Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera is an Italian automobile coachbuilder. Originally established in Milan in 1925, Carrozzeria Touring became well known for both the beauty of its designs and patented superleggera construction methods.[1] The business folded in 1966. In 2006 its brands and trademarks were purchased and a new firm established nearby to provide automotive design, engineering, coachbuilding, homologation services, non-automotive industrial design, and restoration of historic vehicles.

Carrozzeria Touring was established on 25 March 1926 by Felice Bianchi Anderloni (1882–1948) and Gaetano Ponzoni. After achieving success through the middle of the 20th century, the business began to decline as automobile manufacturers replaced body-on-frame automobile construction with monocoque design and increasingly took coachbuilding in-house.

After the original firm ceased production in 1966, Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni and Carrozzeria Marazzi preserved the "Touring Superleggera" trademark and used it on several occasions to support the company's heritage. The trademark was acquired by the current owner, a family business, which began conducting its activities in 2006 under the name Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l.; the new firm is headquartered nearby Milan, its hometown.

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l.
FateProduction ceased 1966
Production resumed 2008
PredecessorCarrozzeria Falco (owned by Vittorio Ascari, older brother of race driver Antonio)
FoundedMilan, Italy (March 25, 1926)
FounderFelice Bianchi Anderloni
Gaetano Ponzoni Vittorio Ascari
Terrazzano di Rho, Lombardy
Area served
ProductsBentley Continental Flying Star by Touring
Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring
Touring Berlinetta Lusso
Servicesautomotive design, coachbuilding, engineering, homologation, non-automotive industrial design, restoration of classic cars
Touring logo2
Original Carrozzeria Touring badge
Touring logo
Later badge design


Carrozzeria Falco becomes Carrozzeria Touring

Carrozzeria Touring traces its roots to the 1926 purchase of a controlling interest in the Milan-based coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Falco, by Milanese lawyers Felice Bianchi Anderloni (1882–1948) and Gaetano Ponzoni from Carrozeria Falco's founder, Vittorio Ascari. The new owners changed the name of the firm to Carrozzeria Touring. Bianchi Anderloni, a former test driver for Isotta Fraschini and Peugeot Italia employee, assumed styling and engineering duties while Ponzoni assumed responsibility for administration of the firms business activities.[2]

Early work

Carrozzeria Touring's location at Via Ludovico da Breme 65 placed the coachbuilder in close proximity to automobile manufacturers Alfa Romeo, Citroën and Isotta Fraschini. Predictably, Touring's first bodywork assignments were for chassis produced by these companies.[2]

Development of the Superleggera construction system

Bianchi Anderloni came to Touring more as an automobile designer than a car constructor, and learned the mechanics of the trade as the company progressed. The company licensed Charles Weymann's system of fabric-covered lightweight frames, a predecessor of their own Superleggera construction system. Touring hired Giuseppe Seregni, who previously collaborated with Bianchi Anderloni on the 1927 Isotta Fraschini 'Flying Star', as Carrozzeria Touring's first professional designer.

Touring's skills with light alloy and fabric-covered tubing forms brought commercial success in aircraft production in the 1930s, leading Bianchi Anderloni to develop the Superleggera construction system, patented in 1936. This "super lightweight" system consists of a structure of small diameter tubes to form the body's shape with thin alloy panels attached to cover and strengthen the framework. Aside from light weight, the Superleggera construction system gave great flexibility, allowing Touring to quickly construct innovative body shapes.

In 1937 at Mille Miglia, Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B was the first appearance of a Touring car built with the Superleggera system.

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia rear
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia from the Ralph Lauren collection

Prior to World War II, Touring gained fame for their Superleggera bodies, particularly those made for the Alfa Romes 8C 2900 and the BMW 328 chassis.

Post WWII activities

The company quickly re-energized after the war, with the Superleggera system widely licensed and copied. Felice Bianchi Anderloni died in 1948 and his son, Carlo Felice "Cici" Bianchi Anderloni, (1916–2003) took over management of the firm under the guidance of Ponzoni. The two would remain in charge of the firm until the company discontinued production in 1966.

