Ten Italian manufacturers you probably haven’t heard of

We all know Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Fiat, but like many countries across the world, there are many automotive manufacturers which are still lesser known. This month we take a look some of those brands. 

1. DR Automobile 

Founded in 2006 and primarily focusing on low priced SUV’s, they started with no distribution network, but they made the strategy work because by 2010, they were selling almost 5000 cars a year. DR is currently run by Roberto Risi, a former Fiat finance manager

2. Fornasari

Trying to blend classic styling with modern technology and some experimental off road buggy’s. The highlight of the range is the Gigi 311gt, a 640bhp V8 capable of a top speed of 211mph.

3. Iveco

The Iveco name first appeared in 1975 when manufactures from France, Germany and Italy joined forces to build these heavy haulers. Now with plants all over the world, we have the equipment to transport trailers full of Supercars to wherever they are needed.

4. Mazzanti

Since 2013, this supercar manufacturer wanted an exclusive and hugely customisable model and only produce 5 per year. The Evantra, a naturally aspirated 7.0ltr V8 rear wheel drive produces 701 horsepower as standard, but that’s where the custom models come into there own, as one customer requested his to produce 1000bhp.

5. Zagato

Zagato Milano started way back in 1919, repairing aeroplane fuselages, then took that knowledge to building and repairing cars, taking the lightness and strength from aircraft to road cars. To this day, they still work with other manufactures to finesse some models, including the 1976 Lancia Beta Spider and the 2003 Aston Martin DB7 Zagato.

6. ATS (Automobili Turismo e Sport)

ATS were a small racing team that ran from 1963 to 1965. The company was formed to compete directly against Ferrari both in races and road cars. The company created 2500gt, a mid engined 2.5ltr V8, which could reach a top speed of 160mph.

7. De Tomaso

De Tomaso started life building prototype, including the 1970 Williams Formula One car. The first model they created was the Vallelunga in 1963, using the Ford Cortina’s 4 cylinder engine mounted in the middle of the chassis. 

8. Chiribiri

Founded in 1910, as another of the aircraft to cars manufactures. They started racing with the 12HP, which they eventually turned into a road model, which remained in production for 4 years. 

9. Qvale

Founded by Alejandro DeTomaso and and Bruce Qvale, production began in 2001 with the Mangusta, taking inspiration from Fiat’s Barchetta. The company struggled and in 2003, was sold to the MG Rover Group. 

10. Casalini

Concentrating on the micro car market, they produced a range of mini vehicles in 1969, making them the oldest micro car manufacturer in the world. The first car made was called the Sulky, a three wheeled 50cc which was primarily exported to France. 


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