2008 Dream Auto Exhibition
1970 Pininfarina Modulo
“We have always aimed to combine form and function with our idea cars. In this sense, the Modulo is unusual in its own way, closing a particular period of research, often extremely advanced, into pure forms. Still today, they represent the seed of innovative aesthetics, heralding formal and philosophical ideas that are now more current than ever. More than imagined then, in 1970.”— Sergio Pininfarina
1955 Ghia “Gilda” Streamline X Coupe
The Ghia Streamline X, designed by Giovanni Savonuzzi, is one of the most sensational and important designs of the 1950’s. Presented as a “body with highly aerodynamic features”, the Gilda is all-fin, as technically sensational as aesthetically provocative, whose name refers to the character played by Rita Hayworth, the sensational “Vedette Atomica” (atomic actress), in the film of the same name. An entire hall at Dream 2008 was dedicated to Ghia’s “Gilda”.
Alfa Romeo/ Bertone B.A.T. – Mobiles: B.A.T 5 (1953), B.A.T. 7 (1954), B.A.T. 9 (1955)
Franco Scaglione, a man of fascinating creativity, was able to design wings without the aid of a computer, and Bertone was able to make them manually and without numerical control. The B.A.T. designs are nothing short of extraordinary, a four dimensional dream, their forms an expression of the essence of speed.
1954 Fiat Turbina
In 1948, Dante Giacosa was commissioned to develop a turbine powered internal combustion engine. In 1954 he built this prototype on the 8V Chassis. The project, though a clear example of incredible design and fantastic raw power, became a case of research with no production, a fate that has befallen and overwhelming percentage of one off concepts and prototypes since the dawn of the industry.
Leonardo da Vinci “Spring Propelled Car” 1478 Atlantic Codex
An example of the deep historical context implied by “Dream”, Da Vinci’s “car” is one of many models on the show floor that fascinates the mind and goes beyond the general notion that creative transportation philosophy began with Henry Ford.
Home to many automotive exhibitions since its creation in 1949, Torino Esposizioni was an architectural marvel of its day. Above, a historic photo from the 1955 Salone dell Automobile taken inside the famous exhibition hall.
In 2008, I had the privilege of attending the Dream Automotive Design Exhibition held at the Torino Esposizioni, home to the prestigious Turin auto shows for the past half century and a design gem in its own right. As a tribute to the memory of the late Andrea Pininfarina and an integral part of Torino World Design Capital 2008, The Dream Exhibition hosted 54 exceptional examples of conceptual and one off automotive designs. It was the stage for what very well may have been the most outstanding collection of Italian Automotive Design Masterpieces ever assembled in one place.
Rarely does any exhibition in any genre of art or design get it completely right. Often times, though many outstanding examples are present, something has inevitably been left out or left behind. Curated by Giuliano Molinari, with a stunning presentation and line up, Dream literally got everything right…well, almost everything. It seemed like all the creativity and energy put into assembling the show left too little for the promotion. This fact has led me to coin “Dream” the “Greatest Car Exhibition You Never Knew About”.
Organized into 12 galleries that lead viewers in a chronological automotive journey, the exhibition layout starts with the re-launch of the Italian coachbuilding industry after the Second World War. Tracing the rise of a “Golden Age” at Italian Carrozzeria and culminating with the latest creations shown in 2008 at Geneva, “Dream” runs the gamut of “who’s who” and “what’s what” in post war Italian Automotive Design.
The genius and scope of Leonardo Da Vinci is showcased with his 1478 Atlantic Codex study of a spring propelled car along with more recent prototypes like the 1935 Monaco-Trossi Racing Car with its 16-cylinder radial engine. The analysis of “Dream” begins in the 1950s, the period in which the Italian and European car industry was healing from the destruction of WWII. In the mid 1970s, car design centers initiated more practical research to tackle critical automotive issues. Needs for safety, reduction in pollution, eco-sustainability, and freedom from petrol led to research into electric vehicles, hybrid engines and serious aerodynamic study.
The Dream Car, as an explicit sign of optimism, is portrayed from the moment you enter Torino’s prestigious exhibition hall as a vision of an ideal luminescent future that is rarely seen in objects such as automobiles that, for most of the public, fall more in line with function rather than form. All well known (and some not so well known) brands were in attendance as well as informational literature on many great masters of the automotive design craft such as Guigaro, Scaglione, and Bertone to name but a few. Each offered their vision of pure beauty, free of the restrictive standards demanded by the production chain and seeking what would become the style of the future.
Featured models in attendance were Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Touring, Zagato, Bertone, Farina, Vignale, Ghia and Frua. Lesser known design masters such as Mario Revelli di Beaumont, Dante Giacosa and Giovanni Savonuzzi were also included.
“Dream”, only one of many events presented during the year long “Torino World Design Capital 2008”, was about as good as any exhibition will ever get. It was a show for car nuts, design junkies and frankly anyone who’s interested in the creativity of human ingenuity and the awe inspiring products our dreams can bring to fruition.
These are just a few of the images of the displays at the show. Please enjoy the full image gallery of pictures from Dream Exhibition 2008