05/03/2013 Design Masters: Carlo Felice Bianchi 'CiCi' Anderloni
Carlo ‘Cici’ Anderloni is regarded as the design mastermind behind Carrozzeria Touring. Following in the footsteps of his father, he soon became an automotive legend in his own right, having played a major part in many notable machines of the coachbuilt ‘Golden Age’.
“Every day, my father brought home a different car at lunchtime,” Carlo Felice Bianchi ‘Cici’ Anderloni once recounted. “I was so impressed by their beauty that I wanted to do what he did: build cars.” His wish was to be fulfilled, although sooner and in circumstances very different from those he had anticipated.
After completing his education in Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, the young designer joined the company his father had established in the mid-1920s. But after the sudden death of his father in 1948, things changed rapidly for ‘Cici’ – and the fortunes of the company were soon to follow. He assumed control under the guidance of Touring co-founder Gaetano Ponzoni, his first project being to design Ferrari’s first road car, the 166 Inter. Anderloni recalled: “If the people had not liked the design, it would have been the end of the company” – and perhaps the same would have applied to Ferrari. It’s also claimed by some that he coined the famous ‘Barchetta’ name.
By licensing his father’s ‘Superleggera’ production method, Cici also forged links with Aston Martin. The lines of the famous DB4 and DB5 models came from the pens of Anderloni and his team, and he was instrumental in the development of such classics as the Maserati 3500 and Lamborghinis 350 and 400 GT, as well as various important Alfa Romeos.
The advancement of monocoque construction in the 1960s signalled the end for Anderloni’s company, with competitors such as Pininfarina winning contracts for the scarce coachbuilding work that remained. His talent was not lost, though; he soon became an advisor to the in-house design department at Alfa Romeo, and later went on to lead it. He served on the judging panel at Villa d’Este until his death in 2003, after which the show dedicated a memorial trophy to his memory.
The story of the rebirth of Touring and its latest creation, the Disco Volante, can be found in our magazine special
One of Anderloni's creations, the Alfa Romeo 200 Touring Spider, can currently be found in the stock of Classic Driver dealer Steenbuck Automobiles
Text: J. Philip Rathgen
Photos: Private Property of the Anderloni family, Touring, RM Auctions, Bonhams, Steenbuck Automobiles