Cici's first major project was to create a body for the Ferrari 166 Mille Miglia Touring barchetta, which debuted in 1948. Automotive design critic Robert Cumberford has referred to the body design for the 166 as "One of the most charismatic shapes ever." The egg-crate grill of the 166 became a signature Ferrari design element and is still in use by Ferrari today.[3]

Touring was particularly active late in the late 50s, with design and body production for the Pegaso Z-102, Alfa Romeo 1900 Super Sprint, Alfa Romeo 2600, Aston Martin DB4, Lancia Flaminia GT, Lamborghini 350, Lamborghini 400 GT and Maserati 3500 GT.

The Aston Martin DB4, the DB5 (famously driven by fictional character James Bond) and the DB6 were named after David Brown’s initials. He entrusted Touring Superleggera to design their next generation GT after the introduction of the successful DB2. The license agreement enabled Aston Martin to use the design and the Superleggera construction method at Newton Pagnell plant against a licence fee of £9 for each of the first 500 bodies and £ 5 for each further unit.

Contract manufacturing

Touring's fortunes began to decline as automobile manufacturers replaced body-on-frame construction with monocoque construction. The carmakers began to build their own bodies in their production lines. However, they were not able to produce less than a few thousand units yearly. Therefore, they decided to assign the body production to coachbuilders. This led coachbuilders to invest in additional manufacturing capacity. Once Touring Superleggera had the new plant in Nova Milanese completed, market fluctuation caused the loss of contractors. The company had to wind-up in 1966, although bankruptcy never occurred.


During the winding up, roughly the 80% of Touring Superleggera’s archives caught fire. Seeking to reestablish a record of the firm's production, Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni got in touch with every owner, creating the Touring Superleggera registry and leading it from 1995 on.

In 1995, he contributed to the revival of Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, serving as President of the Jury until his death in 2003. In his honor the show began to award the "Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni Memorial Trophy" to the most elegant car with a body by Touring.[4]

21st century

In 2006, a group of private investors specializing in high-end automotive makes, bought the brand and trademarks from the late owner. A newly created firm, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l. was established in Milan to provide automotive design, engineering, coachbuilding, homologation services, non-automotive industrial design, and restoration of historic vehicles.[5]

At the 2008 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, Touring debuted the Bellagio Fastback Touring, based on the Maserati Quattroporte and the A8 GCS Berlinetta Touring, a concept car powered by a Maserati drivetrain.[6] At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Touring Bentley Continental Flying Star premiered: a shooting-brake model based on the Bentley Continental GTC,[7] coach built in limited series, with the endorsement of Bentley.[8]

In 2011, it was followed by Gumpert Tornante by Touring,[9] a superfast Grand Tourer commissioned by the German sports car manufacturer.

' 2012 Geneva Motor Show - Disco Volante
Alfa Romeo Disco Volante at 2012 Geneva Motorshow

On the stage of 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Touring Superleggera showcased a static style model based on the space-frame chassis of the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. It was a tribute to the C52 Disco Volante, a racing car with Touring Superleggera designed body introduced in 1952. The name in Italian stands for “Flying Saucer”. It represents one of the most iconic cars of the history of automobile. The Disco Volante was very streamlined, windtunnel tested and with the body built on a tubular space frame. The C52 shocked the crowd for its utterly out-of-the-ordinary design, influencing the automobile design for decades.

The style model gave birth, in 2013 to the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring,[10] a bespoke car limited-series of eight units that won that year's Design Award at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este .

Revealed in 2014, MINI Superleggera™ Vision is a concept car created in collaboration with BMW Group. It is an electric roadster blending British style with the Italian coachbuilding tradition. Anders Warming, head of MINI design and Touring Superleggera merged their teams to explore new design languages for the British brand.[11][12]

The Touring Berlinetta Lusso appeared in 2015. It is a street legal 2-seater coupe featuring a three-volume form based on Ferrari F12berlinetta. Like all modern Touring Superleggera models, it combines hand-beaten aluminium panels with carbon fibre. The series will be built in 5 units. [13]

