Ford Cisitalia 808

The Designers

Aldo Brovarone

Ford Cisitalia 808 Coupe

While at Cisitalia, Aldo designed the 808 Ford Cisitalia Coupe. Aldo said in an interview that this assignment was a particularly challenging as the car’s body was to be mounted on a Ford Mercury chassis much larger than the Italian sized chassis he was used to working on.

Born in Vigliano Biellese, Piedmont, on June 24, 1926. At an early age Aldo demonstrated an extraordinary artistic talent.

After having completed his studies, Aldo takes on a graphic designer job at an advertising firm in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1949.

He is then offered the opportunity to design the AUTOAR, (Automotores Argentinos), founded and directed by Piero Dusio, founder of Cisitalia in Torino. This assignment launches Aldo into the automobile design world.

In 1952 Piero Dusio requests his presence in his company Cisitalia back home in Italy. When Cisitalia collapsed Dusio himself presented Aldo Brovarone to Giovanni Battista Farina, a.k.a. “Pinin” highlighting his young employee’s talent. This meeting would become a determining point in Aldo’s career. At that time Pininfarina designed extraordinary cars and Brovarone begins to personally contribute to the creation of these vehicles. After about eight years as assistant stylist, Brovarone takes on a leading role in the designing of the Ferrari Superamerica Superfast 2. It is his design and prototype that is presented at the Pininfarina stand at the 1960 Automobile Show in Torino.

Image of Cisitalia by Aldo Brovarone

This experimental creation by the Torino bodybuilder presented a new and innovative style. The design has some points in common with the wing of an airplane (one of Brovarone’s passions). The leading edge is the front end of the car where the air intake for the radiator is located. Its shape is that of a small ellipse reminiscent of the Ferrari sports models. The trailing edge is the back end of the car with a pointed tail towards which the curves of the car body converge. In order to render the purest design possible, an innovative idea at that time, Brovarone hides the front headlights completely under an aluminum cover activated by an electric command.

The DINO Berlinetta Speciale, presented in Paris, in 1965 at the Pininfarina stand was also designed by Brovarone. It was another revolutionary design, the first prototype of a new generation of Ferrari middle engine cars. This design has since inspired many Ferrari central engine models and gave birth to the 206 and 246 Dino generation road versions.

Also, in 1965 Brovarone designs the tubular shaped Giulia Sport consolidating a period of intense creativity both personally and for the firm.

Brovarone’s last design prototype was presented at the Torino Automobile Show in 1975. The model designed for Pininfarina was the Alfetta based Alfa Romeo Eagle. In this series-built car field Aldo Brovarone participated in the design of the Peugeot 504 and the stunning Lancia Gamma Coupé.

After his retirement from Pinifarina in 1988, Brovarone served as a stylist with Stola. He continued to draw and to create fantastic cards with
airplane and antique car illustrations. Aldo Brovarone passed away on October 12 2020.

Aldo Brovarone

Giovanni Michelotti

Ford Cisitalia 808 Roadster

Michelotti designed the Ford Cisitalia roadster. As with Aldo Brovarone designing a body for an American Ford Mercury chassis was challenging.

Giovanni Michelotti (October 6, 1921 – January 23, 1980) was one of the most prolific designers of sports cars in the 20th century. His notable contributions were for Ferrari, Lancia, Maserati and Triumph marques. He was also associated with truck designs for Leyland Motors, and with designs for British Leyland (including the Leyland National bus) after the merger of Leyland and BMC. Michelotti designed the bodies for many of the Triumph models and did work for Citroen as well. Born in Turin, Italy, Michelotti worked for coachbuilders, including Stabilimenti Farina, Vignale and Allemano, before opening his own design studio in 1959. Michelotti designed the one-off concept Ford – Cisitalia 808 Roadster in 1953.

Giovanni Savonuzzi

Ford Cisitalia 808 Roadster

In 1952 Savonuzzi oversaw the production of the 808 Ford for Piero Dusio at Cisitalia

(Ferrara 28 January 1911 –– Ferrara 18 February 1988) was an Italian automobile designer.
Savonuzzi studied aerodynamics and received a degree in mechanical engineering from Politecnico di Torino in 1939 and worked for Fiat Aviazione and taught in aeronautics at the politecnico. In August 1945 he succeeded Dante Giacosa as technical director of the Cisitalia carmaker. He completed Giacosa’s Cisitalia D46 cigar shaped racing car.
Before he left for in 1948 due to a disagreement, he had sketched out the Spider Nuvolari and the 202 CMM Aerodinamica Savonuzzi (to be built by Pinin Farina). He designed the SVA Midget racer while with Società Valdostan Automobili (SVA) 1948–49, lectured at politecnico and had some freelance work, including for Cisitalia in 1951 under Carlo Dusio, leading to a short collaboration with Ford led to his chassis design for the 808X prototype.


Ford Cisitalia 808 Roadster

In 1952 Vignale was the constructor of both the Ford Cisitalia 808 coupe and the roadster.

Vignale was an Italian automobile coachbuilder. Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale was established in 1948 at Via Cigliano, Turin by Alfredo Vignale (1913–69) in Grugliasco, near Turin (Torino). Most of his customers were Italian firms such as Cisitalia, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Maserati, Lancia. In 1952, Vignale collaborated with Briggs Cunningham to jointly produce the Continental C-3.

In 1968, Vignale designed the body of the Tatra 613. Vignale designed and built cars, usually low volume variants of the main production cars of these automobile manufacturers. Amongst them were the 850 Samantha Eveline and the Vignale Gamine, based on the Fiat 500. A close cooperation was maintained with Giovanni Michelotti. Vignale was taken over by De Tomaso in 1969 who already owned Carrozzeria Ghia. Shortly after selling his firm Alfredo Vignale died in a car accident.