​Project Etceterini — Your Next YouTube Obsession​

Posted September 14, 2020

By Dean Larson

Photo: Screenshot, YouTube

In some sense, the most attractive feature of a kit car is that it distills an amazingly complex task — constructing a running and driving automobile — into a repeatable, well documented process, whereby allowing us common D.I.Y. guys an opportunity to realize our tinkering and motoring dreams. But where do you begin when there’s no handbook, professional engineering or pre-fabbed parts? Here with one answer to that question (and your latest YouTube obsession) is YouTube user Gasolini, who has undertaken the construction of a 1950s Etceterini project, accompanied by a series of well-edited videos covering the project.

We’ve talked a bit about Etceterinis lately, which in general, refers to the wealth of small, hand-built cars to come out of Italy in the 1940s and ’50s. Always aluminum, and powered by hopped-up engines in 1.0-liter range, Etceterinis established Italy as a hotbed for race car construction, and custom coachwork as well. Take a quick look at the Italian marques to appear in that time period, and you’ll find names like Bandini, Ermini, Stanguellini and Moretti, just to name a few, and you’ll start to see why the term exists.

Etceterinis are on the up and up today, and I’d argue that they make up one of the fastest appreciating automobile markets today. These relatively unknown cars are being appreciated by more and more enthusiasts, and thus commanding higher values on auction blocks and private sales.

But you don’t need millions to experience the Etceterini brand of excitement, proven by YouTube user Gasolini in his developing video series titled “Project Etceterini.” Clearly produced by a man of extensive talents, he starts his first video installment by paging through a few books on Etceterini styling and mechanicals before rough sketching out a design. He then fine-tunes the design and drafts scaled drawings of the body and chassis before moving onto sourcing materials.

Then, Gasolini selects a Lancia Ardea donor car for the project, with a complete car providing wheelbase and height dimensions before he sources a donor engine, transmission and axles. After overhauling those parts and tracking down some round-tube main rails, the car is rolling on its own wheels by the end of the first installment.

From there, it’s on to wooden buck construction, and it’s amazing how simple his talented hands make the process seem. There are no fancy modeling programs or CAD drawings, just a pencil, paper, compass and wood tools. We’ll start to see metal shaping in the fourth installment, and I, for one, cannot wait to see how this body shapes up.

Check out the first two installments below, or on Gasolini’s YouTube channel here.

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