List of Touring cars

1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Mille Miglia Spyder 186635948
Touring bodied Alfa Romeo 6C2300B
BMW 328 Touring Coupé
BMW 328 Touring Coupé
Pegaso Z-102 white vr TCE
Pegaso Z-102 BS 3.2 Competition Touring Spyder (c.1952)
Maserati 5000GT
Maserati 5000 GT Scià di Persia (1959)


Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D’Este

  • Coppa d'Oro Villa D'Este - Isotta Fraschini 8B spider "Flying Star"
  • Gran Premio Referendum - Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider "Flying Star"

Concorso d'Eleganza di Genova Nervi

  • Premio Assoluto e Premio di Categoria - Isotta Fraschini 8B spider "Flying Star"

Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d’Oro Villa D’Este & Gran Premio Referendum – Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Coupé Spyder Touring

Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d’Oro Villa D'Este – Alfa Romeo 8C 2500 SS Coupé Touring

Concorso d'Eleganza di Stresa

  • Gran Premio d'Onore – 1953 Z102 Berlinetta "Thrill"

Concorso d'Eleganza di Stresa

  • Best of Show – 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Spyder

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Trophy A.C. Como - Best in Show by the Jury – 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d'Oro Villa D'Este – 1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport
  • Trophy A.C. Como - Best in Show by the Jury – 1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Best of class – 1960 Maserati 5000 GT Touring
  • Best of class – 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Touring Spyder

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Trophy BMW - Best in Show by the Jury – 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B MM

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d'Oro Villa D'Este – 1951 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS "Villa d’Este" Cabriolet Touring.
  • Trophy BMW Italia - 1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta Touring.

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Best of class – Ferrari 166 MM barchetta

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Trophy BMW Italia - 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Flying Star Touring

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Trophy BMW Group Best in show by the Jury - 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Berlinetta Touring.
  • Trophy Auto & Design - Pegaso Thrill

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Best of show - 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta

Festival Automobile International

  • Gran Prix de la Plus Belle Supercar de l’Année - 2008 A8GCS Berlinetta Touring.

Vuitton Classic

  • Best of show - 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Spyder Touring

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Coppa d'Oro Villa D'Este - 1938 Alfa Romeo, 8C 2900B
  • Trophy BMW Group Best in show by the Jury - 1938 Alfa Romeo, 8C 2900B

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Road & Track Trophy - 1949 Ferrari 166MM barchetta Touring.

Vuitton Classic

  • Classic Concours Awards - 1949 Ferrari 166MM Berlinetta

Vuitton Classic

  • Classic Concours Awards - 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

Salon Prive

  • Best of Show - 1950 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta

Windsor Castle Concours

  • Best of Show - 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  • Class M-2 Ferrari Competition - 1951 First Ferrari 212 Export Touring Berlinetta
  • Class O-2: Postwar Sports Closed 2nd - 1958 Pegaso Z-103 Touring Berlinetta
  • Class O-3: Postwar Sports Touring 2nd - 1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Touring Coupé
  • Special Awards: The Vitesse Elegance Trophy - 1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Touring Coupé

Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

  • Best in class Lamborghini - 1966 Lamborghini 350
  • Best in class Sports and GT Cars (1958-1962) - 1958 Pegaso Z-103 Touring Berlinetta
  • Best in class Sports and GT Cars (1963-1974) - 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible

Governor’s Cup at Elegance at Hershey

  • Best of Show - awarded to an unrestored 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Spider from the collection of Robert and Sandra Bahre of Alton, New Hampshire. The Carrozzeria Touring-bodied Superleggera Alfa, built on the short chassis, also won the Ciao Italy Award for Best Italian Pre-War car exhibited.

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes By Public Referendum at Villa Erba – 2013 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring
  • Class Winner Aston Martin – 1962 Aston Martin DB4 SS Saloon TouringClass
  • Class Winner Lamborghini - 1965 Lamborghini 350 GTS Spider Touring

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Mention of Honour class “Villa d’Este Style” - 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500ss Berlinetta Aerlux
  • ASI Trophy to the best preserved post war-car Hudson Italia Prototype H01

Concours d’Elegance Chantilly Arts & Elegance

  • Prix Richard Mille - 2013 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring
  • Les Années Design (les Concept-Cars 1960-1970 ) - Prix Le Point - 1966 Lamborghini Flying Star Touring II
  • Les Grandes Carrosseries Maserati - 1958 Prix Spécial N°1 - Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Touring (1958)

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este

  • Best of Show by Public Referendum at Villa d'Este, Coppa d’Oro Villa d'Este, BMW Group Trophy & Mention of Honor - 1949 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta Touring.


