.NL
_________________________________________________________________________________


THE SPIRIT OF A GENERATION
WOODSTOCK 1969

WHO WAS THERE?   WHAT DID THEY PLAY?  ( click for more details ).
Saturday was the day of the well-known names such as  THE GRATEFUL DEAD,  JANIS JOPLIN  and  THE WHO. The first played their worst concert ever. It was raining and the members of the band got electrical shocks continuously because of the enormous water trouble with all the electrical instruments on stage.

JANIS JOPLIN  had one of the highlights of her career that resulted in a definitive confirmation as a rock-icon. For The Who it meant the salvation of the band. Their recently released rock opera Tommy was after all a major financial disaster and only after the triumph at Woodstock their double album was sold like a hot dog.

JOE COCKER ( HERE or  HERE )  THE BAND,  CROSBY, STILLS, NASH  & YOUNG,  TEN YEARS AFTER  and others played on Sunday. As the smashing conclusion there was the breathtaking show of  JIMI HENDRIX. He started his repertoire at nine o'clock in the morning on Monday and made an unforgettable GRAND FINALE  in which Hendrix played and teared apart the American National Anthem by playing through it the sound of  exploding bombs, jet planes and machine gunfire as his flaming protest against the Vietnam war.
The massive exodus started after his last chords. It was only after days that the traffic in Bethel was back to normal again.

For the organizers the festival stood for a financial disaster of at least two and a half million dollars. This sum was forked out without blinking the eyes by the Roberts family, that earned back a multiplication of this amount for film rights and many released collection albums in the years after.

Woodstock also became a magical aura owing to the movie made by  MICHAEL WADLEIGH.
He rounded up a crew of about 100 from the New York Film scene, including the ( at that time ) unknown movie director  MARTIN SCORSESE. Wadleigh couldn't pay them until much later, but he could get them inside the event of the summer. The crew signed on a double-or-nothing basis. If the film made it, they'd get twice regular pay. If the film bombed, they'd lose.
Wadleigh's plot ran like this: Woodstock would be a modern-day  CANTERBURY TALE,  a pilgrimage back to the land. He wanted the film to be as much about the  HIPPIES  who trekked to Woodstock as about the  MUSIC ON STAGE.  He wanted the stories of the young people, their feelings about the Vietnam War, about the times. The stories of the townspeople and the chaos. These would make the film, not just the music.

The movie meant - together with the triple album - free publicity for the artists for many years. When seeing the movie pictures now one realises that the Summer of Love mainly was a spiritual event, because for the human body this Woodstock weekend was just in one word: exhausting.

Despite the rain and the excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs there was no violence at the festival whatsoever. The Woodstock festival was the subculture  HIGHLIGHT OF THE SIXTIES      and of the hippie era.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 2











Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website  SPIDERSWEB.NL
_________________________________________________________________________________


THE SPIRIT OF A GENERATION
WOODSTOCK 1969

THREE DAYS OF LOVE & PEACE  ( click for more details ).
After the deal with farmer  MAX YASGUR, the organisation got down immediately but the Bethel residents had read about the worries in  WALLKILL: drugs, traffic, sewage and water. Public fury mounted once more. They did not like at all the perspective having ten thousands of  HIPPIES  in their backyard. A variety of attempts to stop the festival, failed.

The opposition plotted a last-minute strategy to stop the show: a human barricade across Route 17B on the day before the concert. As soon as this news was on national radio the consequences were disastrous: from Tuesday on  THE ROADS TO BETHEL  were crowded with people on their way to the concert.

The  TRAFFIC JAM  just grew spectacular in the course of the week. Spectators just left their cars everywhere and camped in gardens and on the festival grounds. Woodstock's momentum was accelerating like a runaway train. At that time, it had progressed so far, any kind of order to stop it would have just resulted in chaos.

On Thursday the organisation found out, that it was absolutely impossible to move the two dozen ticket booths into position because there were already more than 100.000 people walking around, too many cars and abandoned (vacant) tents blocking the way.

