Brian Joss – FCA Heritage will be taking part in Rétromobile 2020, one of the most important European events dedicated to vintage vehicles, hosted at the impressive Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition center, from February 5 to February 9.
The prestigious French motor show will welcome more than 1 ,000 extraordinary cars and around 620 international exhibitors, occupying an exhibition hall of over 72,000 square meters. Pride of place at the event – which this year celebrates the 110th anniversary of Alfa Romeo by including an image of the magnificent 8C 2900 on its poster – goes to FCA Heritage, the Group Division focused on the safeguarding and promotion of the historic heritage of the Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth brands. For further information on the show, visit its official website.
At the prestigious French show, FCA Heritage will be presenting new marketing materials, an exciting stand with a new design and, most of all, a wide range of cars from its precious historical collection, like the very rare 1910 24 HP. This was the first vehicle produced by the Milanese car manufacturer established on June 24, 1910, under the name A.L.F.A. (Società Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili). Alongside will be the striking Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS. Having been prepared by the expert hands of FCA Heritage specialists, this model triumphed in the Mille Miglia 2019. These two masterworks are usually on show at the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo in Arese – La macchina del tempo (the Time Machine).
The spotlight will also be cast on the timeless Fiat Panda, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The FCA Heritage stand will feature a 1980 Panda 30, one of the first models produced, as well as the unique Panda Jolly, built to perform a courtesy VIP service on the island of Capri in 2006. The two cars on display highlight the renowned freshness and charm of the Panda, a car that has won the hearts of more than 7.5 million people worldwide.
Visitors to the Rétromobile 2020 exhibition will also be able to take a closer look at the new bumpers for the legendary Lancia Delta HF Integrale. These are the first spare parts in the “Heritage Parts” range, dedicated to vintage vehicles and manufactured by FCA Heritage in collaboration with Mopar. For the occasion, the much-sought-after pieces can be seen fitted to an experimental 1990s vehicle from the FCA Heritage historical collection, currently being restored at its Classic Workshops.
The stand will also feature three current models: the sporty Alfa Romeo Giulia MY20, with its new Villa d’Este Red livery; the powerful Abarth 695 70° Anniversario; and the exclusive Fiat Panda Trussardi. This is the ideal way to show the general public how rarities from times past remain a source of inspiration for the future, a priceless legacy that few of the world’s automotive groups can claim. The press releases for the Alfa Romeo Giulia MY20, Fiat Panda Trussardi and Abarth 695 70° Anniversario are available at the links below.
A.L.F.A. 24 HP (1910)
The 24 HP, together with the 12 HP, was the first fruit of the collaboration between Ugo Stella and the Piacenza designer Giuseppe Merosi. In particular, the model on show in Paris features torpedo bodywork created by Ercole Castagna, which began a long, fruitful collaboration between his renowned atelier and Alfa Romeo. In 1953, the manufacturer purchased the vehicle from its own Swiss dealership.
The ALFA 24 HP model was positioned at the medium-high end of the car market of the time with its traditional layout characterized by cutting-edge elements: its ladder chassis and C-shaped stamped rails, the H-shaped stamped front axle and semi-elliptical leaf springs.
It featured drum brakes on the rear wheels, with both pedal and hand controls, along with an inline four-cylinder engine with monoblocks and fixed head in cast iron. The side valves were controlled, using tappets, by a camshaft in the machine bed. Its engine capacity of 4084 cc had a power output of 42 HP at 2200 rpm (later increased to 45 HP at 2400 rpm).
Its driveline was particularly refined: the four-speed gearbox plus reverse gear were linked to the wheels by a one-piece drive shaft inserted into a torque tube. It had Sankey spoke wheels, and a curb weight of 1000 kg.
Its outstanding performance – reaching a maximum speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) – and attentive design made it an immediate success: by 1913, approximately 200 chassis were produced, divided into four series. The majority of the chassis featured torpedo bodywork. Among others, the “Corsa” version – with its two-seat baquet bodywork and a reduced weight of 870 kg – participated in various races with good results, including Nino Franchini’s brilliant performance at the 1911 Targa Florio race. After leading the race – despite dreadful weather conditions – with a margin of more than 6 minutes over the Ceirano Scat car, he had to withdraw after being blinded by splash of a mud, causing him to lose control of the car and damage a wheel. At the outbreak of the First World War, the manufacture of 24 HP chassis began for the Italian Army. Later, when Nicola Romeo took the helm of the company, production was suspended and the plants were used for other products. The chassis was enhanced and completed in the post-war period, resulting in the 20-30 ES model.
Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Super Sport (1928)
The Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Sport was created in 1928, designed for racing. This compact inline six cylinder model of only 1467 cm3 with double overhead camshaft had its power enhanced by switching from 44 to 54 hp thanks to an increased compression ratio and a twin-barrel carburettor.
However, it was the Spider versions, mostly built by Zagato, Castagna and Touring, that captured the interest of gentlemen drivers for racing use. These lightweight, agile and responsive cars were characterized by the mechanical perfection of the multi-cylindered engineering jewel hidden under its long bonnet.
To further enhance its performance, a supercharged, single-carburetor version, the Super Sport, was added alongside the twin-barrel carburetor version. Its power output was increased to 76 hp at 4800 rpm and its maximum speed shifted from 130 (80 mph) to 140 km/h (87 mph).
Only 31 Super Sport and Mille Miglia Speciale versions of the Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 were produced in 1928 and 1929. Six models came in the “fixed cylinder head” 84 hp variant, with 10 models fitted with a supercharger and 15 without.
On April 1, 1928, an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS belonging to the official racing team – driven by Campari and Ramponi – won the second Mille Miglia. This was the beginning of Alfa Romeo’s legendary results in this famous race, which saw the Milanese brand climb to the top podium in Brescia ten more times, a record that can never be beaten. In the same years, Boris Ivanowski, a former officer of the Russian Imperial Guard who moved to Paris after the end of the First World War, stood out for his victories outside of Italy, winning the Spa 24 Hours with Marinoni and the Georges Boillot Cup as a solo driver in 1928. He then succeeded in winning the Irish GP Saorstat Cup the following year.
Before becoming one of the greatest manufacturers of sports cars, a young Enzo Ferrari won the 1927 Circuito di Modena race aboard an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS with Giulio Ramponi. He won the same race with Eugenio Siena one year later. In 1928, he won the Circuito di Alessandria race, which would form the foundations for the “Drake”’s incredible career.
The model on show in Paris hails from the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo in Arese. Having been prepared by the expert hands of FCA Heritage technicians, it triumphed in the 2019 edition of the Mille Miglia. However, this was not its first victory in the re-enactment of the classic Brescia race, where it had already topped the podium in 2005 and 2007. It also won the overseas Mille Millas Sport race held in Argentina in 2007 and 2008. This
Fiat Panda 30 (1980)
Presented at the 1980 Geneva International Motor Show and still the leader in its category, with more than 7.5 million units produced to date, the Fiat Panda is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. At Retromobile, one of the first models of the timeless Panda 30 at Rétromobile 2020, in red, will be on display.
An evolution and synthesis of the glorious Fiat 126 and 127, the first series of the model was designed by Giorgietto Giugiaro and has established itself as compact on the outside but big on the inside. In fact, it is a compact two-volume sedan, with two doors and front-wheel drive. Simple in its technical layout, but intended to be functional and roomy, it uses its space to the max.
The Fiat Panda is characterized by its essential design, with large wrap-around bumpers, a broad protective strip on the sides and large windows. The flat windows – and even the windscreen – allow plenty of light to enter the minimal but extremely practical interior, built with simple yet sturdy and fully washable materials. The two-cylinder 652 cm3 30 HP air-cooled engine, an evolution of the historic engine of the 500 model in 1957, then used on the 126 model, fitted out the Panda 30 ready for the Italian market. It marked itself out from the Panda 45, which was fitted with the 4-cylinder 903 cc engine of the 127 model, with its different, asymmetrical position of the metal grid on the front grille. The 30 model had the slots on the right to supply air to the two-cylinder fan, whereas the slots and water radiator on the 45 model were on the left side.
In just 3.38 meters, the Panda was able to accommodate five people and provided great versatility in the use of its interior space: the rear bench, with its seven different positions, could be converted into a comfortable hammock, a cot or a large bed. Both the two and the four-cylinder engine were combined with a four-speed manual transmission, independent MacPherson strut suspensions and disc brakes. The beam rear axle was mounted on double leaf springs with hydraulic dampers and drum brakes. Its fuel consumption was very impressive: the Panda 30 model travels 19 km (12 miles) at 90 km/h (56 mph) on 1 liter, the Panda 45 over 17 km (11 miles). Their maximum speed was over 115 km/h (71 mph) and approximately 140 km/h (87 mph) respectively.
