Gamine | Vignale Specifications and Review
The Vignale Gamine looks like it should be in a toy shop, perhaps powered by a twelve-volt battery. Yet it is a car for grown-ups, despite its tiny proportions: the wheelbase is only 72 inches (184 cm) long.
Vignale were a firm of Italian coachbuilders who collaborated with carmakers in various countries ranging from Cunningham in the United States and Tatra in the Czech Republic. They also designed bodies for a number of European manufacturers. The 1967 Gamine was the pet project of the company founder, Alfredo Vignale, and was built at his own factory. It apes the style of the 1933 Fiat Balilla Spyder.
The Gamine’s mechanics were based on the Fiat 500 Nuovo Sport. Vignale kept the rear-engine layout and the two-cylinder, air-cooled 30-cubic-inch (499-cc) motor from the Fiat. They also retained the 500’s steel tube frame. To this they welded an open-top body. Behind the two seats was a metal frame that helped hold up the fabric roof and acted as a roll car. Tucked in behind the front grille were the fuel tank and a spare wheel. It is not known exactly how many Vignale Gamines were built—possibly only 300. The car’s slow sales drove Vignale out of business. He was forced to sell out to De Tomaso (owned by Ford) and the name disappeared in 1974.
1967 • 30cu in/499cc,S2 • 21 bhp/16kW •
60 mph/100 kph