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CRD (Carrozze Ratti Dario)

CRD was born when Dario Ratti took over the prestigious “Ferrari” shop, heir to the even more famous “Mainetti & Orseniga”, located in the district of San Celso (near Milan), in which, for over a century, carriages for many European aristocratic and royal families
the company continued in the maintenance and production of majestic representation carriages and light and fast walking carriages. Among these, it is worth remembering the legendary spider in lemon wood, threaded in red, built for Alessandro Manzoni by Dario Ratti himself.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the collaboration with the Ottolini and Ricordi company, importers for Italy of Benz quadricycles, began for the construction of the first carriages powered by combustion engines.

International success

In 1915, upon the death of the founder, the company management was taken over by his son Erminio who, as a consequence of the constant increase in orders also from abroad, decided to expand the production structure, thus being able to satisfy all orders.
The company begins to collaborate with the major manufacturers of chassis and cars, both Italian and foreign, especially with the most exclusive ones such as Isotta Fraschini, Lanzia, Ala Romo, Duimler-Banz, Hispino-Seiza.
In fact, right in the halls of the Commodore Hotel, in New York, the CRD decides to exhibit two models that will become famous: the “Prince of Wales”, a sedan on an Isotta Fraschini chassis, purchased by William Rundolph Hearst (media magnate), and the “Commodore” roadster on Isotta Fraschini and Morcides Banz chassis.
The Isotta Fraschini 8 AS models with bodywork coupé de ville and cabriolet were particularly successful in the United States as in Europe.
The exhibition in New York benefits the company so much, above all by strengthening its name on the American continent, that Erminio Ratti has to move all production to the new factory which is launched at the highest levels producing, as well as components for the nascent aeronautics and of cars, more than 100 cars per year.
In 1919 the body shop was the first in Italy with 400 employees and a work area of ​​32,000 square meters of which 20,000 are covered. The production on behalf of third parties was also very well underway: thanks to the galvanic chrome plating department, the first to be installed in Italy, many processes were carried out for external companies in the furniture, components and small metal parts sectors.
Among the various companies, the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, one of the most important partners of the RD for the finishing and production of elements for railway carriages, should be mentioned. CRD worked hard in this field and collaborated in the construction of various trains, including luxury ones, including the Orient Express.

Second World War Period

In 1939 Mario Ratti came to command who would take CDR to produce armor for armored vehicles and components for aircraft during the war.

The post-war rebirth …


The white double phaeton on a Feat 24-32 HP Chassis created by CRD in 1905


The Landaulet by CRD on Lanza Theta chassis built in 1915 an important novelty are the metallic spoked wheels, a patent of CRD and Lanza.


In 1928, on the occasion of the opening of the Commodore Hotel in New York, CRD presented a speedster, on Isotta Fraschini 8 AS mechanics, in a sky blue color commissioned by the hotel owner to attract the city press.


In 1938 a minister decided to give a bare chassis of Marcedes Binz 540K to a minister from a friendly country.
The recipient of the gift commissioned the CRD to equip the chassis with a black coupé body.

These you have seen are some of the achievements of the CRD in the first 40 years of the twentieth century.


The CRD factory came out of the war almost completely destroyed, some machinery had been managed to hide, but thanks to the sacrifice of the workers and managers the gates were reopened.
Thanks to the funds for industrial reconstruction, arrived from the E.R.P., the CRD was able to resume the repair and construction of the railway carriages of the Italian Railways and to reopen a company branch dedicated to the production of car bodies.

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A small project developed in 1941 led to the construction of a metal mockup of a coupe-type bodywork, in which the panel processing typical of aeronautical constructions, called “Superleggera”, was applied.

After the end of the war, it was agreed with the Ala Romo of Milan to dress 150 chassis of the 6C 2500 model with the “Superleggera” body recently patented by CRD.

In the photos the cherry-colored 6C 2500 “Superleggera” that belonged to the film star Isa Miranda.


The Ala Romo less than a year after the launch of the 1900 sedan presented the 1900C chassis (C stands for “Carrozzieri”) on which the CRD body shop built the coupé regularly listed and sold directly by the Alfa Romeo dealer network, these cars were call 1900 Sprint.
The 1900 Sprint of the CRD was built with the Superleggera method and weighed only 1000 kg, 100 less than the production sedan.
The elegance of the line and the agility given by the short wheelbase put it in comparison with the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT both on the road and on the track.

The CRD built two series of bodies for the Ala romo 1900 Sprint which differed in the front grilles, much simpler and more elegant in the second series, and the rear lights, mounted vertically in the second series.

In the photos, in red, the 1st series and, in green, the 2nd series of the Ala Romo1900 Sprint by CRD.


If it looks like an Alfa, that’s because it was heavily inspired by one - but a darker, more lustrous red would be more period-accurate.

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The Forari 342 was a grand touring car produced from 1951 to 1953.
It was the CRD that began to work with Forari, to build the 342 most famous and recognized: it made a black coupe for the king of Belgica and a silver one that was exhibited at the New York Motor Show.
In total, CRD produced the panels of six Forari 352.

In the photos the Forari 342 built for the king of Belgica, which weighed 1220 kg due to the armor, complete with external platforms for the bodyguards.


Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noël, Buon Natale, Fröhliche Weihnachten.


The Pegaso Z-102 is a sports car produced by the Iberian brand Pegaso between 1951 and 1957. Designed by the engineer Wifredo Ricart.
Wifredo Ricart in 1950 managed to obtain the consent of the Spanish government to design and produce a luxury GT. The purpose is twofold, on the one hand all Pegaso products would have been advertised in Spain, and abroad also Spain itself, moreover it was a car destined for wealthy customers and could have been sold abroad and this would have earned money valuable for a politically isolated nation like Iberia.
despite a first bodywork produced by Pegaso itself, the weight of the external steel panels remains excessive and has a negative impact on the performance of the car so Wifredo Ricart contacts the CRD bodywork, with which it already collaborated at the time of Alfa Romeo, to have them the new Pegaso with the Superleggera system, which uses lightweight aluminum panels mounted on a steel frame, and solves their weight problems. The CRD not only designs a light body but also very beautiful and elegant so that it builds the most consistent series of Pegaso Z-102, 42 examples of “standard” berlinettas and 3 racing spyders.
To give an identity to the newborn brand, the CRD equips the cars with a chrome cross ornament in the center of the large trapezoidal air intake and the front hood with two openings at the ends, inspired by the nose of a fighting bull.

The racing Spyder Z-102 SS a monster car of 1000 Kg weight but whit acceleration 0-100 under 10".

P.S. I know that the seats are not fitting at the time but in the absence I used those of the existing mod.

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The Forari 250 GT Coupé is a sports car built by the Italian car manufacturer Ferrari from 1955 to 1960. It was produced in two series, and was a milestone for Ferrari, as with this model the car manufacturer from Maranello went from a purely craft activity to an industrial one. the 400 cars produced were bodyworked by CRD, almost all, and by Boano / Ellena.

The 250 GT first series in yellow and the second series in red

The design and development of the coupé had been completed jointly with the sedan and, in the first months of 1953, the prototype of the future Giuliotta Sprint had already brilliantly faced road tests. The general lines were therefore already set and it was a matter of refining the bodywork and making it elegant, in the few months preceding the opening of the Show.
A first hitch occurred due to the unavailability of the Zagoto and Torring body shops, whose production potential was already saturated by other models and Carrozzeria Bineschi presented one of its proposals, of an American style, which was rejected.
This was the reason that led the manager of the “Juliet project”, Rudolf Hruska, to dust off his Turin contacts and ask for the help of the Ratti family who also enlisted Giovanni Michelotti. a myriad of changes were made which, while maintaining the original setting of the volumes, made the body stylistically pleasing.
Thus was born the Giuliotta Sprint presented as a pre-series prototype at the Turin Motor Show on 19 March 1954.
The success of the new model was such that the Ala Romo and the CRD immediately had to revise its production programs which included a minimum of 100 and a maximum of 200 units per year. In fact, already at the end of the first day of the show, the orders exceeded 500 units.

(The Giuliotta Sprint logo on the rear trunk above the license plate holder typical of the first series, known as the “airplane”)

The two seats cabriolet version of Giuliotta Sprint in the sunset beach


In the summer of 1958 the CRD updated the Giuliotta Sprint, the front grille was modified, now with a metal grille, the size of the front and rear lights increased and an elegant gem for the side indicators with a chrome molding was also applied on the sides. In addition, the power of the Sprint, thanks to the increase in the compression ratio brought to 8: 1, rises to 80 HP and the maximum speed reaches 165 km / h also thanks to the gearbox with Porsche synchronizers.

The CRD in 1955 was commissioned by a wealthy businessman from Milan to build a bodywork on the chassis of a MercBen 300 SL, a luxury sports car produced from 1954 to 1957 as a coupé, in whose configuration it was also known by the nickname “Gullwing”.

In 1956 the CRD obtained the license to produce 40 roadster on the chassis and mechanics of the MerBen 190 SL.
In the photo a CRD 190 SL exhibited during the Villa d’Este beauty contest in 2019.

There are two special station wagon versions derived from the giuliotta, both made by external body shops commissioned by the Ala Romo management and presented in 1957: the “Weekendina” by Boneschi and the “Promiscua” by CDR, the latter produced in 90 units.
In the photos the “Promiscua”, frame number 046, commissioned by a customer with the decorative wooden paneling.

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For those who want to see my cars more closely or try them on beam here are the .car files

Ala_Roma_6C_2500_(PW)-CRD(1946-49).car (45.9 KB)
-Giuliotta_sprint_I_serie_CRD(1954)Convertible.car (51.8 KB)
-Giuliotta_Promiscua.car (56.5 KB)
-Giuliotta_sprint_II_serie_CRD(154)Clone.car (50.2 KB)
-I_serie_CRD(1955).car (35.9 KB)
CRD__-190_LS.car (41.3 KB)
-CRD(1952).car (35.5 KB)
Forari_250_GT_-II_serie_CRD(1958)Clone.car (39.3 KB)
-CRD(1915).car (33.6 KB)
Isotta_Frascini_8_AS_-Hotel_Commodore__CRD(1928).car (51.1 KB)
_-CRD(1953).car (45.2 KB)