Select your language



In the early days of 1982 Fiat Auto and Saab reached a definitive collaboration agreement for the development of cars with a shared four door chassis.
It was a concept of synergies from Vittorio Ghiedella, M.D. of Fiat, which gave rise to the "Type 4 Project".
The Lancia Thema, Saab 9000 and Fiat Croma were engineered and built followed later by the Alfa Romeo 164, which was a little different in that it had its own unique doors.
From this "type 4 project" an important and long-lasting working relationship was born with Saab and later also with Scania.
The first contact with the Swedish car manufacturer, for Alfredo Stola & Figli, took place in Geneva the previous year at an exhibition, called SITEV, dedicated to introducing suppliers to car manufacturers.
Engineer Alberto Sasso, accompanied by Margherita Stola, was introduced by Doctor Riccardo Bussolati of Fiat Auto to the Saab delegation present at the event.
As a consequence of the introduction, on the feast of Saint Lucia shortly before Christmas, Roberto Stola and Engineer Sasso flew to Trolletthan in Sweden (with 3 stopovers and 9 hours of travel) to meet with Directors Sven Solvang and Gustav Leftinger, from Saab’s technology and purchasing departments respectively.
The exterior design of the 9000 was the work of Italdesign, this was essentially due to the fact that Giugiaro himself was designing the Lancia Thema and Fiat Croma in parallel.
Bjorn Enval, director of Saab’s Style Center, actively followed the whole exterior design activity in Moncalieri, requiring numerous trips to Italy.
The interior style was instead made entirely in Sweden by the Saab style team in Trollhattan.

011981 Lancia Thema special Master for use in the Lancia design office for visible welding point verification through the transparent outer skin made of plexiglass.021981 Lancia Thema special Master for use in the Lancia design office for visible welding point verification through the transparent outer skin made of plexiglass.

031982 Lancia Thema Master Model.041982 Lancia Thema Master Model.

05Vittorio Della Rocca in 1993At the end of 1982, the modeler Vittorio della Rocca was hired as an assistant to the two historians Head of Work Carlo Bordone and Sante Sellan to deal with the increase in the amount of work due to the new assembly masters and the demanding orders of the "Type 4 Project"
In the same period, consultant Engineer Guido Toninelli worked together with Engineer Alberto Sasso and Alfredo Stola until 1989 in the complex management of the Saab customer for the Type 9000 in Basic, CD, CS, 900 Aero and 900 Cabrio versions.
The 9000 project was very extensive since, in addition to the classic master model, Alfredo Stola & Figli created 100% of every single detail of the car in all three versions, both for the exterior, the structures and the interior of the passenger and luggage compartments.
For each variant, a demonstration model had to be built, a negative resin, two positive resins and a control jig.
Every detail had to be created, such as gaskets, springs, handles, buttons, mats and even the internal parts of the light units.
It was a kind of concurrent engineering unknown at the time, most of Saab’s production suppliers (in particular the plastic mould makers) would use the Stola model shop in order to make their work more effective and efficient, to achieve maximum technical alignment and especially avoid any waste of time.
The same procedure was utilised for the 900 Cabrio version, the only variation being the supply of all the cast iron tools for the stamping of the internal and external sheet metal, this was made for Saab by the SAT company in Beinasco, exclusive property of Roberto Stola.
The Swedish car manufacturer used the services of the English company IAD, with their engineers resident in Stola for eight years checking the models, resins and jigs to a dimensional tolerance is 0.2mm (two tenths of a millimeter) using DEA trackers.
Every fifteen days Tord du Hane and Pereic Hoglund of the Trollhattan model department would visit Turin for an unlimited and sometimes exhausting review of the 9000 and 900 cabrio projects
Although less common, there were nevertheless also many visits to Turin by the Purchasing and Technology Directors Gustav Leftinger and Sven Solvang
Perhaps more than a hundred trips to Sweden were made by Sasso, Toninelli, Roberto and Alfredo Stola, at that time it took a whole day to get to Saab with the various stopovers and, on the last trip by car, a passport was still required to cross the border.

06Tord du Hane  07Pereic Haglund

08Bjorn EnvallToninelli between 1989 and 1991 worked as a consultant to directly for Giuseppe Stola in the Sev foundry.
The Saab 9000 was also an opportunity to get to know Bjorn Envall, the first non-Italian designer encountered by the Stola team.
Over time this great relationship allowed for a build up of trust that allowed Alfredo Stola & Figli to learn more about the work at Saab’s modelling department, not just the demonstration and master models.

