For STOLA s.p.a., 1997 was the year of Malaysia, an emerging automotive market of great interest. Over a number of visits between 1995 and 1996, Roberto Stola and Engineer Alberto Sasso had established important contacts with two car manufacturers, Proton and Perodua.

1997 Malesia presso lo stabilimento Proton. In uno dei vari viaggi in Malesia. Una foto ricordo dell'ingeger Alberto Sasso e dell'ingegner Andrea Giovanelli.1997 Malaysia at the Proton plant. On one of several trips to Malaysia. A souvenir photo of the engineer Alberto Sasso and the engineer Andrea Giovanelli.

Marcello Gandini è il designer del progetto Nicola and Cristian D'Alessio of DN Trasporti. Always the transporters of Stola s.p.a. New Perodua KancilMarcello Gandini is the designer for Stola spa of the New Perodua KancilIn particular, Perodua had been introduced by the company Hawtal & Whiting, the work required was the complete restyling of the Kancil, a car they have already produced for many years under licence from Dahiatsu.
The activities to be carried out were complete engineering, master models, and a series of prototypes, but the really new thing for STOLA s.p.a. was that for the first time it was requested to propose the style of the exterior and interior of a new car.
This novelty was taken very seriously, Stola put Leonardo Fioravanti, Porsche Engineering Service and Marcello Gandini in competition to find the best proposal.
The company slogan "No style design", was a sign of neutrality, a necessary condition for continuing to build styling models for the most important design centers in the world. Malaysian managers chose Marcello Gandini's designs.
Unfortunately, both the designs by Marcello Gandini and those of the Porsche Engineering Service have been lost, fortunately those of Fioravanti have remained.

Una proposta di stile della nuova Kancil della FioravantiA style proposal of the new Fioravanti Kancil.

Una proposta di stile della nuova Kancil della FioravantiA style proposal of the new Fioravanti Kancil

05A style proposal of the new Fioravanti Kancil06A style proposal of the new Fioravanti Kancil

The engineer Carlo Alecci, who joined the company in January 1997, contributed his organizational experience to the project, the young Engineer Andrea Giovannelli was hired for the position of Project Manager under the direction of Gottardo Bustreo assisted by Carlo Biassoni for the contractual part.
Carlo Carena, a young bodywork designer was hired and joined the Stola Team specifically for this job.
Among the Stola surfacers and designers, Adriano Rossi, Ginfranco Cappa, Alessandro Maggiolini, Cesare Lesne, Pasquale Papalia, Maria Teresa Savateri, Maurizio Gallo, Fabrizio Bonafede, Claudio Scalvenzi, Sergio Scarpell, Dennis Pace and Mauro Menegon.
Rivoli 1997, prima che le attività inizino arriva per essere esaminata una Perodua Kancil di produzione. Da sinistra l'Ingegner Alberto Sassa, Lucio Giarolo, Lello Locantore, Andrea Giovannelli, Antonio Giovinazzo e Vincenzo.Rivoli 1997, before the activities start a production Perodua Kancil arrives to be examined. From left the engineer Alberto Sassa, Lucio Giarolo, Lello Locantore, Andrea Giovannelli, Antonio Giovinazzo and Vincenzo.

For Perodua in via Ivrea 5, Rivoli, a 700 square meter building was rented for use as a project platform, complete with a prayer room for the mainly Muslim Malaysian resident engineers.
From the style drawings, the surface team of Massimo Stola and Carlo Mantovani developed the mathematics under the constant direction of Marcello Gandini.
An excellent human relationship developed between Italian and Malaysian designers, with very useful sports initiatives to create a positive atmosphere.

Rivoli 1997 un altra foto ricordo con la appena arrivata Kancil di produzione. Da sinistra Alberto Sasso, Alfredo Stola, Alias Abu Hassan e Andrea Giovannelli.Rivoli 1997 another souvenir photo with the newly arrived production Kancil. From left Alberto Sasso, Alfredo Stola, Alias Abu Hassan and Andrea Giovannelli.

