Triumph Italia Meeting 2015
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Marsilio Bonomi run at 3 September 1961 in "Trofeo Lumezzane"
Red Italia #198 owned by Volkhard & Linda Hohling from Germany
Silver Italia #2 owned by Joop Noordijk from Netherlands
Triumph Ginevra X Prototype owned by Werner Bartschi from Switzerland
Black Italia #85 owned by Riccardo Paruzza from Italy
Green Italia #215 owned by Paul Harvey from England
Triumph TR4A driven by Adrian Sinnott from USA
Red Italia #282 owned by Ingrid Schmid from Germany
Dark red Italia #225 owned by Paul Williams from Germany
Swallow Doretti owned by Dieter Kramer from Germany
This year the Triumph Italia 2000 owners from any place of the planet meet each other in North Italian nature of La Morra & also visit Turin for the reunion.
The first station in Turin was Strada del Portone 177, where the second Vignale factory building, which at his time was the most modern coachbuilder factory in Europe, used now as a depot for a publishing house.
Crews enjoying good restaurants for experiencing the marvellous italian cuisine, and drive in wonderful small and sporty roads in a beautiful landscape.
In lunch of Tuesday 2nd of June owners met Mrs. Franca and Mrs. Giuliana Vignale - the first is the widow of Giulio Vignale (a nephew of Alfredo Vignale), Giuliana is the daughter of Franca and Giulio Vignale - she paints portraits of cars in a very impressive way and present some of her works at "Pigna d´Oro" in Pino Torinese.
Saturday 6th the Triumph Italias travel to Monferrato astigiano and visit the old Monastery of Vezzolano and an exhibition called "Carrozzeria Vignale - una storia di stile e passione" with photographs from the archive of Giuliana Vignale and Paolo Tadini.
The crews enjoying wine in the winery "Terre dei Santi" and a fine lunch in "Cannon d´Oro" in Cocconato,giving promises for the next meeting!
Special ordered book by Vasileios
It was a great opportunity for me to drive this gem, a top rare Triumph Italia 2000 in La Morra (IT) at Triumph Italia Meeting 2015.
This is the most original & totally unrestored Italia chassis # 215,owned by a British gentleman named Paul Harvey (the man who invite me to present officially the reunion this year),he knows everything about this specific Triumph model with the special Italian design by G.Michelotti. Vasileios Papaidis
1959-61 Triumph Italia 2000
Triumph Italia 2000 Prototipo (Vignale), 1958
Design sketch by Giovanni Michelotti
The Italia 2000 coupe was the brainchild of Standard-Triumph's Italian importer, Salvatore Ruffino of Naples. Ruffino, who bought the rights to distribute Triumphs in Italy in 1957 and formed C.E.S.A.C. for this purpose, wanted to build his own Triumph TR3-based closed sports car, and he approached Carrozzeria Zagato for design proposals. Not pleased with Zagato's designs, he turned to stylist Giovanni Michelotti, who returned with plans for a handsome slope-nose coupe.
The introduction of the two seater was well received at the 1958 Turin Motor Show. "Italian artistry and British craftsmanship have come together and produced this new, superlative ltalia 2000 Coupe."
Vignale began production in July 1959 with only a few changes to the original prototype.
The Triumph Italia 2000 Coupé was built between 1959 and 1962, during which time 329 cars were produced.
Designed by Giovanni Michelotti, the TR3 chassis and mechanical components were supplied by the Triumph Motor Company in the United Kingdom, and built by Alfredo Vignale in Turin, Italy. By most accounts, only 329 of the hand-formed bodied TR3s were ever built – known as the Triumph Italia 2000 Coupé. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti and built by Alfredo Vignale in Turin, under contract to Ruffino S.p.A. Industria Construzione Automobile of Naples – it was thought that these cars would appeal to people willing to spend more for the dependability and ease of obtaining stock mechanical parts, but who wanted a better looking car than the standard Triumph - "Italian bodywork at its best, British tradition in sports car engineering at its finest.”
At the time, Signore Salvatore Ruffino was the managing Director of CESAC, the Italian company that distributed Standard-Triumph in Italy. He approached Standard-Triumph to supply chassis and mechanical components to build 1,000 cars. The introduction of the closed-top, two seater was well received at the 1958 Turin Motor Show – “Italian artistry and British craftsmanship have come together and produced this new, superlative Italia 2000 Coupé.” Vignale began production in July 1959 with only a few changes to the original – rather than a slanting nose and covered glass headlights displayed on the prototype, a look similar to Michelotti’s Maserati 3500 design was produced. And although the two prototypes had some aluminum body panels, all Italias used steel.
Cars came through with Ascari mufflers with a distinctive and melodious tone, and the original Triumph electric overdrive switch was moved from its left-hand dash-mounted position to an under-dash spot right above the gear shift, providing faster, more convenient downshifting out of overdrive in turns at high speeds. Ruffino envisioned building 1,000 cars, between 1960 and 1962, with worldwide distribution including the American marketplace. He had a verbal agreement to have every Triumph dealer (720) purchase an Italia. The Italia never became an official model of Standard-Triumph. However, Ruffino’s vision didn't come to pass for a number of reasons. Faced with ensuing financial and labor problems, Standard-Triumph was taken over by Leyland Motors in 1961. Shortly afterwards, Triumph withdrew their support for the Italia. Perhaps fearing increased competition, Triumph concentrated their efforts on the new TR4 to be released in 1962. The TR4, also designed by Michelotti, clearly borrowed many elements from the Italia - the distinctive bonnet bulge, kick-up door with wind-up windows, and roomier modern body design. Despite Triumph's pull out, Ruffino S.p.A. re-badged the car as the Italia 2000 and continued production.
Over a three-year production period (mid-1959 to mid-1962) Vignale produced approximately 329 cars. Most were left-hand drive with the probable exception of six cars. The last run of roughly 35 cars were based on the modified TR3B chassis rather that the TR3A, and benefited from the improved gearbox that had been developed for the TR4. Most Italia sales in America were handled by Stutz Plaisted Imports (Salem). Even though production at Vignale came to a close in 1962, some of the last cars remained unsold until 1965. Slow sales can be attributed to the expensive $5,000 price tag ($1,000 premium over the TR3) and since body parts were not stocked outside Italy, buyers were required to sign a release form of acknowledgment.