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Franco Scaglione (26 September 1916 – 19 June 1993) was an automobile coachwork designer.

Biography

Franco Scaglione was born in Florence to Vittorio Scaglione, a chief army doctor, and to Giovanna Fabbri, captain of the Italian Red Cross service. His was a well-to-do family of noble ancestry (count of Martirano San Nicola and of Mottafilocastro). At the age of 6, he and his younger brother became fatherless.
His studies were of humanistic leanings, but he entered the university of Aeronautical Engineering. His favourite hobbies were reading, tennis, riding and rowing. He went into military service with the rank of sub-lieutenant in the sappers, the Genio Pontieri. He continued his studies, but at the outbreak of the Second World War he volunteered to be assigned to a more destructive unit, the Genio Guastatori and was sent to the Libyan front. On Christmas Eve 1941, he was taken prisoner by the British at El Duda, a village to the south of Tobruk. He was to be interned at the Yol detention camp in India, where he remained until the end of 1946. He returned to Italy on Boxing Day that year with the last boat used for the carrying of prisoners. He rejoined his mother (his brother Eugenio was killed during the war) in Carolei, near Cosenza, and stayed with her for almost a year.[1]
At the beginning of 1948 he went to Bologna in search of a job; he already had it in mind to work as a stylist in the automobile field, his real passion. Initially he devoted his time to sketching clothing for fashion houses, which was very profitable, but his vocation was automobile coachwork design. On 25 September 1948 he married Maria Luisa Benvenuti and two years later, on 10 September, his daughter Giovanna was born.
In April, 1951, he moved to Turin, where there were the major coachbuilding firms, and he contacted Battista Pinin Farina, who very much appreciated his renderings. However, this did not result in collaboration, as Pinin Farina did not allow his models to be linked to the designer’s name. He met Nuccio Bertone and finally an association was born, which led him to create automobiles such as the Alfa Romeo B.A.T.s, the Giulietta Sprint and Sprint Speciale and many others. In 1959 he concluded the exclusive relationship with the Bertone coachworks and worked on his own. His first collaboration as a freelancer was with Carlo Abarth and Porsche, and he designed the Porsche 356 B Abarth Carrera GTL, the acclaimed design forerunner of the 911. Then Scaglione conceived the Lamborghini 350 GTV, the ATS 2500 GT, the 1900 Skyline Sprint for the Japanese Prince company (later to merge in 1966 with Nissan), the Titania Veltro GTT, and various models for Intermeccanica such as the Apollo, Torino, Italia GFX, Italia IMX, Indra. In 1967, he designed for Alfa Romeo Autodelta the legendary Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, said by many to be one of the most beautiful cars ever made.[2] Alas, Intermeccanica became bankrupt and the entrepreneur owner, Frank Reisner, moved to Canada. Franco Scaglione, having put his own savings in the production of the Indra, was disillusioned and retired from work.
In 1981 he moved to Suvereto, a little village in the province of Livorno, where he lived a very secluded life. In July, 1991, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died two years late

Franco Scaglione was born in Florence to Vittorio Scaglione, a chief army doctor, and to Giovanna Fabbri, captain of the Italian Red Cross service. His was a well-to-do family of noble ancestry (count of Martirano San Nicola and of Mottafilocastro). At the age of 6, he and his younger brother became fatherless.
His studies were of humanistic leanings, but he entered the university of Aeronautical Engineering. His favourite hobbies were reading, tennis, riding and rowing. He went into military service with the rank of sub-lieutenant in the sappers, the Genio Pontieri. He continued his studies, but at the outbreak of the Second World War he volunteered to be assigned to a more destructive unit, the Genio Guastatori and was sent to the Libyan front. On Christmas Eve 1941, he was taken prisoner by the British at El Duda, a village to the south of Tobruk. He was to be interned at the Yol detention camp in India, where he remained until the end of 1946. He returned to Italy on Boxing Day that year with the last boat used for the carrying of prisoners. He rejoined his mother (his brother Eugenio was killed during the war) in Carolei, near Cosenza, and stayed with her for almost a year.[1]
At the beginning of 1948 he went to Bologna in search of a job; he already had it in mind to work as a stylist in the automobile field, his real passion. Initially he devoted his time to sketching clothing for fashion houses, which was very profitable, but his vocation was automobile coachwork design. On 25 September 1948 he married Maria Luisa Benvenuti and two years later, on 10 September, his daughter Giovanna was born.
In April, 1951, he moved to Turin, where there were the major coachbuilding firms, and he contacted Battista Pinin Farina, who very much appreciated his renderings. However, this did not result in collaboration, as Pinin Farina did not allow his models to be linked to the designer’s name. He met Nuccio Bertone and finally an association was born, which led him to create automobiles such as the Alfa Romeo B.A.T.s, the Giulietta Sprint and Sprint Speciale and many others. In 1959 he concluded the exclusive relationship with the Bertone coachworks and worked on his own. His first collaboration as a freelancer was with Carlo Abarth and Porsche, and he designed the Porsche 356 B Abarth Carrera GTL, the acclaimed design forerunner of the 911. Then Scaglione conceived the Lamborghini 350 GTV, the ATS 2500 GT, the 1900 Skyline Sprint for the Japanese Prince company (later to merge in 1966 with Nissan), the Titania Veltro GTT, and various models for Intermeccanica such as the Apollo, Torino, Italia GFX, Italia IMX, Indra. In 1967, he designed for Alfa Romeo Autodelta the legendary Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, said by many to be one of the most beautiful cars ever made.[2] Alas, Intermeccanica became bankrupt and the entrepreneur owner, Frank Reisner, moved to Canada. Franco Scaglione, having put his own savings in the production of the Indra, was disillusioned and retired from work.
In 1981 he moved to Suvereto, a little village in the province of Livorno, where he lived a very secluded life. In July, 1991, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died two years later.[3]

Designs

1952

Lancia Aurelia B53 Balbo 1952

1953

(Developed from Scaglione design but built in his absence):

  • NSU Prinz Sport spider Wankel (prototype 1960, produced from 1963)

1959

1960

1961

1962

1963

Stanguellini-Guzzi Colibrì with Franco Scaglione and Vittorio Stanguellini

1964

1966

  • Titania “Veltro GTT”
  • Intermeccanica “Torino” convertible and coupé

1967

1968

1970

1971

1972

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Parker, Johni (2014-07-02). "Franco Scaglione Was the Real BATman". Petrolicious. Retrieved 2018-01-26.