Effeffe Berlinetta — Bella Machina del Tempo

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Leonardo and Vittorio Frigerio and Effeffe Berlinetta

Leonardo and Vittorio Frigerio used to run beautiful cars racing vintage cars around Europe. Iconic venues like Monza and Nürburgring, etched lifelong memories for the two boys that would last a lifetime. It is said that collectors who spend six figures on tri-5 Chevys and Boss Mustangs do so because these were the cars from their youth. If that is the case, the Effeffe Berlinetta reflects the boyhood memories of the Frigerio brothers.

It recalls any number of Italian race and road cars from the 50s and 60s – the time when the boys were cutting their teeth. One can see elements of Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB, Alfa Romeo 1900 SS Zagato and Maserati A6GCS/53 are a few that leap to mind – but is not an homage to any specific one. Sort of an amalgamation of the styling cues of the era and executed beautifully.

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You’re looking at a brand new car that has been in the works for a number of years now.  Looking at it, your mind hearkens back to a time when Enzo was alive and well, Maseratis were exotic coupes and four barrel carbs were plentiful. No one would mistake this for a brand-spanking new car. Toatally restored, maybe, but not new.

The drivetrain on the two-seater Berlinetta is classic Italian, using a front-mid-mounted Alfa Romeo Twin Cam four-cylinder, which originally dates back to 1971 in design. Naturally, the two-liter unit is coupled to a five-speed manual gearbox, and the two Weber DCOE carburetors finish off the power figures at 180 horsepower at 6,500 rpm.

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The chassis is a handmade tubular spaceframe and the entire Berlinetta will weigh less than 1,760 lbs. There are disc brakes front and rear with independent front suspension and  a solid live axle rear – complete with a Watt’s linkage setup. It wouldn’t be a 60’s tribute without those beautiful wire wheels with center knock-off lugs.

The interior, is  custom-made and tailored to the buyer’s taste. The full Matteograssi leather interior is accented by toggle switches, Jaeger gauges, a wooden Nardi steering wheel and includes a matching luggage set.

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What kind of price would you expect for something like this? It doesn’t matter what you expect. The cost of admission is $320,000. That includes some track time, so you can acclimate yourself to drive your brand new car as you would a delicate post war exotic 1960’s sports car.  The chassis settings will be fine-tuned to one’s personal preferences at the track.

There are plans to widen the portfolio with another model. Perhaps a showroom fresh, hand-built 1960 Giulietta Spider, anyone?

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It just so happens that I am working on a  piece about cars from the 1960’s and their limitless beauty. The Effeffe Berlinetta was something I stumbled upon just in time. It lets me know that the classic beauty or Enzo-era cars has not been forgotten. It was a wonderful time for car design and this car serves as a beautiful time machine to take us back there — Bella Machina del Tempo.


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