Have you ever seen a shoe on wheels? It was the 1950s when Deisa Ebano S.p.A., a company specialised in producing creams and polishes for shoe maintenance and cleaning, commissioned Carrozzeria Grazia in Bologna to make an unusual car called “The Shoe”.
It was a publicity stunt to promote the company’s products in an original way travelling around Italy and at different events: this sparkling shoe-shaped van, looking like it had just been freshly waxed, attended several Mille Miglia and Giro d’Italia races, where it made its début in 1958.
But did you know that Stanguellini helped create it?
The rediscovery of “The Shoe”
At the time, Carrozzeria Grazia specialised in converting vehicles into ambulances and hearses, so it was not unusual for them to turn a Fiat 615 van into a shoe-shaped car. To achieve this, they turned to the specialist mechanics at Officina Stanguellini in Modena which had patented a system for extending the chassis and moving up the driver’s position for Fiat 615 vans.
This car with well-designed aerodynamics, hiding an Italian van underneath, showed the promotional brainwave of a company at a time when television was not widespread, along with the cutting-edge, technical skills of Stanguellini.
Today, thanks to the awareness and commitment of the Vecchi Bulloni cultural association, this special car has been restored and returned to its former glory.
“The Shoe” was presented this year at the Auto e Moto D’Epoca trade show in Bologna, leaving visitors speechless in front of the restoration of this bizarre car with an intriguing history.