CAR OF 1967 VIGNALE GAMINE

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - the Way We Were -

You wouldn’t ex­pect a car as cute and cheer­ful as a Gamine – more a nov­elty than a re­al­is­tic trans­port propo­si­tion – to do any wrong in the world. How­ever, it was the car that con­trib­uted to fin­ish­ing off Vignale as an Ital­ian car­rozziere.

The 1967 two-seater was based on the Fiat 500 and some­thing of a pet project for Al­fredo Vignale, who had founded his coach­build­ing firm in Turin in 1948. It re­tained the 500’s rear en­gine, it fea­tured a prom­i­nent front grille to help main­tain the im­age of some­thing born well be­fore its time. How­ever, with a top speed of just 60mph and limited ap­peal out­side of sunny Italy – or Toy­land, for that mat­ter – plus du­bi­ous build qual­ity and han­dling, only 300 ex­am­ples were ever sold. The re­sul­tant fi­nan­cial is­sues prompted Al­fredo to sell out to De To­maso in 1969. He was killed three days later in an ac­ci­dent while driv­ing his Maserati.

Iron­i­cally, Gamines are much sought-af­ter to­day.

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