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One and all Connolly leather thread for Vintage Ferrari

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by BBBBBBB, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Jim,
    yes please.
    Ben
     
  2. jcavalie

    jcavalie Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 4, 2005
    579
    Oakland, CA
    Full Name:
    Jim
    More on Franzi: Franzi 1864 - Fashion Brand | Brands | The FMD

    founded by: Franzi family

    FRANZI is a 145 year-old Italian brand with a glorious and magnificent past in the luxury leather-goods sector. Now the mission is to revamp it worldwide.

    The story of the Franzi family began more than a hundred years ago, in 1840, when Rocco Franzi decided to move to Milan and started a small business specialized in the creation of bags and suitcases, located only a few steps from the Cathedral, fully interpreting the spirit of change and deliverance of that time.

    The First Industrial Revolution was underway in Europe in those years, so that along with pleasure trips, more and more people undertook business travel looking for new market and development opportunities. In this context, the leather-goods sector which Rocco Franzi had chosen for his activity was bound to provide a safe future. However, it was his son, Felice who managed to seize its full potential and to turn his father’s lucky intuition into a top-ranking business. In 1864, Felice Franzi founded the Valigeria Franzi, an unpretentious workshop close to the via Manzoni. It was here that he conceived the Franzi suitcase that would become very popular due to its new presentation and manufacturing standards. In the wake of this prompt success, he decided to open a proper manufacturing plant. Along with travelling trunks and suitcases, production included all sorts of leather goods in an effort to meet the needs of increasingly demanding and sophisticated customers. He was a very enlightened businessman so that he did not hesitate to invest in tools and machinery, advanced techniques and skilled labour. Leather-goods experts came from Austria and France, which always had a reputation of excelling in the manufacturing of leather goods. By working in the Franzi factory, they contributed to the training of highly-specialized craftsmen who would play a leading role in the development of leather goods manufacturing skills in the 20thcentury. One of them was Guccio Gucci, who learned here how to select and dye valuable skins and to turn them into refined manufactured products.

    Felice Franzi opened a first shop in Milan in the via Manzoni, which was followed by shops in Rome, Genoa and Vienna. In 1905, he was one of the very first to be conferred the title of "Cavaliere deI Lavoro". In those years, the "Valigeria Franzi" received an extraordinary number of awards at some of the main international trade fairs. Thanks to the exquisite quality of its manufactured leather good, it became Official Purveyor to the Royal Household of Savoy and Greece, to Her Majesty the King of Egypt and to the Imperial Royal Household of Austria. The Savoy family went as far as to allow Franzi to make use of the Crown of the Royal Family. In 1890, Felice's son, Oreste joined the family business. He was the fine interpreter of the entrepreneurial spirit of his predecessor. He was just over twenty and had already travelled through the East, visiting China, Japan and Singapore. His joining the business coincided with gaining awareness of the necessity to supervise the whole production cycle in order to guarantee high-quality manufactured goods. Hence the need to create their own carpenter’s shop to make the trunks' wooden structure and the establishment of the "Conceria Monzese". This was the first tannery in Europe to manufacture skins treated with vegetable products.

    Running through its story reveals a fascinating world of poetical chemistry: extracts of walnut, mimosa, quebracho (imported from South America) and plum, slowly seeping into the skin’s fibres making them stronger without compromising their softness. This special leather became universally known as "Franzi leather" and was going to make its appearance in its many different variations, on the Orient Express as well as on the sumptuous transatlantic ships of that time along with leather goods by Louis Vuitton, Swaine Adeney and Hermes. Oreste Franzi also improved his commercial network by opening shops in Genoa, Florence, Naples, Rome and London. In those shops customers could find the most exclusive and elegant leather goods on the market. Like his father, he was awarded the title of “Cavaliere del Lavoro". World War II caused severe damage to the Franzi Company. In 1943, air raid by the Allied Forces completely destroyed a thermic-bottle plant and the whole commercial network came to an abrupt standstill, although no shop had to close. Despite post-war reconstruction and the “Italian miracle" of the 1960s, the Franzi Company stuck to its century old story and remained a reference point for exclusive, highly-sophisticated customers: a niche in the "mare magnum" of mass consumption.

