Celebrating the rich, deep partnership between the British car industry and Italian design, this book is packed with coachbuilt cars, design classics and concept cars from the 1920s to the current day.
The story starts with the early days of coachbuilt cars on separate chassis from illustrious marques like Bentley, Frazer Nash and Rolls-Royce, which were bodied by such Italian coachbuilders as Pinin Farina, Viotti and Zagato.
After World War Two came the golden era of coachbuilt cars, with Italian companies creating some of the world’s most beautiful shapes of all time on chassis from the likes of Aston Martin, Austin-Healey, Bristol, Jaguar, Jowett, MG, Riley and Rover.
Then came the era when Italian carrozzerie morphed into design houses, penning shapes for mass-produced cars like the BMC 1100/1300 and Triumph Herald, and crafting what are widely recognised to be some of the world’s most beautiful cars, such as the Aston Martin DB4, AC 428 and Lotus Esprit.
Finally, came the era of the ‘concept car’, with incredible show designs based on British marques such as Jaguars by Bertone, the BMC 1800 Berlina Aerodinamica by Pininfarina and Lotus by Italdesign.
This book reveals the full stories behind the intense, diverse, sometimes surprising and always fascinating links between British cars and Italian design: the characters, the deals, the designs and above all the cars themselves.
Over 40 British marques are included, from AC to Wolseley, and from major names like Jaguar down to smaller operations such as Jensen, TVR, Elva and Gordon-Keeble. These are matched by more than 40 Italian carrozzerie, from Allemano to Zagato.
As well as major collaborations – such as Pininfarina and BMC, Michelotti and Triumph, Touring and Aston Martin – myriad never-before-told stories of small operators really make this book special: the likes of Frua, Boano, Fissore, Monviso, Sibona-Basano and Schiaretti.
Richly illustrated with hundreds of period images, high-quality modern photography and dozens of sketches by the designers themselves – many never seen in print before – this is a book to relish for both lovers of design and enthusiasts of British and Italian cars.
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