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Automotoretrò Turin 3- 5 February 2017

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by shaun » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:55 pm

To round off the Interceptor/FF 50th anniversary and start the season off, two Vignale cars are to be displayed at Automotoretrò 3rd – 5th February at Lingotto Fiere in Turin. This is the Italian equivalent of the NEC Classic Car Show.

The intention is to recreate in part the Vignale stand at the 1966 Turin motor show when the first left hand drive Interceptor (chassis 117/2500) was displayed.

Hopefully w will have a visit by a panel beater who actually made the panels on the cars on display and take HEA1D both on the roof of the Lingotto and back to the former Vignale factory.

I have just sealed up the third packing case of display material to get shipped out next week.

Many thanks to both the JOC and Cropredy Bridge Garage for their generous assistance with this project.

For more information see http://www.automotoretro.it/
Shaun Winfield
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by Chris_R » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:09 pm

Thursday 2nd February.

We have arrived in Turin, at the Lingotto again. The two Vignale cars mentioned by Shaun are HEA 1D, the first Interceptor and FF006. They both arrived by transporter yesterday.
The first part of the day, HEA 1D was driven to the old rooftop test track for photographs, some may recognise this scene:
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After that, it would not really be possible to come all this way with a true return to where it was built and our Italian friend Alberto from the Turin 2016 trip had again helped us and set up a visit to the old Vignale factory where HEA 1D was posed for more photographs. Our host at the Vignale factory very kindly offered a permanent parking space in his private museum and said he would be very happy to take HEA 1D off our hands to save us the trouble of transporting it all the way back to England.
HEA 1D pictured here with Shaun, myself and Omar Bochicchio (our host) at the old Vignale factory.
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Unfortunately for him the car had another appointment later that day at the Automotoretro event in the Lingotto Fiere and so we declined his offer and drove it back to the Lingotto where the Jensen display stand was to be setup in the show.
Some hours later the stand was completed:
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The Jensen and Vignale light boxes are reminiscent of a similar stand by Vignale at the 1967 Turin motor show where Vignale had 2 boxes on the corner of their stand with the Jensen Nova in behind. We had one made as a facsimile of the Vignale and then a matching one with the Jensen name. These form the corner point of our stand with HEA 1D tucked in behind. On top of the boxes are copies of the original Vignale leaflet from the 1966 Turin motor show where the Jensen Interceptor was introduced by Vignale in Turin.
We need here to say thank you to Cropredy Bridge Garage for sponsoring the entire event including of course transporting the cars here and arranging for the special manufacture of the light boxes.
Automotoretro opens to the public Friday 3rd February at 10am.
Chris
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by Jens » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:58 pm

Hey boys, looks like you're having fun in Torino again 8)

Well done chaps.

FF 006 looks a bit pre-original (or is it alternative original nowadays?).
In order of appearance:

C-V8 Mk III 112/2432
541 S 102/1035
FF MkII 127/243
Healey Mk II 1140/14406
Jensen GT 1610/30257
C-V8 Mk III 112/2326
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by RockyUSA » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:25 am

The Vignale panel-beater will have it finished by the end of the weekend!


Looks like a super fun time!

Rocky
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by cannonball » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:32 pm

Nice one guys well done Cropredy
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by Chris_R » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:02 pm

Friday and Saturday have been fascinating days meeting many people very interested in cars and surprising with their knowledge of Jensens.
One guy on Friday walked round HEA 1D and pointed at different parts and said things like Lancia Flavia Coupe Pininfarina or Lancia Fulvia Sedan - just by looking he knew what other car they were used on!
Another guy came on to our stand who worked for Vignale for one year, he had fitted the glass to the car and said the big rear window was very difficult to fit! I told him it still is difficult to fit today!
Saturday was another fascinating day.
In the morning Mr Romano Sola walked onto our stand. This had been pre-arranged and he came to Automotoretro as our guest. Mr Romano Sola was involved in making the original Interceptors at Vignale. He was a "metal basher" working for a sub-contractor of Vignale and he was responsible for making the sweeping rear of the car, the rear quarter panels and the rear panel of the car.
Mr Romano Sola pictured here in front of our Turin 2016 display:
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And later in the driving seat of HEA 1D:
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And with his family that came with him:
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Later in the day, a man rushed excitedly onto the stand saying "Vignale! Vignale! Me Vignale!" and indicating the engine bay of HEA 1D and the electrics. This was Costanzo Orazio, he worked for Vignale and did all the electrical wiring of the Vignale built Interceptors and FFs. That was his job.
Pictured here is Costanzo in HEA 1D:
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We wait to see what tomorrow will bring.
Chris
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by Grant » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:19 pm

What a Lovely Experience for you both Chris&Shawn ... You deserve it after all the hard work you done for the trip out there previously in the cars ... Mind you ... wished you sent me an invite!! :P
Enjoy your stay and what a lovely thing to meet all those Gentlemen that were actually invloved back in the day :wink: , you enjoy your time there :wink:
With my kind regards
Grant :)
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by RockyUSA » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:44 am

That is great.