"My most vivid memory was that there was this chain-link, CYCLONE FENCE  that went all the way around," said Bert Feldman, who was working security on the hill near the Hog Farm base. "I had the uncanny feeling that there were 500 million people there. Suddenly, the fence was no more. TRAMPLED  into the mud. It disappeared like magic."
Organizer and promoter Michael Lang said he never exactly decided Woodstock would become a free show. But he did decide to make the announcement. "It was kind of like stating the obvious," he said.
And because of the complete inaccessibility to the grounds in a normal way, all the artists had to be flown in  BY HELICOPTER.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 1











Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my former website  SPIDERSWEB.NL
In time I will republish most of my files, photos, images, videos and music of my worldwide well-attended former website on this blog again.
_________________________________________________________________________________


THE SPIRIT OF A GENERATION
WOODSTOCK 1969

In the very early years of our  FIAT 124 SPIDER  a unique music spectacle took place that was unparalleled in history: WOODSTOCK.

Although  LIVE 8  was the largest television event held at different locations in the world that mankind ever observed before, at the largest visited location  HYDE PARK  in London there were no more than 200.000 visitors gathered and cannot be compared at all with the Woodstock crowd where almost 500.000 people shared three days and nights with each other, even in heavy storm and rain !


HIPPIES
THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC & ART FAIR  in 1969 drew almost half a million people to a pasture in  SULLIVAN COUNTY. For four days, the site became a counter cultural mini-nation in which minds were open, drugs were all but legal and love was "free".

The music began Friday afternoon at 5:07 pm August 15 and continued until mid-morning Monday August 18. The festival closed the  NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY  and created one of the NATION'S WORST TRAFFIC JAMS.  It also inspired a slew of local and state laws to ensure that nothing like it would ever happen again.

Gathered that weekend in 1969 were liars and lovers, prophets and profiteers. They made love,
they made money and they made a little history. ARNOLD SKOLNICK, the artist who designed Woodstock's dove-and-guitar symbol, described it this way: "Something was tapped, a nerve, in this country. And everybody just came."



WHO WERE BEHIND IT
The counterculture's biggest bash - it ultimately cost more than $2.4 million - was sponsored by
FOUR VERY DIFFERENT, AND VERY YOUNG MEN, namely: John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, ARTIE KORNFELD  and  MICHAEL LANG. The oldest of the four was 26. John Roberts supplied the money. He was heir to a drugstore and toothpaste manufacturing fortune. He had a multimillion-dollar trust fund, a University of Pennsylvania degree and a lieutenant's commission in the Army. He had seen exactly one rock concert, by the Beach Boys.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Two dazzling Enzo Ferrari Museums












Last year in June, when I made my round trip through North and Mid-Italy with my always loyal, PERFECTLY RUNNING 124 SPIDER, I stayed two days in the small city of  FORMIGINE  in the district  EMILIA ROMAGNA  in Northern Italy.
After a wonderful dinner in a superb small restaurant in a nearby hamlet, I consulted - back in my hotel - the local maps and navigation, planning a tour for the next day.

Although I did not plan or intend to visit any (!) tourist town, city, event, monument or touristic sight in  MY ITALIAN ROUNDTRIP  other than my favorite rural  AGRITURISMO  accommodations such as olive grove farms and vineyard estates, I found out to my completely unexpected surprise that Maranello was merely  5,7 KM.  and Modena  12,5 KM.  away from my hotel in Formigine.

Although visiting these places of Ferrari- pilgrimage never crossed my mind, I changed my original planned tour and visited the  FERRARI  FACTORY , where I blocked the  MAIN ENTRANCE  for a while, THE STORE  and  THE MUSEUM  in Maranello as well as the museum in  MODENA (OLD)  and  ( NEW ),  where at that moment was an extraordinary exhibition of  "100 years of  Maserati" in a dazzling  FUTURISTIC BUILT MUSEUM , the  MUSEO ENZO FERRARI MODENA.

