Book Review: Carrozzeria Viotti Torino
The book: Carrozzeria Viotti Torino
Author: Alessandro Sannia
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Innovative, stylish and technologically-advanced are three words that help capture the spirit of Carrozzeria Viotti during its active period. It was the result of the dreams and the aspirations of Vittorino Viotti, a young and enthusiastic entrepreneur, who quickly established himself among the most renowned coachbuilders of the pre-Second World War years.
For those who like discovering lost chapters of Italian automotive history, the book “Carrozzeria Viotti” by historian Alessandro Sannia is one that I strongly recommend.
Founded in Turin in 1921, Carrozzeria Viotti was mostly known for dressing Fiat chassis before and after WWII. But as every high-class coachbuilder of the era, customer individualism was top priority: Alfa Romeo and Lancia-based creations were made to a wide range of specifications, from saloons to racing roadsters.
What really set the company apart from other coachbuilders were the elegant, creative and advanced designs. One such design is the Cabriolet Quattro Trasformazioni, a revolutionary design that allowed a single car to be transformed from a standard saloon to a coupé de ville, landaulet or open torpedo bodywork.
Another feature typical of Viotti was the use of innovative materials, such as Clairalpax, a hybrid alloy and wood construction, allowing Viotti cars to be lighter (and therefore better-performing) than factory-bodied models.
Viotti was also a pioneer of outsourcing work to its suppliers. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, building expensive one-offs in small quantities was not going to keep the firm afloat. Its solution was to begin more standardized, quality-oriented, series production with external strategic partners—just like what you see today across many industries.
Efficient production alone doesn’t count for emotions and beautiful design. After all, Vittorino Viotti was Italian!
Teaming up with freelance designer Count Mario Revelli di Beaumont, the coachbuilder was able to blend unmatched classic styling with then-new streamlined design. By doing so, the company was able to build cars that were both more aerodynamically efficient and a successful series of production examples. Now, Revelli’s designs are celebrated in modern Concours d’Elegance thanks to their unique designs.
Covering all of this, Carrozzeria Viotti is a well-written historical book about one of the most celebrated pre-war Italian coachbuilding body shops that has been largely forgotten. Complete with excellent written and photographic documentation, it’s a welcome addition to any motoring library.
The book is proudly printed in Italy and is edited by “Il Cammello”.
Purchase Carrozzeria Viotti Torino.