  1. ^ "Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl - Company - History". Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl website. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl. 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. ...the ‘Superleggera’ (Super lightweight) construction system was patented in 1936...
  2. ^ a b "Registro Internazionale Touring Superleggera - Body shop's History". Registro Internazionale Touring Superleggera website. Registro Touring Superleggera. 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. The Touring Body Shop was created at the beginning of 1926 when two lawyers, Felice Bianchi Anderloni and Gaetano Ponzoni, who were old friends, bought major shares of the Falco Body Shop, which belonged to Vittorio Ascar...
  3. ^ David N. Seielstad (2009). "The Little Boat That Made Ferrari". MSN Autos. Microsoft, courtesy of Pebble Beach Company. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. Cumberford...described as, 'One of the most charismatic shapes ever.'
  4. ^ Dott. Jean-Marc Droulers (2004). "Memorial Day of Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni". Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este website. BMW AG. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. He was the President of our Jury for a number of years...
  5. ^ "Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl - Company - Activities". Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl website. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera srl. 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-06-02. The Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera is a multifarious company that operates in four different areas. -Making of special custom-built bodies for private clients...
  6. ^ Heseltine, Richard (June 2008). "Touring Masers". Octane. United Kingdom. p. 26. Both projects were officially unveiled at May's Concorso d'Eleganza at Ville d'Este...
  7. ^ Baedeker, Jan (23 April 2010), "Bentley Continental Flying Star by Touring", Classic Driver, Zurich, Switzerland, archived from the original on 2015-07-24
  8. ^ "The Origins of the Bentley Continental Flying Star by Touring" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31. Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design
  9. ^ Whitcombe, Charis (28 February 2011), "Geneva 2011: Gumpert Tornante by Touring", Classic Driver, Zurich, Switzerland, archived from the original on 2015-07-24
  10. ^ Clarkson, Jeremy (broadcaster) (24 October 2014). Jeremy drives the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante (Series 21, Episode 4) (Television production). Passo Pordoi, Italy: Top Gear.
  11. ^ Pollard, Tim (24 June 2014), "Nine nuggets we learned when we drove the Mini Superleggera", CAR Magazine, Peterborough, England, archived from the original on 2015-07-24
  12. ^ Warming, Anders ; De Fabribeckers, Louis (24 May 2014). MINI Superleggera™ Vision - The Creative Process (Television production). Terrazzano di Rho, Italy: MINI (BMW Group), Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l.
  13. ^ Drinnon, Dale (May 2015), "Historical reinterpretation", Octane Magazine
  14. ^ Self, Mike (April 2015). "Detroit: A Mini Wonderland". Roundel. BMW Car Club of America: 89.
  15. ^ "Touring Superleggera Berlinetta Lusso". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  • Tavoletti, Giacomo (August 2004). Il signor Touring: Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni (in Italian and English). Automobilia. ISBN 978-88-7960-162-7.
  • Bianchi Anderloni, Carlo Felice; Anselmi, Angelo Tito (1982). Carrozzeria Touring (in Italian). Italy: Edizione di Autocritica. ASIN B0000EccO.
  • "An Important Maserati Sale". RM Auctions, Inc. 2003. Archived from the original on 2004-10-14. Retrieved 2010-05-31.

External links


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Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni

Carlo Felice Bianchi "Cici" Anderloni (7 April 1916 – 7 August 2003) was an Italian automobile designer, known for several designs for the Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera company.

After studying at the Politecnico di Milano he joined his father Felice Bianchi Anderloni (1882–1949) at his company Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera (1944) and subsequently led the design and production activities, after his father's death (1949). He was first involved in the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS coupe (1949) and the

Ferrari 166 S (in barchetta body). The company was discontinued (1966) and Anderloni joined Alfa Romeo as advisor and later, as designer. Later he was involved in the Associazione Italiana per la Storia dell'Automobile, was a frequently used judge at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este exhibitions, and led the Touring registry (1995-).

