The first body on a Fiat 500 base was made in 1948, followed by a special Fiat 1100. Most customers were Italian firms such as Cisitalia, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Maserati and Lancia. In 1968, Vignale designed the body of Tatra T613. Vignale designed and built cars, usually low volume variants of the main production cars of these automobile manufacturers.
A close cooperation was maintained with Michelotti. Vignale was taken over by Ghia in 1969 and ceased to exist in 1974. Aston Martin produced a concept car called the Lagonda Vignale at the 1993 Geneva motor show. Aston are owned by Ford who in turn also own Ghia which is how the name came to be revived.
1952 Fiat 8V Demon Rouge Vignale
This remarkable car was conceived when both the Vignale firm and Michelotti were at the beginning of their careers and meant to be a showcase at concourses and car shows. At the time it was extremely modern with a compact streamlined body, tail fins, panoramic windows in the front and the rear (complete with visor) and a transparent roof section. It incorporated a wide number of fresh and original design cues which found their way into production cars for decades to come. As a whole however it was a bit too wild and unbalanced for easy appreciation by the public. A few years later therefore Vignale presented a new Demon Rouge coupe with more traditional lines, especially at the rear section. In retrospect however the original Demon Rouge is regarded as one of the highlights in the works of both Vignale and Michelotti, which is abundant.
The car itself these days is a well-known museum piece and shown regularly at classic car shows around the world. Source
|Aka||Fiat 500 Gamine Vignale|
|Engine||499.5 cc Fiat 2 cylinder]]|
300 built (estimate)
|Wheelbase||1,840 mm (72 in)|
|Length||3,020 mm (119 in)|
|Width||1,300 mm (51 in)|
|Height||1,190 mm (47 in)|
|Transmission||4 speed manual|
The Vignale Gamine is a small rear-engined car produced by Carozzeria Vignale from 1967 to 1971, based on the Fiat 500, also known as Nuova 500. Unlike the 500, however, the Gamine had an open-top Roadster structure and only two seats. Styling was by Alfredo Vignale. The Gamine is sometimes related in design to the Fiat 508 Balila. A hard-top was offered at an extra cost, and is considered these days to be quite rare.
It was powered by a 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine of 499.5 cc from the Fiat 500 sport, the sporty version of the 500, and an engine later to be offered on the 500F. There was only one engine version produced 21.5 PS (15.8 kW; 21.2 bhp). A top speed of 97 km/h (60 mph) was claimed according to official data.
The Gamine was Alfredo Vignale's baby project, but while design was fairly cute, the performance was lackluster even for the times. A high price, mediocre handling and versatility, meant that the Gamine never sold very well. In fact, the slow sales drove Carrozzeria Vignale out of business, forcing Alfredo Vignale to sell his production line to De Tomaso, which manufactured there the Pantera sports car.
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