    Moreover, Oreste Franzi’s nephew, who bore the name of his grandfather, began exploring the design field and manufactured a synthetic-resin suitcase, the ABS, in co-operation with the architect Cini Boeri. Thanks to its innovating material, minimalist design and futuristic functionality, their work of art is still on permanent show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. With the progressive development of car design, big name such as Pinin Farina and Bertone used Molitan leather manufactured by the Franzi tannery to line the sumptuous interiors of Maseratis and Ferraris. The same sort of leather used to line cabin interiors on fabulous transatlantic ships such as La Raffaello or La Michelangelo. In the following years, co-operation with De Padova and avant-garde designers was intensified.

    This very suggestive story of the Franzi family and the way it passed discreetly through epochal events of which it has become, almost without knowing it, a protagonist, will be the starting point for the new Franzi 1864. Its company structure completely renovated, Franzi 1864 has decided to start again with an accurate development strategy. The first step is to study product historical files. Ancient prototypes and old sketches have been retrieved thanks to the co-operation of the Franzi family as well as of passionate collectors. Collections of sketches dating from the beginning of the 20th century with Indian ink drawings and extremely detailed product descriptions are becoming unexpected sources of seduction and originality, especially as far as handbags are concerned. These are characterized by a rigorous, straight-lined design softening in the roundness of the "seam" and at the base and becoming more feminine with the little scrap created under the attentive and loving eye of someone to whom the attention to details was essential. Their stylist team is working to translate these ancient lines into new functional finished goods. To do so, they use "Franzi leather" along with other equally elegant and sophisticated materials treated with modern technologies, always in line with the spirit of experimentation which has always characterized their brand. The new Collection will start in Spring/Summer 2009. Handbags play a central role next to a few proposals of small and travel leather goods. The collection structure is very focused: it is made up of a few basic, strongly identifying models with different manufacture and details. A niche proposal with a stylish content which is never "shouted" nor aggressive. A trendy luxury with a precise lifestyle as a reference. Finest quality remains an absolute necessity for the Company Mission and is to be attained through selected Tuscan handicraft workshops and an extremely accurate quality control. In order to convey a message of coherence, the central themes identifying their products can be found in both our Corporate Image and Shop Concept, which are currently being defined in co-operation with one of the most promising interior and graphic designer. The first result has been the new graphic of their logo.
     
  3. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Jim,
    many thanks for the explanation and confirmation.
    Ben
     
  4. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Update:

    according what we have seen so far we believe the nero/nero Franzi car shown in Post 86 to be the period fitted leather, thus to be real genuine nero FRANZI leather (equipped by the Ferrari factory as per the mentioned MASSINI report).

    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/144279868-post86.html

    Ben
     
  5. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Update:

    until now we have been informed Franzi nero leather was used in these cars:

    330 GT 2+2
    330 GTC

    any other cars ?

    Ben
     
  6. Marcel Massini

    Marcel Massini F1 World Champ
    Honorary

    Mar 2, 2005
    13,010
    In 114 units of the type 365 GT 2+2...........and many others too.
    And in 18 of the 365 GTC Coupés as well.

    Marcel Massini
     
  7. Jim575

    Jim575 Karting

    Sep 26, 2011
    87
    Sydney Australia
    Full Name:
    Jim K
    Hello Ben
    Your welcome! I will also send you photos once I start on the leather, currently it is boot carpet first.
    Kindest regards,
    Jim
     
  8. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    #108 BBBBBBB, Nov 4, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
    Jim,
    excellent news and many thanks. May i ask you are you going to remove the old original genuine Connolly VM3218 or have they been already changed sometime before ?

    Do you have pictures of the old genuine Connolly VM3218 to share please ?

    How thick are these old genuine Connolly VM3218 ?

    Is there any difference in the thickness (back seat to front seats) ?

