Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Realism In Italian Car Design

Nice detailed look at Italian sports cars with a focus on smaller, inexpensive built by Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia.

Some motorcycle pics in there too including an interesting Harley-Davidson with an Alfa engine.


"..Italian cars are among the most exciting special interest automobiles to own. All Italian cars offer a driving experience that is unlike other vehicles. This is largely due to the Italian method of taxing vehicles in their home country. Italians pay very high taxes on cars. Their tax on cars is based not on the car's value but on its engine displacement. Historically this has forced the Italian auto manufactures to design a superior product. They need to get the same amount of power out of their engines as their British, German, French and other European competitors but they have needed to do it with smaller engines. This is why as far back as the 60s even inexpensive Italian sedans frequently have small four cylinder engines featuring hemispherical combustion chambers, twin cams, five main bearings and so on. Most Italian 1600s put out more power then other countries' 2000cc motors.  As an example, an early 70's 1438cc Fiat Spider will easily outrun a 1900cc German Opel GT of the same era. Open the hood on both cars and you will quickly see why. The Fiat has a twin cam cross flow head with good manifolding. The Opel engine is very primitive by comparison..."

More here.

Pic: Lancia Vulvia.