The Sartorial Deep Thinker

19 January 2023

Alfa 8C 2900B Le Mans Special (Fitted with a Touring body)

Carrozzeria Touring was one of the glories of the great age of the motor car.

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera was an Italian automobile coachbuilder. Initially established in Milan in 1925, it was well known for its designs’ beauty and patented Superleggera construction methods.

Felice Bianchi Anderloni (1883-1948) was the guiding force behind Carrozzeria Touring, he was a deep thinker, fascinated by aerodynamics and structural engineering, and as a man, he was always immaculate and a man of great taste.

He was fortunate to have worked with many influential designers, including the Maserati brothers.

Felice is most renowned for the famous Superleggera (Superlight) construction, a basket-like motor car frame upon which Alfa fitted the outer skin.

Reference the Alfa 8C 2900B Le Mans Special fitted with a Touring body.

BMW was so impressed with the Touring concept that they commissioned a near-identical lightweight body for their Le Mans, BMW 328.

This Superleggera was designed just before World War II; the war and Felice’s death understandably impacted negatively on Carrozzeria Touring, and it wasn’t until the early 50s when the design yet again became influential.

It formed strong associations in the UK with Bristol, specifically the 401, Jensen and Aston Martin, which built cars using the Superleggera system.

Sadly, it remained a bespoke coachbuilder, unlike Bertone and Pininfarina, who became global consultants.

The business ceased to exist after 1966.