091983 Saab 9000 Master Model.

101983 Saab 9000 Master Model.

11To reach Saab and Alfredo Stola & Figli the flight routes were Turin, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Trollhattan. We always flew with Lufthansa and SAS; the planes were the Boing 727, the DC9 and the Saab 340.

12aIn all the years of work, with hundreds of trips between Italy and Sweden, Swania in Trollhattan and the Prince of Piedmont in Turin were the only hotels used by the men of Alfredo Stola & Figli and those of the Saab.

14Turin 1983: Archie test driver from IAD Saab consultant with Eng. Guido Toninelli.

15September 1984 Turin Via La Thuile 69. Pereric Hoglund, Alfredo Stola and Jurgen Kopsch The Saab managers, respectively responsible for model and purchasing. The Maserati biturbo is Alfredo's personal car.

161984 Partner in Progress Recognition from Saab to Stola for the 9000 project.

17Late 1984 the Saab 9000 goes into series production; the style is by Giorgetto Giugiaro.

18The interior of the Saab 9000 will be built by the Saab Style Center in Trollhattan.19The interior of the Saab 9000 will be built by the Saab Style Center in Trollhattan.

20In this photo taken in 1998, a top view of the Saab factory. For the men of Alfredo Stola & Figli who will later become Stola s.p.a. this will be an extraordinarily familiar panorama.



01This first half of the 1980s is a period of great work for Saab (for some years it was the customer with the highest turnover), flight connections with Trollhatan in Sweden and Uusikaupunki in Finland were few and involved long stopovers.
Adding to that Ford,  with their offices in Cologne and London and occassionally trips to Istanbul and Bursa for work with Tofas, in 1985  Stola decided to buy a private aircraft.
It was a Cheyenne III PA-42 72R, 9 seater equipped with two 720 hp  Pratt & Whitney turbo-prop engines, a pressurized cabin, a cruising height of 10,700 m, cruising speed of 523 kmh and a range of 4207 km I -CGTO registered.
The captain was Franco Giordano and his co-pilot Alfredo Stola, who had qualified for instrument flight certification (IFR)  a few years earlier.



02July 24, 1985 Gothenburg, Sven Solvang and Guido Toninelli.03July 24, 1985 Gothenburg Alfredo Stola in the cockpit of the PA-42 I-CGTO

041987 Alfredo and Maria Paola Stola at the General Aviation of the Turku airport in Finland.

05November 6, 1988 flying to Istanbul. Maria Paola Stola and Alfredo.

06November 6, 1988 in flight from Turin to Istanbul.

07November 6, 1988 Bosphorus dinner Roberto Stola and Jean Nauhm Executive Director Tofas.

081989 Torino Colonia with Renzo Zampicinini
and Alberto Sasso.

091989 At General Aviation of Cologne before the return flight. Alfredo Stola in one of the last photographs with the Cheyenne III.

It is interesting to remember that during the 9000 and 900 projects, both Coupé and Cabriolet made a lot of cargo flights  to both Gothenburg and  Turku.
Removing the seats in order to deliver the prototypes of the rear spoilers to allow the Saab to complete their first series.
These exceptional deliveries were required due to  delays accumulated by Saab itself in building the assembly lines for the pre-production to final production cars.
In 1989, the aircraft was sold due to  operating costs as well as to  the fact that year after year, air links from Turin were continually improving.
It was however a nice experience that allowed Alfredo to accumulate just over a thousand hours of flight between 1980 and 1990 not only with the Cheyenne III, but also with his Cessna 172 RG Cutlass.


END 1984

The relationship with Pininfarina went from strength to strength over the years with masterpieces such as the Master Models for the Ferrari 330 GT 2 + 2, 365 GT 2 + 2, 365 GTC 4, Testarossa and the Lancia 037 ago.
At the end of 1984  Alfredo Stola & Sons were involved in the "Pininfarina Cadillac Allanté" project.

011985 Master Model Pininfarina Cadillac Allantè milled with numerical control.021985 Master Model Pininfarina Cadillac Allantè milled with numerical control.

The Allanté program is absolutely unique, Pininfarina were the stylists, designers and builders of all the shells and interior finishes sending them every 3 days via air  fromTurin to Detroit.
Alitalia and Lufthansa Boeing 747 cargos were used, once the complete bodies were unloaded in Detroit the mechanics were installed in the GM plant.

