Pirelli launched the Pirelli Collezione programme in 2017 to provide premium tyres tailored for vintage vehicles, covering everything from iconic supercars to beloved classics. This initiative allows owners to enjoy genuine historical driving pleasures while adhering to modern safety standards. Collaborating with FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens), Pirelli’s goal is to promote the preservation and responsible usage of historic vehicles through these bespoke tyres.

The development of Pirelli Collezione tyres starts with precise research to determine the original sizes and patterns from each vehicle’s era. Engineers access a comprehensive Historical Archive at the Pirelli Foundation, which contains detailed records of vehicle fitments, factory standards, and promotional materials. This ensures that each tyre is not only historically accurate but also adheres to the highest contemporary standards.

However, the process of creating tyres that authentically replicate historical specifications while meeting today’s performance standards is challenging. Modern manufacturing techniques and materials have evolved significantly, potentially altering the driving characteristics of vintage cars. Thus, Pirelli focuses on maintaining the original aesthetics and functional integrity of the tyres to preserve the vehicles’ authentic driving dynamics and appearance.

Prototype tyres undergo rigorous testing, beginning with mechanical tests to ensure compliance with current quality standards, followed by real-world trials using appropriate vintage cars. This comprehensive process helps refine the tyres before they are finalised for production, ensuring each model delivers both historical accuracy and modern performance.

The research carried out at the Pirelli Foundation’s Historical Archive in Milan is crucial. Housing extensive technical documentation and design blueprints dating back to the early 20th century, this archive enables the accurate reproduction of tyres that are true to their original designs while incorporating modern safety features.

The Collezione’s successes include the CINTURATO CN12, originally designed for the high-speed requirements of the Lamborghini Miura. Additionally, the reintroduction of the STELLA BIANCA range provides authentic tyres for classics like the 1950 Alfa Romeo 1900. Each tyre is crafted based on precise historical data, ensuring authenticity that complements contemporary engineering excellence.

Despite the challenges posed by modern automated production lines, Pirelli’s skilled technicians successfully produce small batches of tyres that adhere closely to the original designs. This blend of historical precision and modern safety ensures that the Pirelli Collezione continues to meet the growing demand for “original performance” rather than merely cosmetic correctness.

Whilst at Pirelli HQ in Milan, we were treated to a ride in one of just two Lamborghini 1987 Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole examples to leave Sant’agata with real 14-karat-gold accents from factory, of course, fitted with Pirelli Collezione P Zero rubber. A sight to behold!

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