Fiat’s historic wing plans a big step-up in operations, with continuation models a possibility.
Fiat Heritage is considering the possibility of building continuation models for its Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia marques. Speaking at Rétromobile, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Heritage boss Roberto Giolito said: ‘Sanction II re-issues could be a possibility. They could be improved with modern materials and methods to be perfect executions.’
The former head of Fiat design, and author of the current Fiat 500
, added that projects like this are ‘absolutely stimulating. We’re not going to do this yet, but we are looking at it.’ Giolito believes that running a heritage operation ‘in a huge company enables us to engage skills across the whole structure of Fiat – it’s a recirculating of skills.’ He also reckons that ‘a remake will be a way to reconnect with coachbuilders like Zagato and Pininfarina. It will be a pleasure to make a co-operation in this way.’
Giolito would not be drawn on what models FCA Heritage is considering for remanufacture, but agreed a car like the Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ1 could be evaluated. This 1963 coupé replaced the Giulietta-based SZ, both cars developed by coachbuilders Zagato and enjoying success on road and track in events such as the Targa Florio, the Coupe des Alpes and Le Mans. The pretty, tubular-frame TZ would suit a continuation programme because it’s a race car and could be used in historic events, manufacturer’s remakes not being legal for road use.
Giolito adds that Fiat Heritage is already involved with one recreation, the company collaborating with an Italian polytechnic that’s building a 3D 1899 3.5hp Fiat as part of its mechatronics degree course. ‘It’s the most obsolete car that we have,’ he says. FCA’s Heritage operation is also ‘remanufacturing parts that are unobtainable. Not for customers yet, but for our own collection, using additive manufacturing processes for plastics. We have also bought a 3D printer for metallic parts.’ Engine blocks, plastic ECU casings and brakes are among the components being developed.
FCA is clearly committed to developing its Heritage operation, the business moving to larger premises at Mirafiori later this year while continuously expanding the scope of its services. The company is already restoring cars both for sale and for customers – and currently expanding that business – as well as looking to introduce a certification scheme and developing an apprenticeship programme to pass on classic car restoration skills. It seems highly likely that in time, therefore, its ambitions will include the production of continuation models.
Words: Richard Bremner