Parallel to the engineering activities, Perodua requested Stola to organize a car design course for some of its employees, this was carried out by Luciano Bove, a teacher at the Iaad institute in Turin .

Torino, questa foto ricordo è scattata presso l'istituto Iaad di Torino. Si riconoscono l'Ingegner Alberto Sasso, l'insegnate Luciano Bove e il dirigente Perodua Alias Abu Hassan.Turin, this souvenir photo was taken at the Iaad institute in Turin. We recognize the engineer Alberto Sasso, the teacher Luciano Bove and the manager Perodua Alias Abu Hassan.

At the beginning of 1998 the work was stopped by Perodua due to the terrible financial crisis that hit the “Asian Tiger” economies of South East Asia.
In addition to huge losses on the stock markets, this crisis led to a strong devaluation of local currencies compared to European ones and the US dollar.
The Design work was 70% complete at the time of the interruption, but, with all fairness, the client paid up their dues.
Engineering activities developed in Catia 4 were so well advanced that at the time the prototypes could have been built.

10A picture from that period of the four Asian tigers.11An explanatory graph of the collapse of GDP in 1998.

Despite this interruption, relations with the Malaysian Managers remained excellent to the point that in 2000 STOLA s.p.a was ordered the complete development of a dashboard for the restyling of their then current production Kancil.
Retired engineer Sasso acted as consultant for this project joining Bruno Arienti’s team.

2000 Rivoli il restyling della plancia porta strumenti della Perodua Kancil.2000 Rivoli the restyling of the instrument panel of the Perodua Kancil.

During this period, the car manufacturer Proton also proved to be an excellent customer, continually requiring the construction of assembly masters in order to improve the quality of their future products.
One of these was for their brand-new Generation 2, a sophisticated master for internal and external assembly as a single construction, allowing them to control many car production details.
All of these masters, after being tested in the measuring room in Stola headquarters in Rivoli, were dismantled, packaged, shipped and then reassembled and re-tested at the customer's own quality department adjacent to the assembly line.
In this case the cubing was reassembled and rechecked by a mixed team of Stola and Proton men.

2003 Cubing Proton Gen 2 one of the last Masters built for the Malaysian car manufacturer.

Malesia 2003 presso lo stabilimento Proton. Da sinistra seduti il team della Stola: Brani, Vai, Picaro e Novo.Malaysia 2003 at the Proton plant. From the left seated the Stola team: Brani, Vai, Picaro and Novo.

16Malaysia 2003 Tiziano Novo with Proton technicians before a dinner.17Malaysia 2003 Vai, Tracks, Novo and Picaro.

Malesia 2003. Una gita in un giorno di festa Brani, Picaro, Vai e Novo.Malaysia 2003. An excursion on a day of celebration Brani, Picaro, Vai and Novo.

Tiziano Novo was almost always present in this important phase, together with his colleagues he would work for a couple of weeks at the Proton headquarters in Shah Alam - Salangor Darul Ehsan until final completion.
It is with pleasure that we remember the names of the managers of the two car manufacturers, Proton and Perodua. Kamarulzaman Bin Daraus, Tengku Mahaled, Tony Chan Kok, Datuk Kisai Bin Rahmat, Kisay Ramat, Nor Hadi Daut, Ithar Othman, Pauline Wooley, Sharifa Anfa, Kuwhata, Mustafa Kamal, Rosle Yaakub, Tajul Zahari, Abdul Wahab Bin Mohamed Kalid, Nor Hado Daud, Alias ??Abu Assan and Wolfgang Karl Epple



In the early days of 1997 Toyota became a customer of the Rivoli modeling shop through two prototypes called Funcargo and Funcoupè.
The works are managed by Turin for Toyota through Tateo Uchida, Director of the Forum company assisted by Osvaldo De Stefanis. These were two interesting concepts from which Toyota would soon be producing the successful Yaris.
In particular, the Funcargo would later see the light of day a few years later with the name Verso.

