Franco Scaglione, “My Father” His Life in the Words of His Daughter Giovanna
As told to Robert Little, Renzo Carbonaro, Vladimir Pajevic and Ulrich Zensen
Copyright: 8 November 2017 All World Rights Reserved
Republished with permissions with changes to suit the format of VeloceToday.com
Part IV: Scaglione Achieves His Dreams with Bertone
Nuccio Bertone, who truly appreciated Scaglione’s work, was generally inclined to leave Scaglione completely alone to work through the young master’s ideas and fantasies, but Bertone always bore in mind the necessity to achieve economic success through the mass production of his line of cars. He impressed upon the young designer the need to convert his design ideals to big production numbers.
“That bond with Nuccio Bertone originated in the 1950’s and turned out to be an enduring and stimulating one. For nine years my father had the opportunity to experiment, honing his art and flair on many sports cars.”
If we research the number of cars produced under Scaglione’s design language leadership during his overall career, we see about 60 cars elaborated in total.
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale achieved 2,500 units of production, the Alfa Romeo Giuletta Sprint coupe and the NSU Sport Prinz Coupe each generated more than 20,000 units and the Lamborghini 350 GTV Coupe had slightly over 140 units produced.
All of the other brainchild designs of Mr. Scaglione were “one-off” models, design leaders of their time that our eyes even to this day never tire of caressing. The historical fact of his low production numbers explains how his uniqueness and his penchant to create rolling art showed how obsessed he was to find uncompromising stylistic perfection.
Other designers, he believed, had the more pragmatic tasks of trying to convert their dreams into economic successes. In the ensuing years his long list of historic achievements working with the Carrozzeria Bertone accumulated.
Fiat Abarth 1500 Coupe- first car designed for Bertone 1952
Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva prototypes
Alfa Romeo Sprint Coupe
The Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica 5
The Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica 7
The Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica 9
Fiat Abarth 750 and 1000 Record models
Arnolt-Aston Martin DB2/4
Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale
NSU Prinz Sport spider and coupe
Porsche-Abarth Carrara GTL
Maserati 3500 GT Coupe
Many, many other automobiles in this period were made…some hardly ever seen even today produced to the wishes of private, wealthy individuals. At this point his association with Nuccio Bertone ended.
Giovanna shares her viewpoint on this matter of the Bertone separation of 1959:
“No, I think that there were no other factors in play in his departure from Bertone that have not been publicly identified up until now. And besides all, all the two versions are true ones. Bertone was a little bothered when it happened that in a magazine article they wrote about Franco Scaglione and not about Bertone (Autoitaliana, Motor Italia, Italian revues or Retroviseur, French revue), but my Babbo didn’t do anything to show or highlight himself.
“It was for his works that he was so valued. For example, in an article speaking about one of his works, his name was mentioned three times and the name of Bertone was mentioned only once… it happened that Bertone was a little annoyed, but I think that this had never been a true cause of clash.
“After nine years spent at Bertone, Babbo wished to open his own studio and his first client was the Japanese company. So it happened that his collaboration with Bertone came to an end and new younger designers came to Bertone and it is also possible that Bertone desired to have a turn (at taking the design leadership for his firm).
“Babbo and Bertone didn’t meet again for working collaboratively together; they met from time to time during auto shows all over Europe where they exchanged opinions and talk.”