The 90-year history of Touring Superleggera


MINI Superleggera Vision Concept 2014.

This year marks nothing less than 90 years of the foundation of the coachbuilder Touring Superleggera, for which, the company in Milan founded in 1926, has prepared an exhibition at the National Automobile Museum of Turin (Mauto, which will open its doors next September 22. The exhibition, which will be temporary, will end on November 20.

The exhibit will be a retrospective show of the work of these past 90 years of the coachbuilder Italian, one of the teach key car design in Italy and in the world, for which we will meet in the museum turin are some of the most notable of the long history of the company. The reason for the choice of this room is not casual, according to the CEO of Touring Superleggera, Piero Mancardi, this “not only is the automobile museum more important of Italy and Turin was the birthplace and the industrial heartland of the Italian car industry”.

Among the vehicles that form part of the exhibition, eleven in total, we can find pieces as iconic as the BMW 328 Berlinetta and Roadster, one of the most outstanding models of the history of the firm of Munich, or any of the first Ferrari, as the 166 Sport MM “barchetta” Touring of 1948, as well as the latest productions of the signature, such as the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante 2013, Gumpert Tornante by Touring 2011 or the last MINI Superleggera™ Vision concept of 2014.


Alfa Romeo Disco Volante based on the Alfa 8C.

Like most bodybuilders, Italian, the history of Touring Superleggera is an important part of the history of the engine, since in addition to being extensive, his career is full of models and moments very important in the automotive tradition.

Perhaps his history is less known than other big names, such as Pininfarina, Bertone or Zagato. However, the importance and the historical weight of Touring Superleggera is palpable, Although it is more known his now trademark Superleggera™, a name universally accepted as a synonym of lightness and sportiness, and that not a few manufacturers decide to license to be able to look that name in its variants sports, or radical. As button displays the versions Superleggera the Lamborghini Gallardo or the last MINI Superleggera™ Vision concept 2014.

In the sample of the National Automobile Museum of Turin, precisely will have a prominent place the technological evolution of the brand over nearly the last century, demonstrating the capacity of adaptation of the parts to the evolution of the automobile industry in the technology of frames, materials and production techniques. Aspects in which Carrozzeria Touring became a protagonist featured in some moments of history, as the own patent Superleggera™.


Gumpert Tornante, the closure of Gumpert frustrated this model.

The history of Touring Superleggera starts when in 1926 he met Felice Bianchi Anderloni and Gaetano Ponzoni to buy Carrozzeria Falco. These will be the years of the first builders, in which manufacturers of vehicles manufactured bodies, just assembling mechanical and frame, the builders responsible for end to give way to the vehicle. Carrozzeria Touring was at that time one of the most outstanding of Italy, collaborating with many great manufacturers of the era, and not only in Italy.

the arrival of The monohull to the industry, to the mid-TWENTIETH century, led to the to go away the business of builders traditional, since the manufacturers themselves began to manufacture their bodies. In the sixties, the Touring came to several agreements with some manufacturers to continue assembling their models in Italy, like the Hillman Minx and Sunbeam Alpine, the Rootes Group in a new factory built for this purpose in Milan, however, further problems, such as the death of Lord William Rootes, visible head of the Rootes Group british, was that part of those agreements is esfumaran, which led to the closure of the enterprise in 1966 and the Rootes Group to become the property of Chrysler a few years later, forming Chrysler UK.

Until then, the Touring had a strong reputation not only as a coachbuilder and manufacturer, but as an innovator in the field of chassis and structures. At the beginning of the thirties, Touring began to build with techniques licensed of lightweight construction, thanks to his contacts in the world of aeronautics has been able to improve, patented the famous teaches Superleggera™, which gave its name to a technique of manufacturing of bodies (coachwork very light.


Aston Martin DB5.

This was based on the manufacture of a tubular frame, with tubes of small diameter with the forms of the body, on the that assemble panels very thin and therefore lightweight aluminum. The result was a very light structure and flexible. In the same way, this system allowed the coachbuilder to build very different forms in little time. The first model parts, presented with this new technology was the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300B 1937.

Currently, automobiles are manufactured from a monohull, which makes the frame and part of the body, so that this system became obsolete decades ago. However, the fame of the same has been that his name has come down to our days in the form of trade name.

Automobile Touring was also the first of the builders to pay attention to aerodynamics. All his designs were initially made at a scale of 1:10 or 1:5, to be able to be tested in the wind tunnel. In the early years were employed in the tunnels of Breda or the Polytechnic of Milan, as well as the manufacturers who carried out his orders, but soon after, Touring has developed its own wind tunnel at their factory.


BMW 328 Berlinetta.

Several attempts to revive Touring were in vain for years, until in 2006 a set of investors re-launched the current Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera s. r.l., with headquarters in Milan. But before, and during all those years, the name of the Touring did not fall into oblivion, as after a fire that destroyed almost the entirety of the files of the mark in the sixties, Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, the son of one of the founders of the brand, was devoted to reconstruct such files, client by client.

Being one of the architects of the Touring Registry opened in 1995, and to revive the actual Concorso dEleganza Villa dEste, which formed part of the jury until the year 2003, the time of his death. In his memory, that event has a prize with its name for the best model of the masking presented to the contest.