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Motto

Motto

Motto was an Italian coachbuilding company established in Turin in 1932 by Rocco Motto. The company produced bodies on the chassis of a.o. Ferraris, Cadillacs, Delahayes, Fiat, Renault, Lancia, Salmson and many more.

"CA-MO" was the telex address for Carrozzeria Rocco Motto, and those letters were at some time incorporated into Motto's badge. Some Motto body badges are metal script, some are block letters, some have the word "Torino" included. Motto was best known as a carrozzeria for lightweight competition cars, and one-off specials.

Rocco motto was born in 1904 in Rivarossa. He became an orphan during the first World War. Like many other boys in his village, little Rocco began working the iron. He was a quick learner and soon he started working for several coachbuilders in the area. In 1925 he became a team leader at Martelleria Maggiora of Turin. In 1932 he opened his own workshop in the Via Orta in Turin. His main activity was to build body shells for the leading coachbuilders and major car companies of that era, including Pininfarina, Ghia and Lancia.

Rocco Motto was blessed to have a very capable staff who designed and crafted the bodies, while he took care of the finishing touches. Rocco Motto soon developed his own style with clean and simple lines, but also smooth and flowing with hardly any unnecessary detailling.

After the end of WWII Rocco Motto moved to the Via Bardonecchia, where he specialized in aluminium racing car bodies. Between 1946 and 1949 Motto was responsible for the bodies of cars like Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Cisitalia, Bandini and Ermini. Motto's reputation was growing day by day, thanks to the very competitive Cisitalia D46 and 204, as well as a small number of special Lancia Aprilia Sport, developed by Gianni Basso and bodied by Motto. The name of Motto stepped over the Italian borders with the production of bodies on Talbot-Lago and Renault. He also worked on some Jaguars, a Delahaye 150, the '51 Monte Carlo Rally winning Delahaye 175 and an MG that won the same rally in 1953. Furthermore, Motto created some Lancia Aurelia racing cars and the Siata Daina and 208S.

Motto's fame even crossed the Atlantic Ocean where some models with bodywork by Motto were sold, like the Cadillac LaSalle of 1953. Two of Motto's admirers were the famed designers Virgil Exner and Raymond Loewy. Motto built the famous Lancia Flaminia Loraymo at Loewy's request. Loewy chose Motto after many other coachbuilders had refused the job because of the complexity of the work.

In 1963, Porsche became interested in Motto's skills and they commissioned him to build the streamlined body of the special Porsche 356B Abarth GTL.

When the coachbuilding days were over in 1965, Rocco and his son Francesco devoted themselves to the production of caravans and commercial vehicles. Rocco Motto died in 1996 at the age of 92.

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