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In these pages, I aim to chronicle the 105-year journey of the Stola family in the automobile industry, a legacy that commenced in Turin in 1919 with my grandfather Alfredo in a modest workshop crafting models for foundries and
bodywork enterprises.
This narrative will serve as a testament to the enduring memories meticulously preserved through the recollections of my father, uncles, cousin, workshop managers, and dedicated employees. The essence of our endeavors lies in the profound principles that have guided us through the decades. From the inaugural year of 1919 until 26th July 2004, a significant milestone marked by my departure from the presidency and all operational roles within Stola S.p.A., and subsequently founding Studiotorino s.r.l. in 2005, every person, project, and location will be meticulously documented. This endeavor also seeks to immortalize the essence of the three companies wholly owned by Stola S.p.A. - Estival, Tecnocars, and Stola do Brasil.
In dedicating this narrative, I pay homage to my father, Francesco, whose life was tragically cut short by the actions of malevolent and cowardly individuals when he was just forty-nine. Furthermore, my tribute extends to my grandfather Alfredo, a presence I never had the pleasure of knowing, and my uncles Roberto and Giuseppe, along with my cousin Massimo with whom I collaborated for 2 decades.

Turin 1894, Corso Casale 62 at the corner of via Casal Borgone 1, the wine store of Francesco Stola.

1905 Alfredo Stola il giorno della sua Cresima.1905 Alfredo Stola il giorno della sua Cresima.

Alfredo Stola was born in the family home in Via Casal Borgone 1, in the Madonna del Pilone neighbourhood on the banks of the river Po ,Turin, on the 31st August 1894. He was the first born, later joined by his sisters Gabriella and Adelina.
His father Francesco and his mother, Vincenza Brunazzo, were traders with a thriving business in the sale of the wines and liqueurs of Asti and Monferrato.
In Corso Casale 62, on the corner of Via Casal Borgone 1 within the family property, they had an important and profitable retail outlet called "Emporio Vini Stola Francesco" managing a retail and wholesale business for northern Italy founded in 1875.

The young Alfredo however, proved much more interested in the motor car and its technology, his parents encouraged him by offering him the opportunity to undertake technical studies.
So, after graduating from middle school, encouraged by his parents, he undertakes technical studies and at eighteen years of age, not without a good dose of courage, he decides to leave Italy for Brazil.

03There are no photos taken by Alfredo during his time in South America. Everything was told by him to his three children, and consequently to his grandchildren. So we wanted to imagine through these two postcards found on the web his ocean crossing, and a Sunday walk in the center of Santos.04In these vintage photographs you can see the motor ship Tomaso di Savoia at the port of Genoa in those years often used on the Genoa - Buenos Aires - Santos route, and a suggestive image of the center of Santos in the last century, probably on a day of celebration.


1915, fraction Isola di Morosini in the province of Gorizia. Alfredo Stola infantryman of the Italian army at the beginning of the First World War.In the autumn of 1912 he embarked from Genoa, his destination Santos, a city with the largest port in South America and very close to Sao Paulo.
As with many Italian emigrants arriving in Brazil, after nine days sailing the young Alfredo met his father’s Italian contact who had placed him in work.
The job was as a foundry apprentice modeler in the field of large marine engines, here he stood out for his natural ability to work with wood, following technical drawings and learning the sand casting processes.
It was this experience, gained in the environment of motorized transport, that a few years later would allow him to take his first steps in the fervent Turin automotive industry.
With the military call, Alfredo returned to Italy in 1915 to participate in the First World War, and enlisted in infantry he would be positioned at the front near the Isonzo river in the Isola di Morosini area.



1919AlfredoStolo1919 Turin Alfredo Stola.

The choice of area was deliberate, it was in the heart of Borgo San Paolo, the location of the headquarters of Lancia, which was then one of the most important Italian car factories, renowned throughout the world.
On an area of just over 300 square meters, his team was composed of four collaborators: Carandino, Moiso, Pronel and the apprentice, Cit.


1919scrittaThe first graphic design of the modelshop created by Alfredo Stola

laboratorioTorino 1919 Inside the model shop of Alfredo Stola in Corso Racconigi 138.

Being less than a kilometer from the Lancia factory, the small workshop was immediately appreciated by the car maker, not only for models but also for the prototype panels assembled on demonstration bucks, some of which were drivable. In the meantime, a sincere relationship of mutual respect was being established between Alfredo Stola and Vincenzo Lancia.
It was at this first location that various demonstration models for exterior bodywork and interiors were being built. Also, castings for Lambda engine parts, to be put into production from 1921 onwards.

001Turin, corso Racconigi 138. part of the Alfredo Stola modelling team from the end 1920's.
From the left-Corandino, Alfredo Stola, Moiso, Pronel and Cit.

prima guerra031920 1:1 wooden scale model of the Lancia Lambda first concept.

