Junior (Fabbrica Torinese Automobili) was founded in 1904 as stated in the chronicles a posteriori, or, in the "mare magnum" of companies that sprang up like magic between 1904 and 1907, maybe quoted before we have a factory, workers, a project to work (not to mention a market), including the Junior proved one of the many financial speculation of the period, intended to end up like a soap bubble?
The question is the actual existence of this company, as an act of foundation, magazines and old documents, there is no trace. "Auto" in 1904 stands out from the earliest records, publicity of the 'Fabbrica di Automobili G.G.F.lli Ceirano', the company formed between Giovanni and Giovanni Battista Ceirano. The car proposal was, of course, "simple and practical, economically secure, and came in two engines options from 9 and 12 HP. The Ceirano brothers Classic Cars had been addressed (see the history of Rapid), and therefore already know about these four Ceirano brothers, thanks to their "exuberance" entrepreneurial vitality to their bickering and brought to life eleven different car factories, over the years between 1898 and 1919. Some of these had very short life, others, like Italy, became so important to ask the only real rival to the Fiat, little is known of others, and others acquired a role as the Spa in the field of heavy vehicles. But all still left a mark, and throughout the Ceirano may be considered not only the pioneers but the true founding fathers of the Italian automotive industry.
They did not know of it. They simply live day by day their passion for mechanics and car, locked in their dreams and their projects, more similar to each other than they were willing to admit, and perhaps for this reason unable to get along with each other, as well as with the outside world. This perhaps explains why many of the businesses created: they made and unmade societies, workshops and factories with the same ease and lightness with which you move house, while being the only and only creators of what they were doing. To increase the confusion, he helped the poor of their fancy names. Father, a watchmaker, named Giovanni, the eldest of his children, born in 1860 (and died in 1912). To distinguish it from his father was called Giovanni the Baptist, especially since you also decided to call Giovanni the second (1865-1948). The third is the power to baptize Matthew (1870-1941), and the fourth was Ernest (born 1875), the only occupy a very small car (we find him as head of the Assembly ", the" factory of cycles cars and cars Giovanni Ceirano, founded in Turin Corso Vittorio Emanuele 9 in 1898, so it is not more talk.) Because Giovanni seemed few, it was decided to use this name for the son of Giovanni (1889-1956) and since no one wanted to confusion (they were children of a watchmaker, after all) gave him the nickname of Ernest.
The first was to begin, as is proper, the oldest, Giovanni, founded in the autumn of 1898 when its limited partnership "for the exploitation of patents Eng. Faccioli ", had already made a reputation by building popular bicycles, Welleyes. This company allowed the Ceirano and eng. Faccioli, an excellent technician who was specializing in gasoline engines, to join leading figures from the aristocratic world of Turin, as Emmanuel Bricherasio Cesare Goria Gatti, Pietro Fenoglio and Attilio Caligaris, intrigued by the new means of locomotion is willing to risk on something of their substantial fortunes. The experiment succeeded because through their capital Ceirano Faccioli and were able, within six months, to make a first small car, dubbed Welleyes (Ceirano apparently in the family "repetita Juvante), equipped with a rear engine with two cylinders, water-cooled, three horsepower. A small car, though: who liked it so much that the four lenders ... decided to take the leap. They joined other donors, and founded on 11 July 1899 a company by the name of "Italian Car Factory Torino, which bought block after fifteen days, for thirty thousand lire, plant, equipment, patents and even the staff of the Ceirano & C ., not to project the vehicle. She was born Fiat.
Ceirano was appointed sole agent for the sale of Fiat cars, but held out little company no longer hers. In 1901 he went to found with his brother Matthew F.lli Ceirano , whose lives are so short that in 1903 was put into liquidation. Matthew, alone, went to be the "Limited Partnership Matthew Ceirano, the Italian future (see vintage cars in March 2004), and Giovanni the Baptist, without being discouraged, he founded together with another brother (somebody who himself is 'was always) "GG Ceirano, who built vetturelle derived directly from the famous model Populaire De Dion & Bouton, enough to be marketed under the name" People's Car ". Got bored quickly, though, and then opted for a new company, Company Cars Rapid Torinese, perhaps with his brother Giovanni, maybe not, the fact is that these, in 1904, thought it well to establish the "Ceirano junior, perhaps to distinguish by Major. The year after Matthew, Italy tired, he retired to join Michele Ansaldi and give life to Ceirano-Ansaldi, short-lived and disappeared in 1906, giving way to the SPA, the Company Piemontese Automobili. Even Giovanni, however, he tired easily of its businesses in 1906, leaving the junior, founded the SCAT (Società Ceirano Automobili Torino).
All this happened in just eight years since the three brothers had decided to make the car...
