Tag Archives: Carrozzeria

Who Said A Spider Couldn’t Fly ? – Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark II Touring Spider AM/300/1161

The Aston Martin DB2/4 launched in 1953 was a 2+2 hatchback based on the Aston Martin DB2 dating back to 1950.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II CT, Silverstone, Classic

In 1953 David Brown the owner of the marque sent several bare chassis to a variety of Italian styling houses and coach builders and presented the finished cars at the great motor shows of the day where orders were taken for limited production runs.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II CT, Silverstone, Classic

The Mark II DB4/2 was launched in 1956 with a 140 hp 3 litre / 183 cui straight six motor. Three of these new chassis were sent to Carrozzeria Touring to have flamboyant Spider bodies designed by Signor Formenti fitted.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II CT, Silverstone, Classic

Formenti’s design was a clean break from what had gone before with exceptionally clean lines for the period with unusual twin air scoops on the bonnet

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II CT, Silverstone, Classic

and further air scoops ahead of the rear wheels.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II CT, Silverstone, Classic

Sales of the vehicle did not materialise as expected after the first car, seen here at the recent Silverstone Classic, was displayed at the 1956 Turin Motor Show and the second car had appeared at the Paris Motor Show.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II CT, Silverstone, Classic

After it’s launch in Italy this particular vehicle was acquired by Associated Newspapers in London who ran a competition in the Daily Express in which the winner who could best sum up the drophead would take it home.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II CT, Silverstone, Classic

Mr Alexander Smith, entry “Who Said A Spider Couldn’t Fly ?” was adjudged the winner, and took the, then left hand drive, car home.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II CT, Silverstone, Classic

AM/300/1161 remained in England and was converted to right hand drive while the two remaining examples were sold to customers in the United States where they remain to this day.

Although the first collaboration between Aston Martin and Carrozzeria Touring was not an immediate success the two companies worked together on a long line of vehicles that included the DB4/2’s successors the DB4, DB5 and DB6.

Thanks for joining me on this twin air scoop edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Bristol’s big seller – Bristol 401

28 10 10 Erratum this blog was originally posted with pics I thought were of a Bristol 401 in good faith, however it has transpired thanks to Sinclairstinton & Geoffrey Hawkins at BOCForum@yahoogroups that the car pictured was in fact a Bristol 403.

Since the information posted on the 401 has proved useful and interesting to at least one Bristol owner I have decided to remove the original pictures from the text and write a new blog to cover the Bristol 403, and post new photo’s of 401’s kindly sourced from the archive of Teb Marius and taken by John Lomas. The original text remains with additions in italic :-

Source Teb Marius

Continuing the 100th anniversary of the Bristol aeroplane company todays vehicle is the Bristol 401, which took its styling direction from a prototype by Carrozzeria Touring in 1948. The big external change from the Bristol 400 was the addition of large side lights in the front wing and hidden door handles.

Source Teb Marius

Internally the BMW based 6 cylinder engine was upgraded from 80 to 85 hp with the use of improved carburettors.

Source Teb Marius

The 401 had a very low drag coefficient of the order of 0.36 comparable to many modern vehicles, which helped the vehicle reach 97.3 mph. Between 1948 and 1953 611 of these vehicles were built making it Bristol’s all time best seller !

The model was so popular that in 1955 Mr. and Mrs. Glasby in a Bristol 401 with a total of 1497 points won class B of the second Ndola Rally in Northern Rhodesia now known as Zambia.

Note: Teb did offer some photos of 401’s in concours condition however I am a huge fan of original patina and will always show vehicles on this blog with original patina over re sprayed vehicles where I have the choice.


Posted with kind permission of the copyright owner John Lomas.

As can be seen from the fabulous photo above the 401 (green closest to the camera) and 403 are almost indistinguishable if like me your not an expert, the 403 has a small chrome numeral badge to the rear of the bonnet, the bumper grill is chromed on the 403, there is a chrome numeral badge on the boot of the 403 and the roundel on the 403 Bristol badges are dark red as opposed to the orange on the 401.

Apologies for any confusion arising from my original post thanks to everyone who helped correct the error.

Thanks for popping by, wishing everyone a thriving Tuesday, don’t forget to come back now !


Killed by British Leyland – Italia 2000 GT

The Italia 2000 GT was an attempt by Commendator Salvador Ruffino to fuse the proven ‘reliability’ of British engineering and the the artistry of Italian coach builders.

The Italia 2000 GT was built around knock down Triumph TR3A kits, featuring a 100 hp 1991cc 121 cui 4 cylinder engine, that has similarities to the engine Standard supplied to Ferguson for use in tractors in 1945.

The TR3 from which all the mechanical components are supplied was one of the earliest production vehicles to feature Disc brakes behind the Crosley Hotshot and Citroen DS.

As this, non original (?), plate show’s only 349 Italia 2000’s were built, the original agreement was for Carrozzeria Vignale to build 1500 of these sports cars however when British Leyland bought Triumph in 1960 the management decided to stop supplying the knock down kits and opted to build the TR4 instead.

The design of the Italia was by Giovanni Michelotti who designed the Triumph TR4 that superseded the Italia.

The production of the Italia 2000 GT in Turin ran from 1959 to 1962.

Thanks for popping by, don’t forget to come back now ! 🙂