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Lamborghini Flying Star II

The Lamborghini Flying Star II (also named Lamborghini 400 GT Flying Star II) was a prototype concept car built by Carrozzeria Touring in 1966 on a Lamborghini front engine chassis. It debuted at the 1966 Turin Auto Show.In 1966, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera of Milan explored a new, and for those days very modern design concept. Their long relation with Lamborghini was celebrated with the unique Flying Star II, a fully functional prototype with surprising proportions. The car referred to the famous Touring Flying Stars of the prewar period; a.o. on Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Isotta Fraschini. It had an aluminum V12 engine, 5 speed transmission, fully independent suspension and disc brakes all around. The new design was for a strict two-seater with a very low and compact two-volume bodywork. It represented the ultimate machine for 2 people to travel fast in style and with luggage. This would be the last design to come out of Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, before the company was revived in 2006 and introduced the A8GCS Berlinetta Touring based on a Maserati drivetrain in 2008.

List of Alfa Romeo concept cars

The following are some of the concept cars that have been made by the Italian Alfa Romeo company.

Maserati 5000 GT

The Maserati 5000 GT also commonly known as The Shah of Persia (Italian: Scià di Persia) (1959–1965) is a 2-door coupé automobile, made by Maserati of Italy. A total of thirty-four were produced. In 2018, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera announced that the latest generation of Maserati GranTurismo-based Sciàdipersia will be produced for the amount of 15 vehicles (coupé and cabriolet combined).The first car in the Tipo 103 series was the Shah of Persia, delivered to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who had been impressed by the Maserati 3500. He commissioned Maserati's chief engineer Giulio Alfieri to use a slightly modified 5-litre engine from the Maserati 450S on the 3500GT's chassis. Carrozzeria Touring developed the superleggera tubing and aluminum body of the two-seater coupé. The second car, also a Shah of Persia by Touring, was displayed at Salone dell'automobile di Torino 1959.

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Superleggera (translation: "super light") is an automobile coachwork construction technology developed by Felice Bianchi Anderloni of Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. The company was located just north of Milan, near Alfa Romeo, Italian Citroën, and the former Isotta Fraschini plant. The first superleggera bodyworks were made for these companies.

Touring licensed Charles Weymann's system of fabric-covered lightweight frames, which led to Touring’s own superleggera construction.

Patented by Carrozzeria Touring in 1936, the superleggera system consists of a structural framework of small-diameter steel tubes that conform to an automobile body's shape and are covered by thin alloy body panels that strengthen the framework. Aside from light weight, the superleggera construction system allows great design and manufacturing flexibility, enabling coachbuilders to quickly construct innovative body shapes. The superleggera tubes were brazed to shape on a jig and the panels were then fitted over this. The panels are only attached at their edges, mostly by swaging the panel edges over angle-section strips on the steel framework. Most of the panel has no rigid or metal-to-metal contact with the framework, it merely rests on it, with the tubes wrapped in hessian or with a rubber spacer.The superleggera system was primarily based on the use of 'Duralumin', a material that originated in the Zeppelin industry prior to World War I. In England after World War II, the alloy Birmabright was used, as it was stiffer in thin sheets and more widely available.

The superleggera system is no longer used in high-volume automobile production for a number of reasons. Primarily, a superleggera body cannot meet modern impact resistance standards, and the cost of manufacture and galvanic corrosion between the aluminum body panels and the steel tubular frame are also prohibitive factors. Additionally, the frame tubes used to construct a superleggera body are too small and of unsuitable material for mounting suspension components, so a chassis is required, a disadvantage not found in spaceframe and other chassis systems. Car makers such as Bristol, which had aircraft industry experience, were more successful in countering galvanic corrosion than other manufacturers. Bristol introduced Superleggera construction on the Bristol 401 of 1948.Superleggera is a trademark owned by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera s.r.l., the modern incarnation of the firm that patented the system in 1936.

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