031987 Turin Caselle Airport. The finished bodies and interiors built by Pininfarina are loaded onto the Boing 747 Cargo, Stresa, destination Detroit.041987 Turin Caselle Airport. The finished bodies and interiors built by Pininfarina are loaded onto the Boing 747 Cargo, Stresa, destination Detroit.

A total of 21,430 examples would be built and the Stola Family's modellers would realize the Master Model, the frame models, all the interior models, the copy resins for the moulds and all the control gauges.
In 1984/85 the Allanté was the first program completely realized through the milling of numerical control models; from then on, hand built masters would no longer be used.



011985 Via Lesna 76 Grugliasco from left Mamusi Giuseppe, Ulrich, Vincenzo Madonna and Rossi Adriano.

Still in 1985, the Family consolidated its activities by adding new skills to the value chain.
These included the expansion of the computing center for surface modelling and above all the creation of the embryo of an engineering office for bodywork and interior finishes.
The body design was known as "Product Engineering" and would offer great opportunities for years to come.
Directed by Livio Conti, a second office of 1000 square meters was opened in order to host the new surface modellers along with  a few designers at 76, Via Lesna, Grugliasco.

021985 The first flat Plotter purchased by Alfredo Stola & Figli, which is added to the roller one already purchased in 1981.031985 The first flat Plotter purchased by Alfredo Stola & Figli, which is added to the roller one already purchased in 1981.

041985 The heart of the Computing Center with HP hardware housed in a 15 ° controlled temperature room.051985 The heart of the Computing Center with HP hardware housed in a 15 ° controlled temperature room.

In this building, the brown technician's gowns were replaced by white, it became known as the"Calculation Center".
The central computer connected to the first Cad stations was almost as big as a small car and was enclosed within 15-degree glass walls.
It was  a real revolution but always at the service of the workshop where gradually the work  became less manual and more mechanised.

061985 From the left Cozzani and Giuseppe Di Nunno working on the Prime CAD stations for Ford.

In this new activity, Fiat was among the first in the world to want to design the "complete body sides" intended as structural elements for the"Tipo" model. 
Alfredo Stola & Sons were involved with its designers to carry out the difficult task.
For the first time, Fiat also manufactured the molds without the use of copying resins as a natural consequence of CAD design.

071985 Gioachino Grande takes over the drawings with the Digitaiser.081985 Carlo Mantovani surveys the curves to be inserted later on the computer.

091985 Andreoli Paolo, Carlo Mantovani, Cleres Salvatores, Ulrich.


END 1985

The Trollhättan Style Center at the end of 1985 will ask for support from ALFREDO STOLA & FIGLI to detect completely under the large motorized "DEA" a very "Advanced" style concept modeled by hand in Sweden.
Their goal is to imagine at a "Concept" level the future Saab 900, transforming the relief into a mathematics of surfaces executed by Stola mathematicians.

 011985 Original design Concept 900.021985 Fabrizio Bonafede takes over the model.

031985 The Saab model in Clay under the DEA.041985 The Saab model in Clay under the DEA.

051985 Alfredo Stola, Pereric Haglund, Guido Toninelli and Sellan Sante.061985 Via la Thuile 69. Pereric Haglund of Saab, Alfredo Stola and Bill of IAD.

071985 Turin, Adriano restaurant, via Pollenzo From left: Alfredo Stola, Guido Toninelli, Tord Du Hane, Pereric Haglund and Bill.081985 still at the Adriano restaurant. From left Scomparin, Guido Toninelli, Alfredo Stola,
Pereric Haglund and Bill.

091986 Villarbasse at the home of Alfredo Stola a Swedish-style dinner cooked by the Swedes of the Saab based on shellfish and sauces specially arrived from Sweden. From left Carlo Bordone, x, Sellan Sante, Alfredo Stola, Sasso Alberto, Bill and Tord Du Hane.101986 Villarbasse at the home of Alfredo Stola a Swedish style dinner Guido Toninelli, Bill, Tord Du Hane and Alberto Sasso.

111986 Scan of the Fiat Type of the scale model.

121986 special Master for project verification carried out in plastic and plexiglass.

131986 Master Model Fiat Tipo141986 Master Model Fiat Tipo

Read More