Fongri “prototipo”, 1919
Fongri was founded in Turin in 1913 by the brothers Grignani, who already gained experience in the motorcycle field, and Fontana, a financier who provided the necessary capital.
Initially the company adopted Jap and Fafnir engines, but in 1914 the first Fongri engine, a 494cc 2-cylinder unit, was introduced.
On order the company also built racing motorcycles; Nuvolari himself raced a Fongri at the 1923 Circuito di Rapallo.
Early after WWI Fongri designed a micro car with a tubular steel chassis fitted with a 577cc 2-cylinder engine, already fitted to the production motorcycles; also the other mechanical components, the 3-speed gearbox, pull cord starter, rear brakes and chain transmission were of motorcycle origins.
The car shown in the museum is the prototype the firm tried to launch on the market in 1920.
The body has quite particular wings for the period: in iron and joined by footboards with tool boxes. The small bonnet is in thin sheet in order not to lose its shape with the engine heat. The radiator is fake as the engine is air-cooled.