BBC by Paolo Prosperi


This is not a book about the British Broadcasting Corporation but the fascinating story of a small car concept created around 1946 when three Italian businessmen and friends had the idea of producing a cheap small car to meet the obvious demand in Italy for a new car rather than a pre-war one that was probably second hand.

They were important people in their own fields, Pietro Beretta, who was President of the Worlds oldest gunmakers, Beretta, that provided guns for Napoleon and today is one of the most important suppliers of weapons in the World, Giuseppe ” Bepe” Benelli who was President of Benelli motor cycles and Count Giuliemo Castelbarco who was a large landowner and racing driver.

The idea was simple, it would be powered by a Benelli motor cycle engine and look stylish. It would be called the BBC for Benelli,Beretta and Castelbardo, and work began on the design construction and testing of the car. As it turned out only three B.B.C.’s were built and with Fiat rapidly returning to production after the War with their own Fiat 500 the three founders decided to stop the project, each of them retaining one of the prototypes.

I got to know all about this first hand from Ugo Beretta who was President of Beretta when I was researching the reason why Enzo Ferrari’s prototype Ferrarinia saloon car was shown with a machine gun emblem on the front, and Ugo not only told me about the BBC project his uncle had started with Benelli and Castelbarco but invited Jane and Me to visit the factory just north west of Lake Garda where “his” red BBC car stands to this day.

In turn he told me about Prosperi’s book and this thin hard cover book in Italian has many photographs, diagrams and technical details of this interesting car that very few people know exists.

The book is dedicated to Graham Gauld by the author Paolo Prosperi who was Benelli’s historian.

Price including Postage UK and Europe £30
Price including Postage USA and World £38


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Price including Postage UK and Europe £30, Price including Postage USA and World £38