a great interest in the story of the ELVA-BMW GT160, three examples of
which were built, the beautiful aluminium bodywork having been formed
by Fissore in Savigliano, Italy. However, almost of greater interest was
the information sent to me about the wonderful and picturesque village
of "Elva" set high in the mountains in an area called Valle Maira.
suggested that we should arrange a visit to the area and that would be
wonderful. I know that we would all be made most welcome. However, I am
not sure how practical that would be and obviously apart from the Courier
and just maybe three GT160s, there are not many other cars built by Elva
that can take to the open roads, let alone head up the mountains!!
here is the challenge ... we have a lovely invitation to visit
a stunningly beautiful area and a particular village with the unique
and special name "Elva". I would love to arrange a gathering
there but who else would be willing and able to come along?
Could be quite a party!
the obvious name connection between our cars and the Italian village,
Alberto sent me the following information...
the latter half of the last century, the inhabitants of Elva found a
peculiar way of coping with the poor economy of their mountainous region,
and thus raise additional income. The men used to leave the village
in October and travel all over Northern Italy and also overseas, to
return in June.
reason? They bought hair from poor women who received some money or
gifts such as ribbons, and the hair was brought back to the village
and cleaned. The hair was classified according to colour, length and
thickness to be sold to the manufacturers of wigs in Paris, London and
the United States.
all came to an end in the 1950s when artificial hair become more economical
and effective. One of the many recipients of the hair supplies was the
House of Lords in London. Another speciality of the area Valle Maira
is the selling of anchovies. It began at a similar time when English
vessels brought fish to Piedmont through the ports of Liguria, and sailed
back with Piedmont silk."
delighful - I am not fussed about the anchovies but I most definitely
could do with the hair!
email me if you want to learn more and hope to see you all in Elva
in the mountains of Italy.