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The new Disco Volante by Touring - Some thoughts

By Rigval on 04 Mar 2012

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A homeage to the 1952 Alfa Romeo C52 Disco Volante is something that was bound to happen and it has. Touring Superleggera, the Milan based Carrozzeria has come up with a new Disco Volante that will be debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. This new 'Flying Saucer', which is what Disco Volante means in normal not very romantic sounding English is a front engined rear wheel drive sports coupe based on Alfa Romeo's limited run 8C Competizione coupe. It will be produced in limited numbers as if anyone wants one, he or she will have to sacrifice an already rare Alfa Romeo 8C coupe for it.

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Sometimes I really wonder whether it is actually worthwhile to sacrifice an already rare car to make another. I suppose it would be alright if the car became even more beautiful to look at. A good example would be the Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina. The car was based on the already visually stunning and rare Enzo Ferrari but it was turned into something even more gorgeous.

The original Alfa Romeo Disco Volante was one of three Flying Saucer concept cars originally made by Touring in the 1950s. They were also known as the Alfa Romeo C52 and were based on the pretty normal Alfa Romeo 1900 but it had a tubular space frame chassis instead of the usual monocoque chassic. The engine was a slightly tuned Alfa Romeo 1900 engine (1997cc) that produced 158bhp. The car for its time was very streamlined and was one of the few that was actually windtunnel tested. This allowed the original Disco Volante a top speed of 220km/h. Pretty fast for the 1950s. It was pretty good looking for its time and some contend that it was the basis for the Jaguar E-type.

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So anyway, this new Alfa Romeo Disco Volante will be an acquired taste. It looks pretty awesome when viewed on its own and as a homage to the original but it does not have the overall cohesiveness of the donor car especially when viewed from the side. It falls slightly flat from certain views compared to the 8C which looks ridiculously beautiful in almost every angle. I suppose a ridiculously wealthy collector could just buy two used units, keep one standard and convert the other into the new Disco Volante.

But do note that there are only 500 or so units of the 8C and I do believe that it is the most beautiful looking Alfa Romeo in recent times. So if I had the money would I chop up an original 8C for something a little more visually challenged? I wouldn't.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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