Is that a fish?

  • 01 April 2020
  • 2 min read
  • 3 images
Is that a fish? image

On April 1st this year, no one feels much like joking. But given that, in many countries, the fish is the symbol of the “April fool”, we at TCCT have one from the car collecting world to show you, in the hope that it will raise your spirits.

Exhibited at the Kyoto 2018 Concours d'Elegance, this Fiat 509 A Delfino was a huge success among visitors to the event, rivalling a magnificent Miura for the People's Choice award.

So, when and how was it built? The car dates back almost a century, to 1925. It was constructed at the Martelleria Italiana Riva Panzeri shop in Milan. Its aluminum body was entirely handcrafted, and the fish skin effect was created on the newly finished bodywork by means of a manual process that consisted of rotating bottle corks, covered in abrasive paper, over its entire surface. On completion of this painstaking work, the body was finished with glossy transparent paint to make the whole vehicle, complete with mouth and eyes, look even more fishlike. This whimsical masterpiece survived WWII and subsequently — we are not kidding you —was even restored by one of those involved in its original construction. Indeed, a certain Alfredo Acquati, who had been a young panel beater at the time the car was built, came across it in the 1970s and restored it to its former glory. Magnificent! Far from a joke, this is a real gift to the “unusual” car collecting world.

1W 9592 This 1925 Fiat 509 A with a fish-shaped body was “christened” Delfino

There are actually others of this kind, too, which perhaps tells us that some designers draw inspiration from the sleek perfection of fish moving through water. One need only think of the strange three-wheeled X Sedan produced by Pininfarina, which had a CX of just 0.23, or the Bionic, a recent Mercedes concept car inspired by a species that inhabits the Indian Ocean, whose CX is even lower: 0.19. What can we say about these? Fish are magnificent creatures ... in the sea!

1960-Pininfarina-X-01 The X Sedan by Pininfarina with its dynamic, fishlike lines

mercedes-benz bionic concept 15 The 2005 Mercedes Bionic was inspired by a species of box fish found throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The car boasts an extraordinary CX