|Nardi Bisiluro's asymmetrical Le Mans racing car with|
the driver on the right, engine on the left, radiator in the middle.
|Blohm & Voss BV 141 in 1938.|
Never lacking imagination, but often lacking the financial means, Enrico Nardi continued his quest to evolve the car from its first appearance in 1932. Considering the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the only event worthy of showcasing his ideas, he took on the challenge of beating French auto-makers Renault and Panhard in their favourite class of engines smaller than 750cc. After a debut cut short in only the second lap in 1954 (water pump), he returned the following year with an ambitious project, thanks to a unique perspective.
Rather than adapt the exterior forms to the chassis, why not design the ideal bodywork first, then adapt the rest of the car to it? Following this logic, Enrico Nardi hires engineer-architect Carlo Mollino to design a very aerodynamic car, with a radiator in the middle, which he sees as a wing. He then added all the essential elements to make the car totally asymmetrical, with two fuselages. The left side housed the engine and transmission while the right side carried the driver, who needed to be small in stature.
|The middle section was equipped with an |
air brake... or a jumpseat !
|The tight quarters in the cockpit necessitated |
a very special steering wheel for the time.
|The Nardi Bisiluro at Le Mans|
Retrieved from the ditch without much harm done to car or driver, the Nardi Bisiluro would spend the rest of its days at the National Science and Technology Museum ‘Leonardo da Vinci’, in Milan.