CARS MADE IN ITALY

18-11-2007 / 24-03-2008

THE ITALIAN CAR BORN IN ITALY

Motor cars appeared almost simultaneously, at about 1890, in France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, thanks to the gasoline combustion engine first patented by the Italian Enrico Bernardi on the 22nd of August, 1882.

In Italy, as in the other four major countries that gave birth to the motor car, the beginning was experimental and done by small craftsmen. Between 1900 and 1907 entrepreneurs, inventors and speculators jumped on the novelty which seemed capable of realizing stupefying profits. Fiat’s shares, worth in 1900 25 Lire each, by 1907 were worth 2.450 Lire! Then a crisis came, and out of 60 car makers fewer than 20 survived.

In 1919, at the end of the 1st World War, lots of new companies flourished, only to shut down within 10 years, since they could not face the competition from the big industrial complexes.

After the 2nd World War new hopes and illusions were born, like Cisitalia, Cemsa-Caproni, Abarth, ISO, De Tomaso, ATS and so on.

Today the Italian motor car, thank to the great coachbuilders, is still the leader with Fiat, which has been acquiring new market shares, while Lancia and Alfa Romeo are strengthening the reputation they achieved over the years, and all car enthusiasts’ dream in every corner of the world is to have a Ferrari, a Maserati or a Lamborghini.

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