Aerodynamics

1913. The Siluro: dressed for speed
Born of an idea by Count Ricotti

With the valuable support of Prof. Massimo Grandi's depth of knowledge and illustrative talent

Some images are taken from the book Asi Service "Quando le disegnava il vento" by Massimo Grandi.

Speed was one of the key symbols of the Italian Futurist movement. This helps to explain why, in 1914, an eccentric Milanese aristocrat called Count Mario Ricotti decided to transform an ordinary Alfa Romeo 40/60 into a superfast, aerodynamic, torpedo-shaped version.

A veritable SUV: remarkable and groundbreaking

What might seem surprising, though, is that Castagna, the coachbuilder entrusted with realising the project, decided to retain much of the original vehicle – the hood, controls and seats –, enclosing these in a teardrop-shaped structure that was given a futuristic appearance by the unusual curvature of the windows, including the side ones.

As the photo shows, the A.L.F.A. 40/60 remains practically unchanged beneath the bodywork designed by Ricotti and built by Carrozzeria Castagna in Milan
The fascinating lines, reminiscent of a modern aircraft fuselage, contrast with the square front, a feature retained from the A.L.F.A. 40/60
The pointed rear, creating a perfect teardrop shape, contrasts with the wider front, a necessary compromise in order to accommodate the radiator and headlamps. Note the refined rear and front fender fins