Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945–1975

Nashville’s Frist Center Hosts All-Star Assembly of Spectacular Italian Sports Cars, Including Vehicles by Alfa Romeo, Bizzarrini, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lancia and Maserati
Cover Photo Credit: 1954 Alfa Romeo BAT 7. The Blackhawk Collection. Image © 2016 Peter Harholdt



by: Karina Mendoza Calayag


The Italian Automotive Renaissance,

May 27–October 9, 2016


Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945–1975 celebrates the visual dynamism and spirit of innovation characterizing Italian coachbuilt cars, concept cars and motorcycles produced during the post–World War II economic revival. On view at the Frist Center from May 27 through October 9, 2016, Bellissima! boasts powerful and extraordinary cars, which exemplify the sexy and streamlined Italian design language that propelled Italy to the forefront of automotive design internationally.


Returning to the Frist Center after the 2013 presentation of Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles, automotive authority and guest curator Ken Gross has chosen 19 automobiles and 3 motorcycles from private collections and museums that are among the finest examples of Italian automotive design, including vehicles by Alfa Romeo, Bizzarrini, Ducati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lancia and Maserati. With the ultra-rare Alfa Romeo BAT models 5, 7 and 9 from the 1950s and a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, this all-star assembly offers surprises for even the most knowledgeable car aficionados.

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Exhibition Checklist

1950 Cisitalia 202 SC
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic
1955 Maserati A6G 2000 Zagato 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO


1946 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S
1952 Lancia B52 Aurelia PF200 Spider 1953 Alfa Romeo BAT 5
1954 Alfa Romeo BAT 7
1955 Alfa Romeo BAT 9
1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica

Custom Coachwork Designs for Italian and American Automakers

1952 Cunningam C3 Continental 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis
1963 Chrysler Turbine Car

Advanced Mid-Engine Cars

1963 ATS 2500 GT
1966 Ferrari 365 P Tre Posti
1968 Bizzarrini 5300 Strada
1970 Lamborghini Miura S

Wedge-Shaped Automobiles

1955 Chrysler Ghia Gilda 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero


1957 Moto Guzzi V-8
1973 MV Agusta 750 Sport 1974 Ducati 750 Super Sport


Reciprocal Admission Discount Offer at Nashville’s Lane Motor Museum

The exhibition Macchine Italiane: A Tour of Italy’s Motoring Spirit, featuring more than three dozen vehicles, including cars, motorcycles and bicycles will be concurrently on display at Nashville’s Lane Motor Museum from May 26, 2016, through May 22, 2017. Following up on the success of their 2013 collaboration during the run of the Frist Center’s Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles, the Frist Center and Lane Motor Museum will once again offer reciprocal admission discounts. Visitors to the Frist will receive 50% off all adult and senior ticket prices at the Lane by showing a Frist Center admission ticket through May 22, 2017. Visitors to the Lane will receive the same discount offer at the Frist by showing an admission ticket from the Lane through October 9, 2016. Members of either the Frist or Lane will receive free admission at both museums when membership cards are presented.

Car Club Sundays

On select Sundays during the run of Bellissima!, car clubs will be able to drive their collectible vehicles to the Frist Center and enter the Frist Center parking lot at 11:30 a.m. before it opens to the general public. (The building opens at noon.) At noon, car club members can enjoy their pre-ordered boxed lunches in the Frist Center’s Rechter Room, and then be among the first visitors to see this one-of-a-kind exhibition when the galleries open at 1:00 p.m.

Car clubs wishing to reserve a Sunday are invited to contact Frist Center Scheduling Coordinator Emily Jenkins (615.744.3247 / to make arrangements for the group’s lunches, tickets and discounted parking. Groups of 10–50: $25.00 per person. The price includes pre-ordered box lunches and gallery admission for groups of 10 or more; limit one car club per Sunday.

There are also opportunities to host more elaborate private events—receptions and seated dinners, for example. Clubs wishing to host such events are invited to contact Frist Center Special Events Director Karen Gwaltney (615.744.3322 / to discuss venue rental event details. Venue rental information can also be found on the Frist Center website at

Exhibition Credit

Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945–1975 was organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts with guest curator Ken Gross.

Sponsor Acknowledgment

Presenting Sponsors: Barbara, Jack, Sara, and Richard Bovender Platinum Sponsor: HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and TriStar Health Supporting Sponsor: CHUBB
Media Sponsor: Sports Car Digest

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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