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Giancarlo Guerra - of Scaglietti

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Doug Nye, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Doug Nye

    Doug Nye Karting
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    Jan 21, 2008
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    I have just heard that one of the car world's really unsung truly greats passed away today, in Italy.



    He was Giancarlo Guerra - his forename often expressed as Gian Carlo - who was for many years the foreman of the development department of the Scaglietti car body building company - and perhaps its most creative craftsman, responsible almost single-handedly for many of its most admired body shapes.



    He was revered by his workmates as being able to do just about anything in the metal-working line. He had a rare almost telepathic understanding with Sergio Scaglietti and they were both far more than simply panel bashers.



    Guerra would work from either a powered chassis sitting before him, every element of which had to be clothed in bodywork, or from a 3-dimensional scale model, or from a combination of both. Working fantastically quickly he would weld up a wire or rod lattice-work shape as he and Scaglietti - and such opinionated customers as Mr Ferrari - would conceive. A panel former or panel pattern would then be shaped from the finalised latticework section and then finished panels would be beaten on that hard former. (Each had its own name in Modenese dialect but I'm keeping them for a book we have nearly completed.)



    One of Guerra's most treasured possessions was the panel-beating hammer he'd used throughout his career. His workmates credit him with having been the primary stylist responsible for the breathtaking Ferrari 250GTO body form...styled in the metal...with the hammer he so prized...



    While panel men in the great Turin styling houses were known as carrozzieri - 'coach builders', regarded there as a respectable profession - their counterparts in Modena building racing cars in particular, recall they were known as just battilastre - 'panel bashers', muscular, horny-handed blokes with a trade. They worked 12 hours or more each day, for poor pay - but they adored their craft and took proper pride in it.



    Guerra was apparently quite feisty - and was renowned for being fearlessly outspoken. If a valued customer expressed a conflicting preference, Guerra would often loudly demur. Whenever Sergio Scaglietti heard that Mr Ferrari was on his way for a visit, he'd attach himself to The Old Man like a magnet and never willingly leave him to talk with Guerra alone - for fear of what Guerra might say... Scaglietti was the diplomat, Guerra the tell-it-like-it-is artisan.



    With his death, 'a real character' has passed. One who was never really given the public credit his innate skill and artistry deserved. Evidently, a splendid old boy - much admired, respected, and loved. RIP.



    DCN
     
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  3. crinoid

    crinoid F1 Veteran
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    Sad news. Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

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    #3 miurasv, Feb 17, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
    Article about Giancarlo Guerra here who also did work for Stanguellini, Lamborghini and Cizeta.

     
  5. readplays

    readplays Formula 3

    Aug 22, 2008
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    Thanks DCN for sharing the story of such a singular artisan.
    I look forward to the book with anticipation.

    RIP Sig. Guerra
     
  6. Fabiomodena

    Fabiomodena Rookie

    Feb 18, 2021
    2
    Hello Doug,

    I just registered on this forum to reply to your topic

    Giancarlo was my great uncle (great in any sense). We lived together in Modena for most of my life since I moved to Germany a few years ago to pursue a career (in cars, of course). Needless to say, he had a huge impact on my love for cars. He was also a great person all around. Genuine, sincere, hard working and down to earth as can be.

    Your kind words are much appreciated!

    I am very surprised that the news of his departure has already gone around the world. This goes to show, his genius was really loved and appriciated everywhere. In spite of his modesty and the fact, that he never wanted to make a big deal of his achievements.

    Please keep us updated about the book. I would love to read it

    Fabio
     
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  8. 375+

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    Fabio thank you for a wonderful first posting on FerrariChat. I met your great uncle many years ago in Modena, he was a living legend. A life well lived, may he rest in peace.
     
  9. Doug Nye

    Doug Nye Karting
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    Jan 21, 2008
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    Thank you Fabio - great to hear from you. Jean-Marc Borel of ModenArt has also sent me these illustrations of this celebratory body's latest tribute to Giancarlo Guerra's creative artistry, 1957 vintage - created for display by his former colleagues and fellow Scaglietti veterans Afro Gibellini and Oriello Leonardi.

    DCN
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  10. simchanova

    simchanova Formula Junior
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    ...artisan extraordinaire would be a massive understatement...
     
  11. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

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    Chapter 2.

     
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  13. JohnMH

    JohnMH Formula 3

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    Saddened to read this, but thankful as well. I love both the pontoon fender 250TR (my favorite Ferrari) and the Countach (part of my life for the past 16 years). I was never before aware of the link between the two. I look forward to this book.
     