The Ceirano G. Junior, founded as seen by Giovanni, attended with a beautiful stand-style liberty in the second exhibition of Automobili Torino (February 1905), showing two chassis, a single cylinder engine (9.5 HP) and a twin (12-14 HP). It was refined by the construction types: shaft drive, honeycomb radiator, change at four forward gears and reverse, brakes on rear wheels and motor shaft. The Ceirano also built a four-cylinder type, 16-20 HP, as telling the magazine "The Automobile" in February 1905. In describing the new brand, it said: "It 's this a new car factory in Turin established and directed by a member of the family Ceirano note that the automobile industry has made it almost an apostolate. The main purpose of this new factory is not to build machines powerful and fast, but to give motorists a type of car economy, perfect and smooth operation. For the tourist, who does not want to make the big tourism, cars need a robust and simple that not having a speed that it has a very great ease of operation and repair and present the least possible Pannes boring. " These words echoed the aspiration (the Italian market that lasted until the mid-fifties) to make a car affordable by all for a service "utility." A year later, became the Ceirano Junior Junior Car Factory Turin, capital of 500,000 pounds. The new foundation was necessary because Ceirano had announced his intention to leave? Or had nothing to do will also have access to the stock market?
The moment, in fact, was more than gracious. In 1904, the automotive capital of anonymous no more than eight million pounds, equal to one-thirteenth of the global industry, estimated at one hundred million. In 1905 the increase was such as to record 41 million invested, which doubled the following year. If you were born in 1904 six new car factories, between 1905 and 1906 were founded over 40. In memory of the publication issued as an album IV International Exhibition of Cars of Turin, held in 1907, the journalist Marenco is a census of Italian automotive sector and its related companies, estimated at 111, including car manufacturers themselves, body shops, garages, factories tires, ball bearings, lights, wheels, radiators, brakes etc.. The total nominal capital of this sector is estimated at 122 million pounds, while the actual (July 1906) to about 250 million. Both were heavier because the effects of the crisis that originated in the U.S., fell like a dark area on the Italian automaker since the early months of 1907: a sector still weak, overestimated without strong roots in a solid economic base. In mid-January of 1907 the actual capital had already slipped to 152 million, a decrease of about one third of the total value. And the crisis was only the beginning.
Junior had also participated in the "party" stock: its shares, issued at 25 pounds, between late 1906 and early 1907 had reached 40 pounds. Workers themselves perceived a daily wage averaged 3.20 pounds, the highest in the period. The prospects seemed good in fact: the production, which continued with De Dion engine models, for one, two and four cylinder seemed to be well received in public. So at least says "The Automobile", bringing the prices of December 1905, curiously in francs, which were sold chassis: 5,000 francs to 9.5 hp, 7500 francs for 12-14 HP. Type with 4 cylinders, presented as the flagship model of production 1906, was cited in an unusual characteristic: the transmission chain. All companies passed by the model with chain drive to the one with shaft drive and Italy, which applied the universal joint from its first racing cars too, awoke feeling. The Junior did just the opposite, but not the only thing that strikes. There is also a mysterious sentence which ends with the analysis of the 'car', which says: "It has to start mass production as soon as a great new company will have rounded the capital already important and ambitious projects enlarged the house in preparing the future of the young and talented engineer Negro. " What company are you talking about? In December 1906, in the usual year-end analysis, the magazine does not speak of a capital increase, but cites the entry into production of the new touring model, the 28-40 hp, 4 cylinder. Also indicates the success of the brand across borders, particularly those achieved in England. Around Lynsmouth, a town in southern England, there was a rise particularly famous for being half of the most prominent gentlemen drivers, who tries his hand in his bid several times, without success. Once you managed to overcome it, with a 40-hp Napier and a Mercedes as of 40 hp. But it had to even make the first part in reverse, because it was the only way to overcome a rise of 33%. Thus aroused a great eco firm of Baron Guy De Martino, known sportsman and member of the Turin, which with a 18 hp Junior managed to make the arduous journey September 5, 1906, three times, facing a stunned audience, the first and second time with two people aboard, even the third with four. He became the company's time and talked about all the papers. De Martino, among others, continued his sporting achievements with Junior, also participating in the Targa Florio that same year, where he would surely come to a better placement if a failure of a wheel had not eliminated *.
A year later, in late October of 1907, the market value of the entire Italian automotive industry had fallen further to 28 million pounds, with an overall drop of 78% bonds. It was a huge blow to the thousands of people who worked in Turin area: five thousand, among workers directly employed by manufacturing companies el'indotto automaker. It was an equally hard blow for all inexperienced and speculators who had helped with artificially inflate the bag, ensnared by "manufacturers companies which still had to buy the land on which it built the plant, guarded by workers still waiting to rustic work, directed by engineers who still studying at school, thanks to which workers and engineers, machines and factories and land future cars would be manufactured brands of cars not yet proven, "according to the now famous description of Luigi Einaudi.