Talking about pilgrimage: In Maranello I met a nice couple from California who exclusively came to Italy to visit  THESE TWO FERRARI EXHIBITIONS  only. (Sorry for the short ad right at the start)

I experienced not only the story of Enzo Ferrari told by a spectacular 360 degrees video, which with a total of 19 projectors captivated me completely ( see  HERE  for a short summary of this amazing show ) and placed the car models on display in their historical context alongside the men and drivers who created and drove them, but I admired also the most famous Maserati models on display in its  CENTENARY MASERATI  history.
A unique exhibition that was opened just  THREE DAYS BEFORE  on June 19. 2014.

And to be honest, looking back I was really glad I changed my route for a few days.
It was just one of my not-planned but great surprises during my  SPIDER ROUND TRIP  in Italy.

Monday, August 3, 2015

About Italian automotive design 3












From Petrolicious by Yoav Gilad
More recently, another American has shaken up the Italian status quo. Mr.JASON CASTRIOTA hails from the New York City area and took an internship at Pininfarina while still a student at Art Center College of Design. When his internship ended, he dropped out of school and stayed in Torino as an employee where he worked on the FERRARI 599 GTB FIORANO as well as other clients’ projects.

 His work was so appreciated that he was named Head Designer for Special Projects. It is there that he executed what may be his best-known work: The  FERRARI P4/5 BY PININFARINA. It was based on the  FERRARI ENZO  ( and HERE  )  but completely redesigned to pay homage to the FERRARI P3/4  ( and HERE  )  endurance racers of the 1960s. Additionally, Castriota designed a one-off  FERRARI 612, AS A SOPHISTICATED LADY ( or HERE )  called the Kappa based on the Scaglietti and bodied entirely out of aluminum.

To see more of Castriota's creations, click  HERE  and  HERE.

Now let’s be clear: Ferrari is a purely Italian phenomenon.
But it’s Ferrari North America’s sixtieth anniversary and like  LUIGI CHINETTI SR.  and  JUNIOR contributing to Ferrari’s success during the early days, we’re recognizing a couple of American contributions to the storied marque in the field of design that might be surprising to some.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

About Italian automotive design 2













From Petrolicious by Yoav Gilad
North America has long been Ferrari’s most important market and even from the beginning they had one eye keenly fixed on American tastes. But it hasn’t strictly been a one-way road. Even the first North American distributor, Mr. Luigi Chinetti sometimes requested special cars be built that he knew would sell briskly in the US.

One aspect that has always remained firmly in Italian hands is the styling though, right? Yes and no. Ferraris have always been designed in-house or by Italian coach builders like Pininfarina, Scagletti, et al. But famous American designers have made significant contributions to Ferrari’s design language by their employment within the design firms. And this isn’t a new phenomenon either; it began with TOM TJAARDA in the early 1960s.

Tjaarda seemed destined to be a designer from birth. His father, John, was a car designer, and in an industrial design class as an architecture student at the University of Michigan the younger Tjaarda impressed the teacher so much that his teacher shared Tom's model with his friend, then-head of design at  CARROZZERIA GHIA ,  LUIGI SEGRE.  Tjaarda received an offer of employment as a result of the one model and moved to Torino, Italy. In his first couple of years at Ghia, he designed several concepts and production cars for firms such as Innocenti and Renault. Following some work for the city of Torino’s ‘ ITALIA 1961 DESIGN EXHIBITION ’ Pininfarina snatched him up.

And while he worked on a variety of projects for a few different clients, among his most memorable are the  1964 FERRARI 330 GT 2+2 PININFARINA SERIES 1  and the ’66 FERRARI 365 GT CALIFORNIA ( see also pictures below ). The  CALIFORNIA  replaced the 500 Superfast and was built on the same chassis but equipped with a cabriolet top for an open-motoring experience. It debuted at the  1966 GENEVA MOTOR SHOW  but sadly  ONLY FOURTEEN  365 Californias were ever produced.


Tom Tjaarda standing next to ' his ' Ferrari 365 California Spyder.

