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"Linea Diamante" bodywork design for Carrozzeria Touring

1953 MilaN

Client
Carrozzeria Touring

A «form for the automobile designed by Gio Ponti in 1952 for an Alfa Romeo chassis. At the time, Carrozzeria Touring did not dare to put this design for a car body into production. Twenty years later, many cars had caught up with it.

Gio Ponti had devised this form in reaction to the cars of that time, swollen, full of empty spaces, (borax, as Edgar Kaufmann used to say) with very high radiators, tiny windows, and dark interiors.  It was a form ahead of its time: the body sheets are flat, not curved stiffened with folds and not ribs; the hood is low, the windows are very large, the back seats are adjustable like in airplanes, as people used to say at the time, the trunk is extremely capacious, accessible from the inside and separate from the spare wheel housing; the interior is spacious, bright, and filled with pockets. One innovation: the bumper made of rubber (provided with spring buffers at front and rear) that runs right round the car.

In the fifties this was called the diamond line. Another of Ponti's diamonds. For him it was a line that answered precisely to the requirements of the user- including that of beauty. A car too is made to be looked at: like the gondola.

At the age of eighty Gio Ponti used to say: when the Citroen DS came out, in '57, the three of us in the Studio - Fornaroli, Rosselli, Ponti - got one each: in homage to its beauty, as other cars work too. For the same reason we only use Olivetti typewriters.