Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fall Of An Iconic Name: Bertone

The last time I mentioned Gruppo Bertone it was in 2010 and the company was still operating. In fact, it designed the 2013 Aston-Martin Rapide.

Unfortunately, one of the most famous and iconic of names in automotive design filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

The list of brands Bertone worked with is substantial and impressive including the likes of Citroen, BMW, Ferrari, Mazda, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Volvo and Ford to name a few.

Being from Montreal, it's appropriate for me to mention they also designed the Alfa-Romeo Montreal created for Expo 67. The exquisite Montreal was designed by one of the 20th century's top car designers Marcello Gandini 

It's a shame about Bertone but at least it leaves behind a catalog and creations we will marvel at for posterity.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Corvette And Its Cisitalia Connection

The Cisitalia 202's role in spawning an American icon: Corvette.

"...What it was all about, of course, was a two-seater convertible sports car. Working from Earl’s rough outline, McLean and Bohnstedt came up with a design for the car’s body that appears to have been inspired by an Italian roadster called the Cisitalia 202. In those days, most sports cars had long engine compartments that narrowed almost to a point at the front end of the car, with broad, flowing fenders that were a separate and quite distinct element of the car’s design. Not so with the new GM roadster: Like the Cisitalia 202, it was a low, flat, wide, almost square box with fenders that were integrated into the rest of the body. Today the integrated-fender look is standard—it’s so common that it’s difficult to even remember what cars looked like when their fenders were separate from the rest of the engine compartment. But to see that look on a roadster in the 1950s was not only novel, it was stunning."

Sunday, December 11, 2016

It's In The Blood

The Italian automotive Renaissance 1945-1975:

"...With their startling, often sensual designs, Italian cars from the mid-century had an immense influence on the automotive industry around the world. The successful racing efforts of Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, and Alfa Romeo ensured that Italian automakers dominated international competition. Lessons from racing were applied to the design of road cars and Italy’s auto industry helped lead an international styling renaissance. In 1954, Road & Track declared, “The Italian influence leads the automotive design world. It remains consistent, commanding, spirited and graceful.”

The artistic and innovative spirit of the Renaissance never left the Italian soul.

But it's in dire need of an economic and political Renaissance.

Beauty And Design: 'It Seems The Italian Eye Is Second To None'

Nice quick overview of Italian genius that has put it at the scientific, engineering, artistic and technological forefront of Western and world history.

Italians have generally had their hands in the 'cookie jar of history'.

In addition, to its visible legacy, Italians have also been big 'invisible' players throughout the ages. For example, Italian merchants bank rolling the early stages of the age of exploration.

Here's a list of Italian inventions.

From eyeglasses to the battery to the jacuzzi and pretzel. The 'geographic expression' Metternich once scoffed at has played its part in the advancement of world history.