Everything You Need To Know About Italian Coachbuilder Touring Superleggera


Touring Superleggera, an elite coachbuilder from Italy, has created some magnificent designs in its ninety-five years of history. Italy has always been viewed as the heaven of automobile engineering for over a century. Back in the day, automakers usually only made the chassis and engine of an automobile, after which it was delivered to a coachbuilder to make the body. In many cases, the customers could even choose a coachbuilder to design their vehicle. This process of building a car bred several coachbuilding companies across the country.

In its long run in the automobile industry, Touring Superleggera with several inspiring creations has contributed to changing the shape of automobile design.

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The History Of Touring Superleggera

Alfa-Romeo-6C-1750-Touring-Flying-Star

Via Pinterest / PiTyu

The coachbuilding company was established in Milan in 1926 by Felice Bianchi Anderloni and Gaetano Ponzoni by the name Carrozzeria Touring or simply Touring. From the very beginning, Touring took a standout approach from its fellow coachbuilders by emphasizing more on beauty and innovative thinking. A keen follower of advantageous techniques, Touring was the first company to license the Weyman construction method. As a result, some magnificent cars rolled out off Touring’s workshop, such as the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Touring ‘Flying Star’ and Touring earned the reputation of a coachbuilding ace. Touring’s fame for designing exotic and innovative cars spread like wildfire, and soon automakers like Alfa Romeo became the regular contractee of the company. It started dominating the prestigious auto shows like Concours and Villa d’Este with an array of awards and recognitions. Following its feat in these shows and races, many European automakers entrusted Touring to build coaches for them. However, much fame awaited Touring owing to its ever-innovative way of working.

In 1937, Touring developed a unique and massively effective building technique that changed the face of automobile engineering forever. The company named the technique ‘Superleggera’ that meant super lightweight. Touring patented this technique, and in the following years, it was licensed by most top-notch automobile manufacturers. The design was so successful that it became the company’s identity and the Touring rechristened itself as ‘Touring Superleggera’. The coachbuilder also shares a deep historical connection with Ferrari as the former built the first car of the automobile kingpin Enzo Ferrari, the Auto Avio Costruzioni 815. Followed by the Ferrari 166MM that set the Italian automaker in the path of fame.

The history of TouringSuperleggera with Lamborghini is quite similar as well since Touring Superleggera also built the company’s first-ever car, 350GT. In addition, it produced some of the most successful racing and touring cars with Alfa Romeo, such as 8C 2900B Spider, Berlinetta, and LeMans Coupe. By the 1960s, Touring Superleggera became a large-scale manufacturer and evolved as a builder of series production unibody models. In addition to which, it continued its operations of building sports and GranTurismo cars of almost all leading European automakers. In 2006 the company experienced a significant change in management when the Zeta Europe BV Group acquired the exclusive rights of the brand.

After this acquisition the company was renamed as Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.R.L. Despite this, it continues its operations from Milan itself. Presently, it offers a range of services, such as automobile designing, automobile engineering, coachbuilding, homologation services, non-automotive industrial design, and restoration of vintage vehicles.

The Company’s Innovations And Patents

Alfa-Romeo-Disco-Volante

Via IMBOLDN.com

The most notable innovation of Touring Superleggera was the ‘Superleggera’ body construction framework. This technique was partially used in constructing the fuselage of airplanes in the 1930s. Touring developer Bianchi Anderloni understood that technique’s potential and refined it to use in a car body. After successful testing, Touring patented this technique in 1936. In this technique, a framework of thin hollow steel tubes was attached to the chassis. This allows the coachbuilder to fit aluminum car body panels on a lightweight but rigid body frame. With this new tube framework, designers could easily plan any shape and were also efficient for aerodynamic designing. Another clever technique that Touring Superleggera drew from aircraft engineering was wind tunnel testing. Used by all automobile manufacturers today, Touring pioneered it and designed their cars to manage drag problems efficiently. Some of the magnificent designs of the company were a result of its advanced aerodynamic knowledge, and a recent example of it is the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante.

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The Best Designs Of Touring Superleggera

Maserati-5000-GT

Via Secret-Classics.com

It is hard to pick a Touring Superleggera design that was the best because, in its 95 years of existence, the company has been the epitome of the magnificence of Italian car making. However, some of the best designs were to be picked; it would start with the Alfa Romeo models. More specifically, the Disco Volante and 8C Touring Berlinetta. Then the next on the list would be the Aston Martins DB series, one of which got famous after featuring in a James Bond movie. The next one was a rather special, or better said, a royal one. Touring called this creation ‘Scia di Persia’ as this car was made for the Shah of Iran.

Originally a Maserati 5000 GT, of which only 34 examples were made, and Touring built only three, one of which was possessed by its royal customer. Since its inception to the present, Touring has worked with most leading automakers, such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin. However, presently, Touring has changed its business and is no longer a series production vehicle manufacturer. Instead, it only lends its hands to manufacture bespoke designs for private individuals or makes limited edition exclusive cars.

The year 2021 is a special one for Touring Superleggera because it is the company’s 95th anniversary. The company has already released two super cool custom cars to celebrate this historic feat – the Aero 3 and the most recent Arese RH95. Unfortunately, only eighteen pieces of the latter are created to commemorate the anniversary. Needless to say, Touring has once again left folks spellbound with its extraordinary designing ability with its latest cars.

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