To mark coachbuilder Touring Superleggera’s 90th anniversary, the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (the Italian National Motor Museum or ‘MAUTO’) in Turin is hosting a retrospective exhibition of the Milanese car design and coachbuilder’s work. When the show opened to the public over the weekend, the work shown was in the form of 11 of the company’s greatest automotive creations. These ranged from the 1930s to the present day alongside sketches, design blueprints, photos and video footage.
“There is no better venue to celebrate our first 90 years than MAUTO. Not only is it the most important national car museum in Italy, but Turin was the cradle and the industrial heart of the Italian car industry,” said Piero Mancardi, CEO of Touring Superleggera.
Mancardi has been overseeing the company’s fortunes since it turned its attentions from designing mass-production models – Touring’s last production car design commission was the quixotic Jensen Interceptor – to creating truly bespoke commissions for the most demanding of car collecting clients and creating cutting-edge concepts for the likes of Mini and Maserati.
But times and technological processes have changed over the automobile’s first 130 years, with design and development moving in-house. What the exhibition, co-curated with MAUTO itself, aims to show, is how much influence a single coachbuilder has had on the appearance of cars over that 130 years, particularly those of Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati.
“MAUTO is pleased with having participated in the development of this exhibition which, following the museum’s guidelines and applying a tutorial approach, develops the theme of creativity and its evolution in car design,” said MAUTO’s director, Rodolfo Gaffino Rossi.
The very first Lamborghini, the 1963 350 GT was a Touring design, as was the Aston Martin DB5, the most iconic British car in history, thanks to James Bond. Between 1948 and 1953 the firm designed five Ferraris, and undertook most of the marque’s production including for the 166 MM Barchetta, the vehicle that in 1949 laid the foundation on which the Ferrari legend was built (pictured top).
And all of these iconic cars will be present as part of the exhibition, as will a 1956 Maserati 3500 GT, a 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport and a 1939 BMW 328 Berlinetta Aerodinamica Touring.
“We chose to showcase Touring Superleggera’s design progress through a series of cars which we feel best represent our capability in adapting to the evolution of the automobile industry in rolling chassis, materials and production techniques, often allowing us to dictate new styles and trends ahead of their times,” said Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design.
And that’s why the final elements of the show will consist of the company’s latest designs including the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring which has been turning heads and emptying wallets since making its debut at the 2013 Geneva motor show.
“Touring Superleggera: Ninety Years of Forward-Looking Elegance” runs until November 20 at MAUTO, Turin, Italy. More images of the iconic Touring Superleggera cars follow below: