Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale /// #CarrozzieriItaliani Issue 2
Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale
Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale was established in 1948 at Via Cigliano, Turin by Alfredo Vignale.
The first work of Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale, also known as simply Vignale was a body made in 1948 based on the Fiat 500 Topolino which was shortly after followed by a special Fiat 1100.
Most customers of Vignale were Italian firms, to name a few: Cisitalia, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati, Lancia.
In 1952, Vignale collaborated with Briggs Cunningham to produce the Continental C-3.
Vignale designed and built cars, usually in low volume variants of the main production cars. Amongst them were 850, Samantha, Eveline and the Vignale Gamine, based on the Fiat 500.
In 1953, Vignale built for Ferrari one of it’s most amazing pieces yet, the exquisite Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe Vignale.
The economic forces of the late sixties appeared in the end too strong for small coachbuilders like Vignale. The relatively small scale production, quite labour intensive even for that time, made Vignale cars too expensive to attract the large production needed to survive. Alfredo Vignale had to give up and sold the firm to De Tomaso who used the premises to accommodate Ghia’s production of the Pantera.
Alfredo Vignale’s end came also too soon: three days after the sale he was killed in a car crash…
Carrozzeria Vignale and Ghia were sold to Ford in 1973, but after some not so great looking vehicles, the Vignale brand was discontinued.
In September 2013, Ford Europe announced plans to resurrect the Vignale name as an upscale luxury sub-brand of Ford. The cars will be visually distinct from regular Ford products and have an improved dealership experience. Exclusive services, such as free lifetime car washes, will be offered as well. The first Ford model that received the Vignale name was a luxury version of the Mondeo.
It’s pretty sad to see a small exquisite coachbuilder reduced to silence by a big company, but you know the saying… what’s beautiful won’t last forever.
From the following, what Italian Coachbuilder would you like me to cover next time?
1) Carrozzeria Bertone
2) Carrozzeria Ghia
If you want to see more Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale creations check source (2).