November 20, 2011 – Famed Ferrari designer dies

Sergio Scaglietti opened Carrozzeria Scaglietti, an auto repair and body shop, in 1951 in the small town of Maranello, Italy. It just so happened to sit across the street from another young business, Ferrari. Scaglietti and Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the sports car company, had an existing relationship prior to the opening of the body shop, but the ease of access made the facility Enzo’s first choice for body repairs to his race cars. Soon, Enzo would be asking Sergio for full bodies, and Sergio would deliver on a grand scale.

1955 Ferrari 410 Spider, coachwork by Scaglietti

By the mid-1950s Scaglietti was Enzo’s top choice for body design and fabrication for their race cars. He would go on to design and build some of the company’s most elegant and successful designs. This includes the 1953 166 MM, 1955 410 S,1958 250 Testa Rossa, and 1967 275 GTS/4, among many others. Scaglietti also built numerous Ferraris in his shop that were designed by other coach builders, such as Pininfarina. 

1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, designed and built by Scaglietti.

Scaglietti didn’t work exclusively for the Ferrari though. After Chevrolet dealer Gary Laughlin suffered a broken crankshaft in his Ferrari Monza in the late 1950s he was fed up with the Italian mechanicals, but loved the design. Through his connections at GM, he was able to have three 1959 Corvette chassis picked off the assembly line, no body included, and sent to Italy where Scaglietti would create a new look with Corvette power. About 18 months later Laughlin, who only asked the car retain the Corvette grille, received the first of the cars, which appeared very similar to the Ferrari Berlinetta, another project in the shop at the time. The interior was completed with Stewart Warner gauges and Corvette knobs, but was otherwise all new. After seeing the car the folks at General Motors pulled the plug on the project and had the other two Corvette chassis returned returned without interiors. They would later be finished in the USA and today all three are in private hands.

Chevrolet Corvette Scaglietti

Today the former Carrozzeria Scaglietti is owned by Ferrari and still produces its aluminum bodied cars using modern and traditional coach building techniques. In 2002 Ferrari introduced the 456M GT Scaglietti special edition and in 2004 the 612 Scaglietti debuted, both honoring the legendary designer. The catch was, both these car bodies were built by Pininfarina. 

Sergio Scaglietti, left in cover photo in his shop, died at home in Modena on this day in 2011 at age 91.

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