An Italian Designer

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Sir,

Some of your readers may be interested in the career of the Italian designer Giuseppe Coda who has recently celebrated his 94th birthday. His biography in the Biscaretti Museum, Turin, records that after qualifying at the technical institute in Biella he joined the Ernest Breda Locomotive Works in 1903. During the next seven years he worked successively for Stigler/Ascencori, lsotta Fraschini, STAR, Brixia-Zust, and FIAT. In 1910 he was invited to join SCAT as head of the design office where he was responsible for the 70-h.p. 01-1V engine twice winner of the Targa Florio. From 1916 SCAT were part of the Bra7ter (imp of Paris and for them he organised flow line production of the Hispano Suiza, V8 aero engine.

In 1919 and zo Coda was a partner in the Society Vehro where he designed the 2 litre OHC car which was bought by Automobili Diatto and designated the Type so. In 1921 he joined the company as Technical Director and immediately designed competition versions. Alfieri and Ernesto Maserati were employed by Diatto from 1922, Alfieri drove one of the 1922. GP cars, which used a Type zo touring car engine tuned to give 75 b.h.p. at 4.500 r.p.m., he was also responsible for the preparation of these ears. Coda and Maserati were great friends and, in the words of the biography, he A.M.) incorporated many elements of the design of the Type 20 in his first model. In fact the chassis Of the Type 26 Maserati was developed from that of the 1922 GI’ Dian°. and although Coda had mined Citroen in Italy as .[ethnical Director by April I 924 when the Maserati brothers completed their first eight-cylinder twin-cam engine:, the design

shows his influence.

He stayed with Citroen until 1934 when they withdrew from Italy due to the politicalsituation, after which time he conducted research into hydraulic transmission. Surely a career worth noting? Whilst writing I would like to defend the Mk. .lot us Elite which many people seem to think of as a beautiful failure. My everyday transport is a 1962 example which has just completed seventy thousand miles in my ownership and its total mileage must be twice that. It returns 36 mpg. over the year, does not rust or depreciate, and although parts have had to be replaced it has never let me down. It is true that the noise level is high hut I don’t find the pitch irritating. (Reg No. is 210PK if -any of the previous owners should read this.)

Chelmsford FRANK W. LUGG