01Frankfurt September 1997. Alfredo Stola together with John Mc Leod designer of both prototypes.02Frankfurt September 1997. Alfredo Stola poses next to Funcargo.

Le foto ufficiali delle Toyota Funcargo e Funcoupe realizzate a Torino.The official photos of the Toyota Funcargo and Funcoupe taken in Turin.



For the Verso version, always through Forum, shortly after the presentation of the two concepts at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1997 in STOLA s.p.a. an exterior model and an interior model will be developed as style proposals for production followed directly by designer John Mc Leod.
On this occasion, Toyota Managers will meet, including Tadao Otsuki, Ryoji Okazaki, Fukuichi Tokuo, Morohoshi Kazuo and Misono Hideichi.

Rivoli 1997 In Stola s.p.a. An exterior and interior style model are developed for the production Toyota Yaris Verso, the designer is still John Mc Leod.


MARCH 1997

One day in March 1997 in the directors office in Rivoli, a moment of fun for Roberto Stola with the historic Workshop manager Carlo Bordone and Sellan Sante (both former amateur boxers) hired by his father Alfredo in 1949 and 1955, now retired.
Spectators for the event included secretaries Cicci Sardi and Grazia Bolla at work at STOLA s.p.a. since 1966 and 1969 respectively.

Rivoli 1997. Al piano direzionale Grazia Bolla, Carlo Bordone e Cicci Sardi.Rivoli 1997. Grazia Bolla, Carlo Bordone and Cicci Sardi on the executive floor.

Rivoli 1997 Carlo Bordone, Sellan Sante e Roberto Stola.Rivoli 1997 Carlo Bordone, Sellan Sante and Roberto Stola.

Rivoli 1997. A moment of fun by Roberto Stola who challenges the former historic workshop managers Sellan Sante and Carlo Bordone in a simulated boxing encounter.



01Mitsushi Yabe is the director of the commercial office
Stole in Japan, pictured here in a 2000 photo.
In the spring of 1997, through the work of Mitsushi Yabe of the Stola Japan office, directly with the Nissan Style Centre, STOLA s.p.a created a hard see through model for the new Cedric.
The designers involved were Masato Inowe and Yamazaki, directed by the General Manager of the Design Division Noboru Wakabayashi.
In the coming years, for other projects, many Nissan Managers will meet including Shiro Nakamura, Hiroyuki Kameoka, Hiromi Ogawa, Toshimasa Moriwaki, Lesley Busby, Felipe Roo Clefas, Stephane Schwarz and Toshio Yamashita.

Rivoli aprile 1997. Terminata la giornata di lavoro il designer Masato Inoue intrattiene suonando la chitarra una parte dei modellatori di stile della Stola s.p.a.Rivoli April 1997. At the end of the working day, the designer Masato Inoue entertains playing the guitar
a part of the style modellers of Stola s.p.a.

Rivoli 1997. In Stola s.p.a si realizza un see trough model in hard material per la Nissan tipo Cedric.Rivoli 1997. In Stola s.p.a a see through model in hard material is created for the Cedric type Nissan.

Giugno 1997 La lettera di congratulazioni di Masato Inoue per il lavoro svolto sul modello di stile della Nissan Cedric.June 1997 Letter of congratulations from Masato Inoue for the work done
the style model of the Nissan Cedric.


JULY 1997

In July 1997, through the VW-owned Sitges style center in Spain, a complex project was begun in Rivoli for the construction of a Show Car to be presented at the next Geneva Motor Show in March 1998.
It was a Seat and its name was Bolero 330 BT, the styling director Sitges was Erwing Himmel. During the construction of the prototype Walter de’Silva, then new to the VW group also visited STOLA s.p.a.
The Bolero was the first concept from Seat after since their acquisition by the Wolfsburg car manufacturer, and de'Silva's visit to Rivoli was his first since leaving Alfa Romeo.




05Geneva, March 1998. The Bolero 330 BT is shown on the Seat stand.

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