Unusual Castagna post war build header


Words By
Ryan Bollinger

Carrozzeria Castagna was founded in 1849 by Carlo Castagna after his purchase of the Ferrari Coachbuilding Co. At the time, the Ferrari Coachbuilding Co. had been building horse drawn carriages for about a century. After Carlo Castagna bought the company, he wanted to start a business of his own, creating coachbuilt bodies for automobiles. They built their first coachbuilt bodied car by the end of the 19th century. In 1915, when Carlo Castagna passed away, the company was taken over by his one son, Ercole. Under the new ownership and with increasingly more orders coming in, the decision was made to move into a larger factory in Milan, Italy. Carrozzeria Castagna was one of the first in Italy to have 400 employees and to have a chrome/ nickel plating department. In 1939 the company went under the control of Ercole’s brother Emilio. With Emilio focusing more of the engineering aspect, he pointed the company in a new direction. Focusing more on making the bodies lighter, stronger, and easier to produce, Emilio invested in patents to potentially help the company in the future after World War II. Sadly, due to companies closing after the war and automotive manufacturers moving away from bodies on a chassis, Carrozzeria Castagna closed its doors in 1954. 

Castagna made coachbuilt cars for companies like Isotta Fraschini, Lancia, Hispano Suiza, and Alfa. If you visit the Brooklands exhibit at our museum we have on display a 1933 Alfa Romeo 8c 2300 Mille Miglia Spider by Castagna.

Our Castagna bodied Alfa raced at Brooklands and was once owned by Charles Addams, the creator of the Addams Family television show, and avid cartoon artist. 

In 1994, the Carrozzeria Castagna company was bought by Gioacchino Acampora. After he bought the rights to the company he revived it and is now a custom car building company and automotive tuner. 

Hours and Info

6825 Norwitch Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19153
Tuesday – Friday 10AM through 6PM
Saturday – Sunday 10AM through 4PM
Closed Mondays and Major Holidays

About the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Located in Philadelphia, PA, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is one of the world’s greatest collections of racing sports cars. Through our theme, “The Spirit of Competition”, we celebrate the history and evolution of these magnificent machines.

Assembled over 50 years by Dr. Frederick Simeone, the Museum contains over 75 historically significant cars including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Mercedes, Jaguar, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, and more.

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