Richard Haberkern

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Early Ferrari chassis design

In the impossible to find book, “Gilco, Le macchine di Gilberto Colombo“, the history of the early days of Ferrari race car design is laid out in great detail.  Gilco is the name most associated with many of the race wins of the late 1940’s through the 50’s.  Their design skills were vital to the early years of Ferrari racing.

Gilberto Colombo cars embodied all the characteristics of post war Italian design.  He started designing automobile frames in 1946 to fill the need of racing competitions which were becoming popular throughout the city streets of Europe.  Before Gilco, most of these race cars utilized the mass produced parts from cars manufactured by companies like Fiat S.p.A.

Gilco_203frame

The Gilco 203 frame took its name from the 203cm wheelbase.

One of Gilco’s first frames, the “203” featured the now standard design of large tubular outer supports extending outward with smaller tubes providing structural integrity. This design improved overall strength and reduced the weight of the frame.

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