Chariot of Fire: The Original Liquigas Bus

You may or may not know that the Italian fuel supply company Liquigas is a major sponsor of a professional cycling team. You may also wonder whether or not household gas supply has anything to do with cycling. This is complicated and tied to a long history of seemingly arbitrary but often mutually beneficial partnerships between sport and commerce. For now, consider the promotional benefits of large bright green buses, filled with elite athletes descending upon the square of your small Italian Village. It seems Liquigas has been thinking about this for some time. While flipping through the archives we dusted off some rare shots of what is without doubt the earliest example of a Liquigas team bus, this time in silver and designed by elite aesthetes Franco Campo and Carlo Graffi. Commissioned in 1951, the Carrio de Fuoco or “Chariot of Fire” was designed as a mobile display booth for the postwar promotion of a burgeoning young business and “modern” standards of living aided by household gasses and the promise of “something new.” Now, due in no small part to the future-forward promotional efforts of this ultra hot fire bus, the execs at Liquigas can kick back in Campo and Graffi chairs and watch their cycling team get some TV time in the Giro d’Italia (or win the Vuelta).