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.

See here for more pictures of the iconic  FERRARI 365 CALIFORNIA SPYDER.

About Italian automotive design 1

From a recent article on CNN - Style:

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


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.

Around six months he needs on an average design study . "Of course I do not invest every free minute in my designs, especially when creating the 3D models it is important to take occasional breaks to detect errors in the proportions of the body".
Moreover Obendorfer is not only giving attention to the exterior silhouettes, but is dedicated to the inner values as well: giving a nostalgic-modern look to the interior. Therefore in his studies traditional materials and contemporary technologies meet, becoming a symbiosis of yesterday and tomorrow.

David Obendorfer does not see himself with his "design-workouts" in a pioneering role.
Finally already numerous classics from the past were pimped again and rolled onto the road like the Mini Cooper and the VW Beetle. But these are often overdrawn in his eyes. "I do like the clean and simple volume surfaces of many previous models," clarifies the smart Hungarian. "Unfortunately car designers today primarily rely on a strong and powerful brand style. That's why genuine automobile personalities are rare today".

"My aim is to use possible reference points from the past and future and to generate a contemporary styling that respects and continues the former lines". Or to put it in Oberdorfer's words: "I translate classics in a contemporary design language".

And this with success. Since his first design of the Renault 4 in 2011, a steadily growing group of admirers is enjoying his studies. Even renowned car magazines discovered his creative talent. That one of his virtual neo-classic cars once will be rolling over the asphalt, does not cross his mind at all.

"For me drawing retro cars is primarily a balance in my daily work. Moreover, I am not that naive to think that I will ever get a request from the car designing industry, so that the chief designer of Fiat or Renault should have to admit that a ship-designer designed their beautiful car.
That will never happen".

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.