    Ben
     
  9. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Marcel,
    as always many thanks for your great contributions !
    Ben
     
  10. kare

    kare F1 Rookie
    Consultant

    Nov 11, 2003
    3,227
    With a company run like Ferrari the answer is very simple: price. Franzi must have produced huge quantities of black leather for the furniture industry so it was likely cheaper than Connolly who'd likely charge the same for any color. I too have original Franzi in one of my cars and while great, it is quite different fron Connolly.
     
  11. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Kare, nice to hear from you. Connolly produced a lot for the furniture industry, that we know for sure.

    Regarding Franzi: could it have been leather accessories such as handbags etc. ?

    Wonderful information.

    May i ask you to share some pictures please ?
    How thick is it ?
    What about the perfume ?

    Ben
     
  12. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Just a short update in regard to the picture question:

    Please let us always share as many interior pictures as possible and necessary.

    I would feel comfy with lets say 2 interior/exterior pictures, preferably with open door/s to see the interior seen from the outside to get a good understanding how the interior appears from outside.

    This to not overload the thread with pure exterior pictures, even if they are so extremly stunning...I would suggest to link pure exterior pictures, for example to a thread dedicated to that car here inside FChat or any other link outside of FChat.

    Ben
     
  13. Jim575

    Jim575 Karting

    Sep 26, 2011
    87
    Sydney Australia
    Full Name:
    Jim K
    Hello Ben
    Are we only talking about cars up to 365GTC4 and earlier or slightly later cars as well??
    Jim
     
  14. Jim575

    Jim575 Karting

    Sep 26, 2011
    87
    Sydney Australia
    Full Name:
    Jim K
    Ben
    I will answer the earlier question regarding thicknesses as I remember later tonight.
    Jim
     
  15. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Jim,
    we actually speak about Connolly leather for Ferrari in general. Connolly ceased trading in 2002. Due to the fact Connolly leathers were used by Ferrari until the 90ies would love to see pictures of such leathers even in younger cars, because Connolly doesnt stop supplying in 1973 to Ferrari.

    We are at the moment in the Vintage section because it is actually the best appropiate place inside FChat.

    I hope we will get a better place soon, i could imagine a new sub category called "Connolly leather for Vintage and younger Ferrari" inside the main category called "Model Specific Discussions".

    El Wayne reads this and hope he will create such a solution soon for us.

    Ben
     
  16. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Summary pictures as per November 5th, 2015:

    I
    Interior pictures:

    Please let us always share as many interior pictures as possible and necessary.

    II
    Interior / Exterior pictures:

    I would feel comfy with lets say 2 interior/exterior pictures, preferably with open door/s to see the interior seen from the outside to get a good understanding how the interior appears from outside.

    At the moment - as long as we are in the Vintage section - interior/exterior pictures only for cars thru 365GTC4.

    III
    Exterior pictures:

    I would suggest to link pure exterior pictures, for example to a thread dedicated to that car here inside FChat or any other link outside of FChat.

    Ben
     
  17. Jim575

    Jim575 Karting

    Sep 26, 2011
    87
    Sydney Australia
    Full Name:
    Jim K
    Hi Ben
    To answer the question of my car 1979 400 GTi Manual Chassis 30315, has been very poorly trimmed by someone else. This is the reason I am re trimming it. I will post before and after photos on just how bad it is and you will be shocked when you see it. The car is otherwise so beautiful. I'm very passionate and too fussy for my own good. Hopefully I will buy parts of another interior to replicate the patterns and hopefully these will be genuine items in which I will keep for later.
    My memories of Connolly Autolux and Vaumol were of a little child at Christmas and each time a roll of leather would arrive I would rush to open the packet, feel it, study it and smell it. From time to time we would measure it. In the early days my recollection was that the Autolux 1.1 to 1.2mm and was thicker than VM 1.0 to 1.1mm. The VM always smelled stronger, a beautiful smell that seems to be etched in the back of my brain! The only leather that smelt as nice was early Bridge of Weir and some of the other Scottish leathers which I will look into and talk about later.
    The thickness of the leathers was the same from front to back seats, no difference as I recall in Ferraris, Jaguars and Aston Martins.
    Then there came the day when and before the internet when we noticed a terrible decline in quality, the hides eventually got so bad that we were shipping hides back to the agent and requesting replacements as they were so unusable.
    As for Pictures I will have to look into and I will also contact the Australian Representative of Connolly and see what I can get my hands on.
    I will post some photos shortly and some further background if I can.
    I look to adding to this and have enjoyed the wonderful stories.
    Jim
     