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  14. Doug Nye

    Doug Nye Karting
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    Jan 21, 2008
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    Oh please don't get carried away by the prospect of the forthcoming book I mentioned - it's not primarily about Modenese carrozzerie nor about Scaglietti - they just form a small part of the background story to the seven Ferrari 250GTO/64s built - which really is the core subject of this forthcoming new work. It was not my intention to use this tribute to Guerra here as a promotional tool - so I apologise for any inference that might be the case. I'm really not that kind of self-promoting author...though I will admit I'm secretly quite pleased if others do it for me. :)
     
  15. DWR46

    DWR46 Formula 3
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    I have NO concerns in promoting the forthcoming book. I have been honored to be a small part of this project, and it is an amazing product. Probably not for the casual Ferrari fan, but for the true students of the marque, Doug's efforts regarding the 250 GTO/64 cars are remarkable. It is a fabulous amount of information all laid out in logical and understandable order. It is not just about the cars, but tells so much more about the people, that they become the real stars of this work. Doug's research is the most in-depth effort ever undertaken about these cars. All the owners participated and provided never seen before photos and knowledge about the individual cars. It is special.
     
  16. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Four Time F1 World Champ
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    I’ll look forward to the book. Is there an estimated publishing date?
     
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  17. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    As an ex-Countach owner (LP400 "Periscopio"), I was surprised to hear that the ex-Testa Rossa creator made also the most shocking car ever!
    Well deserved honors here. May he R.I.P.
     
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  18. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

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    Did Giancarlo work for Lamborghini or Bertone when he was making bodies for the Countach?
     
  19. Borrow’d Mine

    Borrow’d Mine Formula Junior
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    Please post when published.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
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  20. Doug Nye

    Doug Nye Karting
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    Jan 21, 2008
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    I understand that Guerra was head-hunted by Lamborghini and received an offer which doubled his pay, or better. It was far more than Scaglietti could ever match so he took the chance of a lifetime and made the move. He hand-made the prototype bodies for the Countach - thereby playing a significant role in creating what I personally regard as both the very best and (arguably) the most ghastly high-performance Italian cars of all time.

    The GTO/64 book should - repeat should - become available later this year.

    I never ever dreamed there would be so much to say in connection with just seven cars...and the frustrating thing is that I know there's more if only we could unearth it.

    DCN
     
  21. 375+

    375+ F1 Veteran
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    The curse of publishing research--when to cut it off and go with what you have? There's always something more to be discovered.
     
  22. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Well you know what they say about history: “It’s just one damned thing after another.”

    My previous post was deleted as it was posted in error. My error.:oops::)
     
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  23. Fabiomodena

    Fabiomodena Rookie

    Feb 18, 2021
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    Hello Doug,

    that is correct. What is also worth noting is that this move to a competitor did not go down well with Ferrari (i guess the company, more than the Man).
    The relationship between Giancarlo and Ferrari would never recover, even after years.

    I guess there are a lot of episodes and anectodes worth remembering. But many of those would offend quite a few "big" names. Maybe that´s why he kept so many stories for himself
     
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  24. Nembo1777

    Nembo1777 F1 Veteran
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    I realized in the last few days that in the course of doing about 34 interviews for a certain Miura book, many of them in and around Modena in 2007, I met him though I did not interview him as it would have been of topic. But I do recall someone in a workshop introducing us and I think if was Giorgio Neri (of Neri & Bonacini fame creators of my favorite 250GT #1777GT based Spyder and other wonders). He did project an aura of huge experience, competence and strong convictions. RIP.
     
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  25. Olivier NAMECHE

    Olivier NAMECHE F1 Rookie

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    I had the privilege to interview Gian Carlo Guerra 2x times back in 2015, for my Lamborghini books in preparation, among 117 others Pioneers, engineers, workers, artists... he was still very lucid with a good memory.

    Paolo Stanzani made him the offer to come to work at Sant'Agata Bolognese, Paolo doubbled his wage, offer that he couldn't refuse.

    The 1st target was to create the JIG in order to manufacture the Countach at Sant'Agata, this was to avoid the dependance to Bertone and to have all in house Countach production, exception of the tube frame contracted at Marchesi.

    The 2nd target was to built the Countach... Gian Carlo was the head of craftmen team who built all Countach.


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  26. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

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    Thank you for your answer.
     
  27. B24Spider

    B24Spider Rookie

    Sep 27, 2008
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    A one who trained as a silver and goldsmith, that is, hammer, steel, torch, and file, my respects....
     
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