About Italian automotive design 1












From a recent article on CNN - Style:

PININFARINA'S 10 GREATEST DESIGNS FROM ITS 85-YEAR HISTORY
The Italian studio Pininfarina designed the twentieth century's greatest Ferraris and through their work with the Prancing Horse -- plus the likes of Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, BMW and Maserati -- helped define the emotive Italian style of the mid-century sportscar.

On the company's 85th birthday, CEO PAOLO PININFARINA, the fourth patriarch of the family to head up the company since its founding by BATTISTA "PININ" FARINA in 1930, looks through the almost 1000 automobiles sculpted by Pininfarina to bring us its 10 most striking creations.

" The 10 icons I selected... are not necessarily the best, the ' top 10, ' says chairman Pininfarina, " they are to me probably the most emotionally involving."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Car concepts between past and future














" I TRANSLATE CLASSICS IN A CONTEMPORARY DESIGN LANGUAGE "


The Hungarian  DAVID OBENDORFER  ( 40 ) attended the University of Art and Design in Budapest and now works as a ship-designer in Bergamo, Italy. In his spare time he interprets and remodels the design of car classics in a new way.

His studies are causing a furore. The ship-designer David Obendorfer is creating in his spare time automobile neo-classics that do homage to their four-wheeled ancestors - so far, unfortunately, only virtually.

Actually, David Obendorfer has no idea about cars. Or almost none. Except for a six-month apprenticeship at Alfa Romeo, which finalised the Hungarian-born after graduating from the University of Art and Design in Budapest, he had been in no contact with the car industry.

In his professional life Obendorfer - as employee of  OFFICINA ITALIANA DESIGN  in Bergamo - is designing extremely luxurious yachts for the "financially happy few" in the world.

But while others after daily closing time in the car-free Città Alta Bergamo are enjoying a glass of Chianti, Obendorfer is devoted behind closed doors to his passion, creating neo-classic automobiles.

That is to say : He is wrapping up legendary Chrome Jewels as the BMW 2000CS ( + VIDEO ) , the RENAULT 4 ( + VIDEO ), the FIAT 127 (  + VIDEO ) or the FIAT 500 ( + VIDEO ) in a modern shell, without breaking with the tradition of the former style icons. And should not exist a model, as in the case of the Fiat 500 Spider, it will be redesigned by Obendorfer in a retro style look.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fiat 124 Spider: la italo - giapponese














THE 124 SPIDER - The result of the agreements between the Mazda and Fiat Chrysler Group FCA, the heir of the legendary Fiat 124 Spider from the 60's will be partly built in Japan on the platform of the new Mazda MX-5.

The name should be 124 Spider, since it was recently registered at the US Patent Office. It is still uncertain whether it will be Fiat Abarth 124 or 124.
According to rumors, in fact, the FCA could decide to give the Abarth brand this model exclusively.

Or the other theory, perhaps the most plausible, is that it is applied the same policy adopted by the 500, with a "normal" version Fiat and a more "peppered" brand Abarth.

The image above is a very, very close representation of the new Italian-Japanese 124 Spider.
See for the first Fiat Spider spy shots in disguise in Detroit  HERE

Pending further technical details and spy shots, which certainly will not fail, remember that the most likely date for the public debut of the new Fiat 124 Spider, which should be on the market from the beginning of 2016, is at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2015.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Daydreaming . . . . .












Daydreaming in images, trying to find anywhere a glimpse, a photograph, a picture, a drawing or a sketch of the new Fiat 124 Spider !

Although I know that the reflected image is NOT a picture of the new Fiat 124 Spider but of the new Mazda, inwhich plants the new Fiat Spider is or will be built, these pictures help me dreaming, phantasizing and trying to visualize the new Italian designed "belleza" and love of my life:
the one and only 2015 / 2016  FIAT 124 SPIDER.

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE to see my daydream animation or  HERE  ( with a different browser ) and another one ( just for fun )  HERE  and  with a different browser  HERE .