In 2014, Club member Clive Beecham visited automotive design house, Touring Superleggera’s premises in Milan to talk about the restoration of one of his cars, and in passing, asked Managing Director Piero Mancardi why Touring had chosen to produce a recreation of the 1952 ‘Disco Volante’ Coupe, (literally ‘Flying Saucer’ Coupe) rather than the even more legendary C52 Disco Volante Spyder. ‘Well, why don’t you be the first to commission one’ was the reply – and so the journey began.
Following on from Louis de Fabribecker’s 2012 ground-breaking and award-winning Coupe, the parameters of the new design were set over a period of months. Based on the drivetrain of the limited edition donor, an Alfa 8C Competizione Spider, it was agreed to forgo the canvas folding top in favour of a twin carbon fibre roof that stores neatly into the boot, still leaving room for ample luggage space.
Carrozzeria Touring’s coachwork is synonymous with lightweight ‘superleggera’ bodywork and the Disco Volante Spyder’s radical design is only possible because of the artisan hand beaten aluminium panels, combined with a carbon fibre bonnet and rear fairings. Uniquely specified to have Connolly leather to complement the Blu Ceruleo (heavenly blue) colour, Chassis No 1 also features a ‘Spitfire wing-shaped’ rear third stop light as well as the evocative 1950s ‘Alfa Romeo Milano’ Biscione badges on the nose and wheels.
Only seven of these Spyders can be commissioned, each being individually tailored to the choice of its customer – and in the rotunda sits the first in the series – the 2016 Geneva Show Car winner of the coveted Design and Prototype Award at Villa D’Este and the winner of the Royal Automobile Club Spirit of Motoring award at this year’s Windsor Castle Concours.
Displayed courtesy of Clive Beecham
Photography by Martyn Goddard