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The 'Goldmanini' barchetta


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#1 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 19:18

The "Goldmanini" is alive and well in my garage, as it has been since I bought it in Michigan in 1973. The name GOLDMANINI was given to it by then owner Max Goldman of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a joke. (Perhaps he should be given some sort of credit for an early use of the concept of "etceterini"!) Goldman was a wealthy amatuer racer and friend of Virgil Exner (both senior and junior) and Paul Farago. Exner (Sr) and Farago had found the car at Carrozzeria Rocco Motto in 1954 while Exner was working with Ghia on the Chrysler Ghia show cars. Luigi Segre of Ghia had taken Exner and Farago to Carrozzeria Motto to discuss some work, and there they saw this very beautiful little spider corsa, or barchetta, with a large diameter oval tube chassis. Exner and Farago tried to buy it but Motto would not even discuss it. Sometime later, Segre persuaded Motto to sell it to Ghia, and Segre then sold it to Exner/Farago. It was pushed down to Carrozzeria Ghia and when Giovanni Savonuzzi saw it, he supposedly said to Farago, "Oh, you got the Cisitalia." It was shipped to Detroit, where Exner junior and Max Goldman unloaded it from the ship. Goldman was so taken by the pretty little spider that he persuaded Exner & Farago to sell it to him. Savonuzzi had helped put together the proper 1100 Cisitalia mechanicals and these had been shipped with the car. Goldman had Rich Leyth of Leyth Engineering (makers of the famous "Hy-Tork" differential) get the car running and they painted it white. It was finished just in time for the 1955 SPORTS CARS IN REVIEW show at The Henry Ford Museum, where Goldman exhibited the car for the first time as the "Goldmanini".

Three months later when it came out of the museum show, Goldman had already lost interest. He had purchased the John Bentley ex-Sebring Abarth Boano 207A 1100 spyder (chassis # 001), so he sold the Motto-Cisitalia to a friend of his mechanic, John Camden, but kept the engine and gearbox as spares for the Abarth. The new owner (Dan Hosler) had an MG-TD engine that he was modifying and he had John Camden install it in the Motto-Cisitalia. While it was at Camden's, a young journalist by the name of Karl Ludvigsen took photographs of it. The MG-TD engine never performed correctly, in fact Hosler only drove the car once -- a total of about 50 or so miles -- to an autocross. The engine wouldn't rev over 3000 rpm. On the way home, in the dark, the MG generator failed, and the Motto-Cisitalia followed John Camden's truck home with out lights. Hosler was so disgusted that he removed the MG engine and put it back into the TD it came out of. The Motto-Cisitalia the sat engineless for several years. Hosler was an engineer for Pontiac, and he always had ideas to modify the car. Consequently, many pieces came up missing over the years, not the least was it's Italia history.

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#2 Cris

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 19:33

Pictures! Please post if you could.

Cris

#3 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 20:41

More on the Motto-Cisitalia ("Goldmanini"):

While the Motto-Cistalia was owned by Dan Hosler, he sold the beautiful finned aluminum brake drums, light weight aluminum brake shoes, and drilled backing plates, complete, to Martin Tanner to be used on one of the Tanner sports car Specials, being built by Tanner and John Camden. These original brakes from my car still exist on the Tanner Special today. They're my original brakes, but they are also his original brakes! A conumdrum, to be sure.

About 1965/66 he installed a Mercedes 190SL engine and gearbox in the Motto-Cisitalia, but luckily never hooked up a driveshaft, or anything else. Hosler even sold the car once to a man from Toledo, Ohio -- about one hour south of Pontiac, Michigan -- and loaded up everything in the man's station wagon. Hosler even loaned the man a trailer for the Motto-Cisitalia, but never collected any money for the car -- just a promise of payment. About two or three weeks later, Hosler called about payment and was told by the man's wife that they were getting a divorce and she didn't know where he was. However, she did know where the trailer and the Motto-Cisitalia were. The trailer had burned out a wheel bearing on the way from Pontiac to Toledo and it was parked at a gas station, with the car still on it. Hosler was able to retrieve the car and trailer, but everything loaded in the Station wagon was lost.

That's the way I found the car in 1973. I paid $450 for it and trailered it (on my trailer) to my home in Ann Arbor. I sold the Mercedes 190SL "taxi cab" motor for $300, and have spent many years getting all the proper pieces for the Motto-Cisitalia. All I need now is the proper Jaeger tachometer/rev counter. This is similar to the ones used in a supercharged Type 57 Bugatti -- black face, with zero at one o'clock and 70 at eleven 0'clock. There's a picture of the exact tach I need on page 96 in Luciano Greggio's book ABARTH, THE MAN, THE MACHINES.