1925modello legno011921 model of the Lancia Lambda chassis. It is interesting to note the hand-written sign, that can be read with difficulty, showing the company name and the address of the modeling shop. 1925modello legno021921 model of the Lancia Lambda chassis.

lambda torpedo 011924 wooden model of the Lancia Lambda Torpedo. lambda torpedo1924 wooden model of the Lancia Lambda Torpedo.

prima guerra021920 Complete design of the foundry models for the Lancia Lambda engine.

Alfredo Stola married Margherita Converso in 1921 and from this union three children were born in Turin: Giuseppe on 20 July 1922, Francesco on 19 January 1929 and Roberto on 15 February 1936.




prima guerra041929 of the foundry models for the Lancia Astura engine.Other work followed for the Dilambda and Augusta models ; the Artena in 1933 would become the last project delivered from the Corso Racconigi site.
The details of this last project being a "restyling" as we would call it today.
New style wooden running boards and mud-guards were fitted to the previous production model; in this way a kind of running model / prototype was realised.

artena01Turin,1933 wooden model and sheet metal prototype for the Lancia Artena third series.

artena03  artena02



patenteAlfredo Stola's driving licence from 1930.

In 1934, the works moved a few hundred meters, to Via Issiglio 38, bordering the wall of the large Lancia factory in Via Monginevro. 800 square meters of workshop owned, designed and built under the direction of Alfredo.
It was complete with diverse work areas, cast iron countertops, a column milling machine, accounting support offices and a headcount of around 20 employees.

 balillaTurin, 1932, via Issiglio 38, Alfredo Stola with his Fiat 514 TO 37145, on the site of his new workshop.For "Stola Modelling", The wall of the Lancia plant in Via Issiglio would become a legend within in the workplace, when Vincenzo Lancia himself, a couple of years later, had a driveway door opened right in front in order to speed up movement between the companies.
A saving of almost a kilometer for the movement of the models that, at the time, were pushed by hand on a cart.
With the new gate across the street, it allowed direct access to the Lancia courtyard without having to go through Lancia's goods reception in Via Caraglio.

archivio lanciaLegend, which in the absence of a photograph is confirmed thanks to research by Luigi De Virgilio, son of the famous Lancia engine engineer who operated between 1939 and 1975).
On page 130 of the book "Le Carte Scoperte", documents collected and sorted for a Lancia archive, published by Progetto Archivio Fiat, at the beginning of page 130, Antonello Barocci writes: 180/183. ( 3. 4. 1936 / 25. 6. 1936 ) Opening in the Fvi (Industrial vehicle factory) of a driveway entrance on Via Issiglio and subsequent demolition of a section of the building facing the new entrance.
"Aprilia" and "Ardea" were the model names of the period. Alfredo Stola designed the first wooden maquettes for interiors and exteriors on the same buck for these models.
The aim, to understand both style and habitability together, given the unusually daring aerodynamics for the time.


VincenzoLancia2Vincezo Lancia poses in front of his premises in Borgo San Paolo. In 1936 he will open a door driveway in front of the street of Via Issiglio 38 corresponding to the model shop of Alfredo Stola.
1934 Distinta ore dei 14 dipendenti durante il lavoro della Lancia Aprilia.1934 Distinta ore dei 14 dipendenti durante il lavoro della Lancia Aprilia.


Vincenzo Lancia, in the search for totally new streamlined forms, found in the laboratory of Alfredo Stola, the ideal partner who also had the capability to create prototype bodywork in both sheet metal and, in the early stages, wood.
Looking at the archive photographs, it is surprising to see how, at the time, car models were built with thin wood, hollow on the inside to make the habitability and ergonomics immediately verifiable.
These are very profitable years for the Italian automotive industry and the "Alfredo Stola" company would soon become a benchmark for its expertise, not only for Lancia but also for the other Italian car manufacturers, such as Fiat, OM, Diatto, Farina, SPA. Lancia.

1934lanci aprilia01Turin 1934. Interior and exterior wooden models for the Lancia Aprilia

   1934lanci aprilia02Turin 1934. Interior and exterior wooden models for the Lancia Aprilia In effect it was a half model, with the interior visible from one side Unfortunately there are no photographs, but this was described to Alfredo Stola by his father.

prima guerra011934, a 1:1 scale model of one of the proposals showing both interior and exterior together It is conceivable that it also had the doors open, as shown by the steering wheel and the window not being completely lowered.

1934lanci aprilia05The license plates shown were those of Alfredo Stola's personal Lancia Augusta.  1934lanci aprilia041934, a 1:1 scale model of one of the proposals

1934lanci aprilia031935,Taken in the courtyard of Lancia,38 via Issiglio, one of numerous aerodynamic prototypes requested by Vincenzo Lancia. From the number plate this appears to be the fifth proposal model of 1935.

1936scuola1938, Avogadro Technical Institute of Turin, Giuseppe Stola, the first on the left, at the fourth year practical exam.

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