Having lived and motored in Italy for several years I read with interest Mr Piggott’s letter published in your May issue. Among other things Mr Piggott mentions the importance attached to “aesthetics” by the Italian motoring public. Since Italian car body designers are renowned throughout the world this is hardly surprising, yet most British manufacturers still fail to realise that what makes a car look right are its proportions and not the sculptured side panels or the size of its fins. This is immediately apparent when comparing, say, the original “Farina” 1500 saloons, which look as if they were designed by a cartoonist, with some Continental Farina products such as the Peugeot 464, Fiat 1200 or Lancia Flaminia. It is clear that when the tidying up starts in preparation for our entry into the Common Market, British car manufacturers would do well to pay greater attention to creating body designs which are both attractive and original. An Italian out shopping for a car will not be impressed by the “Farina” or “Vignale” label on a British machine!
In closing I should like to draw attention to what I presume must be a misprint in Mr. Piggott’s letter. The Italian purchase tax on cars is 3% and not 33%!, as published.
JP Coulter. Stanmore