Most of the glorious coachbuilders we can remember have disappeared, but Pininfarina is of course still very much alive (sadly not literally, because big boss Battista Farina as well as his son Sergio aren’t there anymore)! We know Pininfarina for its magnificent classic designs and the Italian design house continues to come up with highly refined designs, like for instance the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé, also thanks to their expensive windtunnel and R&D that I briefly discussed in the intro.Carrozzeria Pininfarina is an independent Italian car design house and coachbuilder in Cambiano, Italy. It was founded by Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina in 1930. A fun little fact about the name ‘Pinin’ is that… Continue reading
While doing my research for the weekend article about the legendary Pininfarina, I found this very nice retro photo of the Pininfarina windtunnel with a Lancia Beta Berlina! This windtunnel is still a very important part of today’s aerodynamic alluring designs for which Pininfarina has become so famous. The windtunnel has been an essential element since 1972 in Pininfarina’s research and development about aerodynamics and aeroacoustics.
Today the all new and improved Pininfarina test center is a major leap forward from the one built in 1995, which at the time was the first one that was capable of testing full-scale cars by simulating the aerodynamic effects due to wheel rotation and ground-relative motion. Quite impressive right? To make it even more impressive… Continue reading
Again an ‘aerticle’ related to this week’s theme of aerodynamics, this time a windtunnel tested rocket-like turbine engined concept car!
In 2009 I was lucky to visit the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Cernobbio on Lake Como in Italy. Although I was a bit disappointed that Ralph Lauren didn’t show up with his magnificent Bugatti Atlantic, this was more than made up when I saw this Ghia Gilda spitting fire. I was so thrilled by this car that It immediately made me forget my disappointment! I couldn’t find pics with the Ghia Gilda and the enormous amount of heat released by its exhaust, but you can see this rocket-like car spitting fire by… Continue reading
This article is an add-on to ‘GO WITH THE AIR-FLOW, THE AERODYNAMICS OF A ZEPPELIN…’
Some time ago I found photo’s of the Hispano-Suiza windtunnel – the so-called ’Soufflerie’ – at Bois-Colombes, a suburb of Paris. This week is a good moment to publish an article about this subject as an add-on to the aerodynamics article of last weekend!
The mighty Hispano-Suiza blower building in Bois-Colombes was built in 1936-1937 to test aircraft engines. This French “Heritage of the twentieth century” is a unique witness to the time when the aviation industry was booming… Continue reading
Today I indulge in the history of the aerodynamics of cars and windtunnel testing. You may wonder what the Zeppelin has to do with this? I will explain…
The Hungarian engineer Paul Jaray was the man who presented numerous designs for streamlined car bodies. Initially he designed seaplanes, but later he focused on streamlining airships. The LZ-120 Bodensee was one of his airship designs.
The detailed series of experiments in the LZ’s windtunnel were also a start of something new, the use of aerodynamics in car design. Jaray studied the effects of wind direction and airflow over an airship at ground level. This way he also developed his theories about streamlining motorcars. With his streamlining theories Jaray founded in 1927 the Stromlinien Karosserie Gesellschaft. But of the many car manufacturers to whom he presented his designs for streamlined bodies Tatra was the only one which… Continue reading