" Carroll Shelby always aspired to cross the pulchritude of nimble, European sports cars with the straight line power and muscle of American hot rods. So, in 1959 Shelby bought three Corvettes from Chevrolet, shipped them to Italy where Senor Scaglietti clothed "
When we stumbled upon a picture of Scaglietti’s stunning Ferrari 750 Monza Spyder this morning it led us to want to share some of the work of a rather unsung master of coachwork.
Baring in mind that this is the designer responsible for the body of the 250 TR as well as the development of that of the 250 GTO – it’s surprising that his name is not as well known as many other designers.
Sergio Scaglietti began working in the motoring industry in 1933 – when he was barely into his teens – when his father died and the necessity of making a living weighed hard on his shoulders.
He began by repairing and rebodying other people’s cars – eventually in the 1950s founding his own carrozzeria and swiftly becoming the stylist-in-chief to Scuderia Ferrari. In this amazing period, Sergio’s gut-borne aesthetic for the flowing yet aggressive line resulted in some of the most gorgeous (and valuable) automotive constructions ever.
It was also during this period that he turned his hand to a number of short run projects, including a very distinctive pod of custom bodied Corvettes.
Perhaps the fact that selling his company to the Fiat Group in the sixties – and subsequently more or less disappearing from view: Scaglietti never moved on from his identity as a classic coach builder – never getting involved in the the messy businesses of either engineering or marketing – that he remains a relatively anonymous name in the grand history of Italian car styling.
We think also, that when Ferrari honoured his memory with the name of its 2+2 GT the 612 Scaglietti in 2004, didn’t do his name any favours. Despite the aesthetically challenged sensibilities of its detractors, the 612 (soon to be replaced by the FF shooting brake) ,it was never the best received car to bear the badge of the prancing horse.
We, though, always loved the Long legged 612. For some reason it never photographs well. In the flesh, however, it is a real classic.
No matter. A quick look at the gallery can dispel any doubts remaining that Mr. Scaglietti new how to bend some of the most beautiful steel imaginable.
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