Most car companies reacted to the storm often risky financial decisions. Recourse to the banks was often impractical because, against a demand of a sudden azzeratasi, banks were not willing to open credits to offset the substantial operating losses. Some brands put frames on the market at very low prices, absolutely not profitable, some are warehouses full of unsold models now unsaleable and for the rapid evolution of the car of those years, others are passed out for participation in international exhibitions and the carnet of rinsanguare orders. Weighed in the balance sheets for many companies, the voice of depreciation of the new plants that were taken to build the wake of a question that seemed a clear and unstoppable rise. In 1906 Junior was also fall into this trap by purchasing the premises Peugeot Croizat in Corso Massimo d'Azeglio. It was mainly because of this that the capital investment, which at the time of reestablishment of 1905 was 500,000 pounds, was increased to 1 million pounds, to coincide with the release of the founder by the Ceirano. In the months following the leadership of Junior seemed not to try to take account of market developments and, perhaps to resume soon instead, tried to push ahead with modernization of the machinery. So it was that even in the summer of 1907, to become shaky budgets and with no hope of access to bank financing, we continued to buy cars six type lathes manufactured by Norton Zimmermann Chemnitz and a drill by the American vendutole Piedmont Lavin Rampone for a total expenditure of 15,000 pounds. He persevered even in the way of sporting success, a spotlight advertising priceless (if things went well). The most striking result was that achieved in March 1907, at the meeting in Verona. The junior led by Tocanier Tolotti and managed to win several races with four first prizes, including the Automobile Club Cup Veneto, and the gold medal of the Automobile Club of Milan for the fastest time overall category of tourists. "This is indeed a splendid achievement for the young and enterprising brand Turin! Could not be better than this debut, "said" The Automobile ". Were hired in the months after two other riders, Tamagni and Pigeons, which were to form team "along with other well-known runner," warned the sports press. In April, the brand took part in the Targa Florio, with De Martino, who had bad luck as we have seen, and Grêmio, came 16th. In September the Junior, with Tamagni, Piccioni and Bruno (well-known that he was the pilot?), He enrolled in the Florio Cup 1st September, but the results were not likely to leave their mark. The best time fell to Pigeons, twelfth.
He started in the field, however, another strategy: the merger with other companies in order to practice cost synergies of production and promotion. In those months began contacts with Max Turkheimer, founder, managing director and general manager of OTAVA - Workshops for cars and cycles Turkheimer - Milan. Writes "Cars of Italy" in special issue dedicated to the 1907 Milan Show: "The beautiful lines of the vigorous program of workshops by Lambro (Milan, ed) are a superb complement in the merger that has just made OTAVA glue Young but still brave the Torino Junior, whose recent successes of Verona, in a vigorous international competition, established a strong reputation and secure. So nice to carts, motorcycles and cycles Turkheimer, a now ancient and glorious reputation ... will join the powerful and stylish cars to coaches and cities like Junior. " These last words obscures the substance of the agreement between the two brands: a division of the market leaving a free hand in the Otava carts with small engines, where the Milanese brand had already gained great experience while Junior would continue to produce mid-range cars. The advantage is a cost-sharing for the sales organization and advertising campaigns. The project was, on paper, far from being poorly studied because OTAVA, founded in 1905, had already made a reputation by building a vetturella 5.5 HP single cylinder, she wanted to become a popular vehicle for all. The agreement was sealed with the opening of a London branch of the cars for sale overseas brand Junior Otava. It remains a testimony slender catalog, on which stands the inscription "junior models for 1908. Manufactured by the Officine Turkheimer, Milan and Turin. The car in the catalog was a 4 cylinder 30-40 HP, sold at 650 pounds the frame only £ 750 if carriage "Standard Side entrance body (body side entry). Unfortunately it did not work. On December 28 of that same 1907 Ordinary Meeting of Otava had observed a net loss of 442,840 pounds "because the crisis in the automotive industry, not only in Italy but also abroad, due to overproduction and subsequent arrest of sales. Besides that they also influenced the huge costs in the company rose to £ 689,071. It was the first time that the accounts closed in red: only twelve months, net income was of 60,093 pounds, with a dividend of 7% to shareholders. To cope with the situation, the Board "has done so gradual abandonment of automotive production and development of production cycles, accessories and industrial engines." It was therefore a return to the original production of Max Turkheimer, who had become known in the industry for its production of bicycles, with whom he also won a contract army. But was not the only decision. "It (the Board - Ed) has closed its plant in Turin, has cut staff and reduce again, according to the needs of the company and finally vetoed the costs are not strictly necessary, that were required by the special character automotive industry. " Was the establishment of the Junior to which announced the closure? Probably yes, even if things did not occurred as quickly as they were announced with. It seems to promote agreement between Junior and Otava was the Milanese Federico Momo, owner of the recently formed Momo F. & C., which took in those months representing the Junior Lombardy and Veneto, and was able to simultaneously to own a stake of Otava. Given the failure of his initiative, Momo decided to take over the whole Junior in hopes of a revival of the market. On Sports Press in January 1909, we read: "The famous company from Milan F. Momo & Co., formerly a dealer for Junior brand of cars, we announced that following the purchase made of all material and equipment factory in Turin he became sole owner and will continue manufacturing at its factory, bought in Milan, by Vigenatese 133, reserving the right to submit as soon as their types 1909. " None of this happened: simply, Junior disappeared from the scene. Source
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