The history of four world-leading Italian motoring brands
From the most emblematic models to the most successful, revolutionary people, and the most significant events, this section illustrates and celebrates the cornerstones of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth.
15 young people combine their experience with the FCA Heritage know-how. Lecturers including Roberto Giolito, international car design icon and Head of FCA Heritage.
7 million classic cars worldwide. 8 thousand firms employing 28 thousand people sharing the 350 hours of work required, on average, to restore a car. These are the figures of the historic model conservation market.
A market which today is even more in need of young human resources, fresh minds determined to bring new ideas to the care of cars which in many cases have more than a century of life on the roads behind them. A delicate task which can provide the basis for a skilled profession where - as the data shows – the right workers are very much in demand.
To meet these needs for the training of new human resources for the historic car sector, the first “Master Course for Classic Car Restorers” was recently organised by the Quattroruote Academy in association with FCA Heritage,ASI and Ruoteclassiche.
The master course, which was completely free for participants, has just ended after three weeks of intensive study, training and hands-on experience, involving 15 young people with diplomas from vocational high schools, who are now ready to place their experience at the service of period queens of the track, dashing ’60 sports cars or models just out of production that have already achieved iconic status.
Fittingly, the diploma presentation ceremony was held in the Mirafiori industrial complex in Turin, actually in the Abarth and Lancia Classic Workshops: the home of countless four-wheeled icons and also the nerve centre of FCA Heritage. The Workshops also house the display of trophies won on the track by a car inventor of true genius, Carlo Abarth.
The master course students also enjoyed hands-on contact with many fine historic FCA Heritage cars during the previous days, in the Workshop at Rozzano (Milan). Here they undertook a lengthy restoration and maintenance project on a 1960 Lancia Flaminia Coupé and learnt about all the programmes and events run worldwide by the Fiat, Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands to maintain their status as worldwide automotive legends.
The master course students experienced this status for themselves during their visit to the Fiat Historic Centre, in the splendid Art Nouveau building on Corso Dante in Turin. The Centre conserves priceless period memorabilia, videos, photographic records and unique vehicles which have - literally - written the history of world motoring.
One of the most memorable events in the master course was the students' meeting with Roberto Giolito, who heads the FCA Heritage project.
Giolito gave his young audience an account of a recent major job, the complete restoration of a 1970 Fiat Spider 124, and shared with them the crucial secrets of automotive restoration: the importance of detail, the irresistible appeal of the patina left by time, the power of period design and the need to get to the “heart” of every job.
Naturally, central to the whole programme was a belief in the automotive tradition as a resource for the future. "Heritage," Mr Giolito explained to the master course students, "is a different concept from retro, because heritage combines the mere restoration of the vehicle with a respect for the past which gives the completed car added value."
The very same value that the first 15 graduates of the “Master course for Classic Car Restorers” are ready to add to every historic model with which they get to grips. With all the experience and passion the job demands.
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