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Monday, March 15, 2021

The best cars ever made for the Officine Nardi

Perhaps few automotive enthusiasts know the following 1950s classic car models. Although the name is less well known, but if you look at its design was not inferior to other beautiful cars made by well-known manufacturers at that time.
1955 Nardi Raggio Azzurro I has special features such a fantastic double bubble roof and three headlights in front. (Picture from: Carrozzieri-Italiani)
This beautiful car with a fantastic double bubbles roofed was the first car built under commission of Enrico Nardi to the Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Vignale. At that time he wanna built two concept cars based around the Lancia Aurelia V6 mechanic. As we know, Enrico Nardi is the founder of the Torino-based automotive company called Nardi & C. S.a.S. or Nardi Torino, which is well known to this day with its specialized in the making of the steering wheels. 

The Enrico Nardi's company is also known to have made several racing cars and one of them is the Nardi 750 Bisiluro (Bisiluro Damolnar) which was built in 1955 and planned to participate in racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the time.
1955 Nardi Raggio Azzurro I built based on  a tubular steel Pan American road racing chassis constructed by Nardi Torino. (Picture from: Carrozzieri-Italiani)
Back on the previous topic, the first car was later named as the Nardi Raggio Azzurro I was built on  a tubular steel Pan American road racing chassis constructed by Nardi Torino. Then related to its name, Raggio Azzuro in Italian which means 'Blue Ray' (according to the car's color).

Meanwhile, the bodywork was designed by a well-known Italian automotive designer, Giovanni Michelotti, who at that time was still working at the coachbuilder Vignale. All of the coachwork with the exception of the roof frame is of alloy materials, including the floor and inner fenders.
1955 Nardi Raggio Azzurro I powered by the Lancia Aurelia B20 engine with several Nardi updates including the Nardi camshaft, pistons, exhaust manifolds, alloy radiator header, cast alloy Nardi air scoop, and intake manifold to accommodate dual double throat Weber 40DCZS carburettors. (Picture from: Auta5P)
The roof is made of blue acrylic (Perspex™) material and is equipped with a grilled air scoop and internal directional vents. Likewise, the side and rear windows are also made of the same material as the roof. Uniquely, the mechanism for opening the side window is by sliding upwards towards the center of the roof.

Its power is provided by the Lancia Aurelia B20 engine with several Nardi updates including the Nardi camshaft, pistons, exhaust manifolds, alloy radiator header, cast alloy Nardi air scoop, and intake manifold to accommodate dual double throat Weber 40DCZS carburettors.
1958 Nardi Raggio Azzurro II is appeared more sedate than previous model, more boxied design and also without any bubles on the roof. (Picture from: DriveTribe)
The engine is a 2.5 liter 60 degree V-6 with a bore/stroke of 78mm x 85.5 mm which is capable of producing a maximum power of 190 bhp at 5,500 rpm. The engine power is said to be able to make the car running to a top speed of 140 mph. The car is also equipped with a Nardi floor mounted gear change and four-speed Aurelia B20 transaxle with internal drum brakes
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1958 Nardi Raggio Azzurro II built based on  on the modified Aurelia B20 chassis. (Picture from: DriveTribe)
The blue-ray colored car has vertical pillar independent front suspension, and rear suspension in the form of a de Dion layout with the axle tube supported on conventional half-elliptic leaf springs and located laterally by a Panhard rod. And for the legs, the car uses Borrani's special 400 mm alloy wheels with 68 spoke construction and knockoff hubs.
1958 Nardi Raggio Azzurro II and its predecessor, Raggio Azzurro I are designed by Giovanni Michelotti and built by Carrozzeria Vignale. (Picture from: DriveTribe)
The Raggio Azzurro I was completed in September 1955, and was first introduced to the world at the Turin Auto Show in 1955, and subsequently was shown at several auto expo held in Paris and New York.
1958 Nardi Raggio Azzurro II and its predecessor, 1955 Nardi Raggio Azzurro I are sat on display at the 2008 Peeble Beach Concours d'Elaegance. (Picture from: Pinterest)
While the second car model, which was later named Nardi Raggio Azzurro II, was launched in 1958, and is still the work of Michelotti's design while the bodywork is still being done by Vignale. In particular, the second car model is said to be an improvement over the previous model with with more sedate appearance, more boxied design and also without any bubles on the roof.

Just like the previous model the 2nd car is built around the Lancia Aurelia mechanic only this time based on the modified Aurelia B20 chassis. We apologize, due to the video below is not about the Raggio Azzurro I and II cars instead another Nardi's car, namely the 1947 Nardi Danese.
As quoted of Wikipedia, after several failures in the car producing, especially the Bisiluro, so in the mid-1950s, Officine Nardi (Nardi workshop) decided to cease working on prototypes and switched to the automotive aftermarket items such as manifolds, crankshafts, camshafts, etc. And the most known of Nardi was its steering wheel, which was introduced in 1951 in walnut, but mostly used African mahogany. The first Nardi's steering wheels were installed in the Pegaso of 1952.

It's strange, and seems to be a contradiction. As you can be seen the first prototype were made by Vignale for Nardi in the mid 1950s while the second one in the late 1950s. The question is why did Nardi commissioned all of those cars if they weren't for production? What do you think? *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARSTYLING | CLASSICCARS.FANDOM.COM | GEARPATROL | DRIVETRIBE | COACHBUILD | ULTIMATECARPAGE ]
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