#4 TIPO61

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 21:10

Martin Tanner. Met him on the grid at Road America many moons ago. Remarkable machine. Interesting man. Thanks for the 'memory tick.'

#5 dretceterini

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:05

Peter:

I don't know if you have a copy of the book La Sport E I Suoui Artiginani 1937-1965, but on page 175 there is a Gilco spider with a hardtop that looks a fair bit like the Goldmanini. The roof is similar to the type used in Cobra spiders, and it has a filler, making me think the gas tank is actually in the roof. It says the car was built for Angelo Gerosa, and had a Siata motor. I think I sent you a xerox of this photo some time ago. Of all the photos of "etceterinis" I have seen, this car looks closest to the Goldmanini.

Savonuzzi was also affiliated with the Leone cars, and they even built their own motor. It appears that Leone became SVA, but my Italian isn't good enough to understand the connection.

As to the car being a Cisitalia, what type would it be? The 204 was the transition car between Cisitalia and Abarth. Gilco built a chassis called tipo 205, and there was also an Abarth 205. Could the car be Tipo 203?

#6 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 19:57

Hi Stu,

I'm jealous about your week in Paris. Marlene and I spent a week in Barcelona in late July, and then 5 days at Concorso Italiano, but Paris would have been nice!

No, I don't have a copy of the book you mention and I don't recall you sending me a copy of the photo of the Gilco spider. Could you send me another copy? You still have my address don't you?

All your questions are very good, as usual. I just wish I had all the answers. If only I had talked to Savonuzzi, he could have answered everything. Is the Motto-Cisitalia (Goldmanini) a Tipo 202? No, not really. Is it a Tipo 204 or 205? No, not really. Is it a Tipo 203? No one seems to know.

What is known is that the car was designed by Savonuzzi, large diameter oval & round tube chassis built by Gilco but not designed by them (presumably it was also designed by Savonuzzi), all mechanical pieces by Cisitalia with some interesting departures (front suspension the same as Fiat 1100S), and body by Motto. Perhaps it was the car built for the Twin Cam 1500 Cisitalia engine that Savonuzzi designed? No one seems to know. What is known is that Dusio was completely involved the the Cisitalia-Porsche Grand Prix project to the detriment of the further development of the street cars and sports cars -- finally leading to the bankruptcy of Cisitalia. Savonuzzi tried, without success, to persuade Dusio to drop the GP car and concentrate on the cars that were Cisitalia's bread and butter, and to build the Twin Cam 1500. Dusio didn't agree, and Savonuzzi left Cisitalia. Did Cisitalia, Savonuzzi, and Motto build this car to show Dusio what the Tipo 203 could be? No one today seems to know.

Interestingly, the Motto-Cisitalia 1100 spider corsa has been driven less than 75 miles from when it was discovered at Carrozzeria Rocco Motto in 1954, until today (2004)!!

I don't know how to post photos on this site, or I would post a picture of my Motto-Cisitalia.

#7 dretceterini

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 02:15

I've found the best way to post photos here is to scan them into your "my documents" file, then upload them to a web site such as yahoo. Then you can post the specific address of the photo, rather than actually insert it here. Saves web space for Atlas to use a link rather than actually post a picture..

Here is the link to the Gilco-Gerosa with the Siata motor. Nothing more about the car or which race the picture is from is said in the book.


http://pg.photos.yah...8&.dnm=b8de.jpg

#8 Ruairidh

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 02:52

Guys - easiest way has to be this one as suggested by Bira http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=70638 :up:

#9 dretceterini

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 14:24

I think what I said is essentially the same thing; scan to hard drive, upload to host site, and post link...

#10 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 22:53

I am going to try to post a link to a picture of my Motto-Cisitalia 1100 spider corsa (aka: The Goldmanini)

Posted Image

I hope this works.

It's a very pretty little car and it would be great if I could find out its Italian history -- that is, it's history prior to 1954.

#11 dretceterini

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 23:06

I haven't been able to find out any more than you already know after 20+ years of trying. Interesting how much an AC Cobra 289 looks like the car.

#12 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 23:29

Thanks Stu for all your efforts over the last 20+ years!

Also thanks for correctly saying that the AC Cobra looks like my Motto-Cisitalia. Most people get it backwards -- but this Motto-Cisitalia spider corsa predates the Cobra by about 15 years!

Maybe now, with a picture, someone's memory might be jogged. Hope so!

#13 dretceterini

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 19:07

I would suggest e-mailing a picture to Tam, the owner of this site, although it won't help with the Italian history of the car..


http://www.tamsoldracecarsite.net/

#14 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 22:31

Hi,

Just another attempt to learn the Italian history of this beautiful barchetta (spider corsa). Perhaps someone has a photo of this car while it was still in Italy (1948 - 1954)?

#15 dretceterini

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 14:57

I haven't found anything new; sorry...

Stu