What an experience to hook up with these guys from the days of yore.

Please post up the videos of you guys doing burn-outs and doughnuts in the parking lot with HEA 1D after the show is over. (Do you guys in the UK do doughnuts, or do you call them something else - crullers?)

Rocky

PS> Here is a (Police) Interceptor doing a doughnut, in case you are unsure of what I am talking about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSvtxzP_ZyE
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by PaulMcElhinney » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:20 am

What an amazing fact finding trip, wonderful.
Paul McElhinney - Mk I 115/3309 in Positano yellow, FF Mk II 127/289.
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by Chris_R » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:29 pm

On Sunday morning, Shaun and I were visited by the De Virgilio brothers, Giovanni and Luigi. Another family with a very close connection to the Italian motor industry. Their father was Francesco De Virgilio and he worked for Lancia and was responsible for the creation of the first V6 engine that was fitted in the Lancia Aurelia. Later he went on to Ferrari and was involved with the creation of the Dino V6. Their mother was the daughter of Mr Lancia, Vincenzo Lancia, who founded the Lancia company.

Later in the day, a group of 3 ex-Touring employees also visited. Unfortunately they didn't speak English and our Italian was very limited so communication was difficult but we did have a picture of the original Touring design on our display which we showed to them and that was interesting for them. Also, a lady came by and again, Italian/English was difficult, but her father worked for Vignale and she was also quite excited by seeing us there.

The copy of the original Vignale 1966 Turin motor show document created a lot of interest, as did the FF which while being in, as Jens put it, an 'alternative original' condition was great because people could see the bare bones of the car and many were surprised to learn about the place the Jensen FF has in automotive history being as it is the first 4-WD car with a form of ABS. More than a few couldn't believe it was done in 1966 but we had all the evidence both in English and in Italian to convince them. And it was fun. I even managed to learn a bit of Italian along the way to explain e.g. differenziale anteriore, differenziale posteriore, il prima Interceptor, il prima macchina del monde con quatro ruote motrici (1st car in the world with 4WD), il motore e sei punti tre litro, trecento trenta cavalla and so on :P :P

Later as well we were visited by an Italian JOC member. He'd seen the Automotoretro website just a few days earlier and has recently joined the JOC and the forum and drove the 400km to Turin to visit. Turns out he has the second production LHD Mk2 Interceptor, chassis 125/5002 ex-factory 8th November 1969. This was the "EC Motor Show" car according to the Chassis Data book (anyone know what the "EC Motor Show" was? Is this an abbreviation for Earls Court or for EEC? If Earls Court strange that Jensen displayed an LHD Interceptor in London?)
Originally exported to Austria and has been in his family for decades, first as his grandfather's car and now his.
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One of the things that has always puzzled me was how Vignale were able to get from the C-V8 to a (almost) finished Interceptor in such a short time especially for some of the more complex items such as that spectacular rear window glass, all the components for the front screen including the rubbers etc. making the stainless steel trim parts for the rear window, making the dashboard and so on. Drawings have to be done, moulds have to be made and then the item has to be made. How was it all achieved so quickly?
Talking to people at the show, Mr Vignale had a very high reputation in the local business community, helped by the fact he always paid his invoices quickly, in and around Turin there were literally dozens and dozens, maybe even hundreds, of smaller workshops all of whom specialised in metal and other works for the car industry and it seems that doing things like that rear window and some of the other apparently more complex items on the Interceptor project would have been the easy part of the project! He only had to phone the glass maker and they would do the glass for him in next to no time. Quite likely much of the prototype Interceptor and also the first few Interceptors and FFs was actually made in various sub-contractor workshops scattered around Turin and only brought together and assembled by Vignale! We already now know that the panelwork was sub-contracted out, we met the guy who did it!
At the time, this was the normal practice by these coachbuilders of which there were dozens. For example, the bodywork for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta by Bertone was actually bashed out (no English wheels here) in at least half a dozen different workshops. In the '50s a lot of these metal bashers had started work at Lancia and then moved on to companies like Vignale, Bertone, Ghia and others or to other specialist workshops where the pay was better!
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by Chris_R » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:42 pm

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And if anyone fancies this beauty, I have the sellers phone number. 1961 Maserati 3500 GT by Carrozzeria Touring. Price on application!
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by Chris_R » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:46 pm

Or this Fiat 2300S by Ghia:
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by Chris_R » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:47 pm

And for fun, a stretch Fiat 500!
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by shaun » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:56 pm

Few more photos
Attachments
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Shaun Winfield
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by Chris_R » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:06 pm

What car is this challenge...
Name the first car of Shaun's sequence of pictures, the creamy white one.
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