  18. ConnollyVM3218

    Nov 5, 2015
    1
    Hi
    My name is Jonathan Connolly
    I thought it might be helpful to those of you who are interested,to know about Connolly Leather and its current activities.
    I am fourth generation Connolly and have worked with the company since the mid 1970s
    My roles at the company from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s was as factory manager at our plants in Canterbury and Wimbledon.
    From the mid 1980s to 2002 I was a sales and marketing Director.
    My direct clients were Rolls Royce,Bentley,Jaguar,Aston Martin,Ferrari.
    I now run the current Connolly Leather.

    Connolly Leather is now a smaller business than it was,but it still makes very high quality upholstery leather using Uk raw material.

    As you know we manufacture our normal ranges (Vaumol,Autolux and Autocalf)for the motor industry.
    These products are made with our own technical processes that have never been divulged to anyone out side the business.
    We also manufacture bespoke leathers for the aviation,boat and furniture industries.

    It may be helpful for me to give you a little more detail about the Vaumol range that is being used extensively in the restoration world.

    Current Vaumol is tanned using exactly the same recipe as used when we produced it for main production from 1930s to the late 1970s.
    It still possesses the unique feel and aroma as before.
    We use the unique Connolly archive (4000 colours of which 1200 are Vaumol)for reproducing the original colours and finishes.

    Vaumol is made in 2 finish types

    1) Crushed Grain Single surface colour
    2) Luxan Grain Darker second colour rubbed into the natural grain by hand.

    Our 3 or 4 digit product codes denote the colour,leather type and whether it was Luxan grain or not.

    Vaumol was our top grade leather used mainly the automotive sector.
    We also made a product called FG/PAC which was supplied mainly to Jaguar,Maserati and other volume manufacturers.
    This was a more cost effective product.
    It still had the same Tanning process as the Vaumol range but the difference was that the top grain was embossed to aid cutting utilisation.

    I see UK Hide is mentioned in some of these posts.
    UK Hide are our UK small customer distributors so the Vaumol,Autolux and Autocalf are all manufactured by us.

    I hope this makes the situation a little clearer.
    If anyone has any questions I would be happy to answer them.

    Jonathan Connolly

    CONNOLLY
     
  19. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Agree, usually it should be like this.

    I personally remember one early 70ies car that had much thicker leather on the rear seat compared to the front. We discovered this upon removal of the interior for the purpose of a profound leather care.

    I remember somebody else to state similar recently, he said his rear seat leather might have been an elephant hide.

    Ben
     
  20. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    #120 BBBBBBB, Nov 6, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  21. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Marcel,
    please let us know how many units of the types 330 GT 2+2 and 330 GTC in nero FRANZI ?
    Ben
     
  22. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Owner

    Aug 1, 2002
    17,953
    San Marino, CA
    Full Name:
    L. Wayne Ausbrooks
    Yes: commercial post, username, and link. But I'm allowing it because of what it contributes to the discussion.
     
  23. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Some more FRANZI colors have been reported by 330gt.com:

    Grigio Franzi (Grigio Franzi GR 01)
    Bleu Franzi (Bleu Franzi BL 01)

    Which cars used them ?
    How many per each car type and color type ?

    Any more FRANZI colors known to be originally equipped in Ferrari ?

    Ben
     
  24. kare

    kare F1 Rookie
    Consultant

    Nov 11, 2003
    3,227
    I've always said that the elephant in the London zoo must have died in 1961 and they made my rear seat out of it. Rear seats were eventually made using the thickest hides as the rear seat in a GT/E consists of flat pieces with very little double-curving and sitting between wheel wells an eventual crumpling in the leather would be hidden away.
     
  25. BBBBBBB

    BBBBBBB Formula Junior

    Jun 6, 2015
    345
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Jim,
    looking very much forward to hearing and seeing more from you soon.
    Ben
     

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