In the space of three years, the Panda models enhanced their trim levels with the “Super” version and the 45 model came fitted with a 5th gear. However, its greatest success was the launch of the 4×4 model, manufactured in collaboration with the Austrian company Steyr-Puch. This transformation turned the versatile utility car made in Turin into an unstoppable, small and lightweight off-road vehicle. It soon became a favorite among fans of the great outdoors and sports enthusiasts. It became an inseparable companion for all, not only suited to mountain-dwellers. The increasing success of the long-lived first series has lasted for over twenty years. In 2003, the second series was launched, followed by the current third series in 2012.
This year the Fiat Panda celebrates its 40th anniversary. FCA Heritage has chosen to celebrate one of the most long-lived models in Fiat’s history by exhibiting in Paris a special model from each of the three series.
Panda Jolly (2006)
In summer 2006, the Panda Jolly was driven for the first time, on the narrow streets of the enchanting island of Capri. This unique model, designed by the Fiat Styling Center, was built by Stola, a company of the RGZ group, a leader in the construction of show cars and prototypes. Now part of the FCA Heritage historical collection, this car was intended for an exclusive courtesy service for VIP visitors arriving in the renowned resort island, suspended between sea and sky in the Bay of Naples.
Fresh, light, chic and very Mediterranean in its colors and materials, the Panda Jolly draws inspiration from the worlds of nautical and interior design, with strong references to the lines and spirit of the 1960s. Indeed, it recalls the styling of the 600 Multipla Jolly. Manufactured by the Ghia bodyshop in 1956, this car ran on the streets of Capri over half a century ago, holding on to the winning characteristics of the series model with only a few changes to the mudguards and a simulated radiator grille.
The Panda Jolly has metallic blue bodywork that twinkles in the sunlight, emphasizing its form. Its clean and essential lines are combined with the glamorous, prestigious materials in its interior design. The Panda Jolly’s upholstery was created exclusively for Fiat by Paola Lenti, a leading Italian interior design company, at the forefront of the research and design of new fabrics.
The seats and dashboard are the fruit of the evolution of the Frame project – modular seats in satinated steel slats – upholstered in Rope, the material inspired by the tops of sailboats. A synthesis between technological research and aesthetics, Rope is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, antibacterial, impervious to external agents and highly resistant to UV rays. The seat cushions, lined with pure cotton sponge, are perfectly harmonized with the Rope colors.
The floor, side sills, rear deck and all the restraint finishes of the upholstery are made of distressed sand-colored natural ash with white ash inlay. These details are intricately worked, worthy of the most exclusive Italian maritime products.
The Panda Jolly is embellished with satinated steel finishes and the closest attention to every detail.
Heritage Parts the new line of spare parts for classic vehicles
“Heritage Parts” is the new line of faithfully reproduced spare parts for classic cars, conceived and created by FCA Heritage in cooperation with Mopar. The project starts with one of the most iconic vehicles in FCA’s history: front and rear bumpers are now available for the Lancia Delta HF Integrale and Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione.
The parts are produced using the original molds retained by FCA Manufacturing. Following the required refurbishment at the FCA plant in Grugliasco, they have now begun a new life. Specifically, the bumpers are supplied unprimed as the materials do not require flame-polishing. They must be sanded by the customer before they are painted.
The products offered by Mopar and FCA Heritage use original molds and materials, ensuring a perfect fit, so the cars can take to the road in full compliance with current type-approval regulations. This is an important new initiative for the owners of these Lancia vehicles, timeless symbols of the most prestigious victories in rally racing.
The “Heritage Parts” range thus combines the priceless FCA Heritage document archive and the high quality, safety and reliability of original parts produced by Mopar, a brand dedicated to supplying spare parts, customer services and support for FCA Group vehicles.
The Lancia Delta HF Integrale bumpers can be ordered from the FCA Authorized Workshop/Dealership Network or directly from the Mopar Store at the link below. This is the official Mopar store for individual clients, where accessories and spare parts can be purchased, along with a wide range of custom services for their FCA vehicle, such as warranty extensions, maintenance services, all-in-one installation packs and much more.
CAPTION: Jolly good show: the timeless Panda Jolly (2006). Picture: Quickpic