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The “Che macchina!” exhibition at the MAUTO

The prototype of the City Taxi by Manzù is the protagonist of the exhibition dedicated to the Fiat 127

01 July 2021

Until 5 September, the National Car Museum of Turin (MAUTO) hosts the exhibition "Che macchina!" (literally “What a car!”) dedicated to the Fiat 127, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The exposition also pays tribute to the designer responsible for shaping it: Pio Manzoni, known as Manzù.

The title of the event, “Che macchina”, is taken from the launch campaign of the first series: modern for the period - spacious inside and compact outside - the 127 amazed everyone for its innovation, becoming one of the best-loved Fiat cars of all time, with more than five million vehicles produced.

The exhibition features a total of seven vehicles, six of which are examples of the utility vehicle presented in 1971 and named “Car of the year” in 1972: two first series 127s, the Rustica, the Sport, the Top and the Panorama.

These are joined by the Fiat City Taxi prototype on 850 mechanics, which belongs to the precious Heritage collection of Stellantis, and is usually displayed in the Heritage HUB in Turin.

Conceived by one of the most creative designers of the period, Pio Manzù, this concept car made its debut on 30 October 1968, during the 50th edition of the Turin Motor Show.

Its most interesting characteristics include its “Idroconvert” servo-assisted transmission, making it easier to drive in the city, its compact size and comfort-oriented design. Its interiors are revolutionary and its instruments futuristic: the Fiat City Taxi has a padded dashboard in deformable material encompassing the instrument panel, the speedometer and the screen of a small TV. Additionally, the driver could speak directly to the taxi switchboard using a radio phone, with microphone built into the sun visor.

The prototype features several safety innovations that subsequently became standard in the mass-produced vehicles. These include the articulated steering column, designed to save the driver in case of head-on collision.

Many of the drawings, models, prototypes and designs created by Pio Manzù during his lifetime are exhibited alongside the vehicles: from the Parentesi lamp, created in tandem with Achille Castiglioni in 1968, to the revolutionary 1964 Autonova FAM, the first minivan in modern history.

The exhibition, curated by journalist Giosuè Boetto Cohen and Giacomo Manzoni, son of the famous designer, is staged thanks to the collaboration of the Fondazione Manzoni Arte e Design, with the technical support of Heritage, the department of Stellantis dedicated to protecting and promoting the heritage of the Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth brands.

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