How did the Italian culture influence the ideation of exceptional world class sports cars, and how come Italians still dominate the world of auto designs till date?
Italians, as a culture, seem to value aesthetics as much or more than most cultures. They appreciate the lines, they seem to have a deeper understanding of contours in design, maybe their winding roads and topography contributed to this mental acuity.
They love the sounds and feel that make a super car what it is. They also have a long history in racing, particularly Formula 1, and racing is intertwined with sports car (and super car) development. They seem to have had a headstart before everybody and they never let up.
Their first car which was a tiny whizzy being that seem destined for the speed lane was manufactured in 1899 by a company known as Fabrica Italiana Automobili Torino which is the full meaning of FIAT.
Speaking on the debate on the growing influence of American super cars; Michael Pucciarelli, Vice Chairman of Casa Belvedere’s Board of Directors has this to say.
“It’s pretty much pointless to compare Italian and American sports cars. It is like comparing hamburgers to a proper Pasta Bolognese. They’ll both fill you up, but one is fast food and the other is a dinning experience”
“To Italians, cars are no different than fashion, food, art, women or architecture. It is all part of our culture. It expresses a deep passion for perfection, beauty, timeless elegance, and exquisite quality”
Mr. Pucciarelli has in his home garage, 11 Ferraris, an Alfa Romeo, a Maserati, and three Fiats; he currently has a Ferrari Maranello and a Fiat 500.
In 1925, Gabriele D’annunzio extolling the beauty of the FIAT 509, compared it to a woman if stunning beauty for its grace, slenderness and ability to scale through rough terrains effortlessly.
D’Annunzio who declared himself to be Italy’s greatest poet after Dante was a man, unflaggingly conscious of his image to the point of preposterous vanity. He wrote to the newspapers giving news of his own tragic death following a fall from a horse in advance of the release of his first publication, just to drum up publicity.
As their cars have different characters, so are the people.