Siata Factory Racer Goes on Sale

An extremely rare Italian racer will go under the hammer at the annual Quail Lodge auction on August 14, Bonhams announced. The 1952 Siata 208 CS Berlinetta, chassis #052, was originally built for the Turin Auto Show and the Mille Miglia, combining SIATA construction, Fiat V8 mechanicals and an ultra light racing body by Stabilimenti Farina.

The car, which is expected to fetch between $1,600,000 and $1,900,000, is powered by a Siata-modified Fiat 8V, 2 liter, alloy engine with dual twin downdraft Weber carbs, and a 3-point suspended alloy differential, driven through a 4-speed gearbox.

The model that will be auctioned by Bonhams was one of the three Siata factory in the 1952 Mille Miglia race. The car underwent some last minute preparation for the race, such as the fabrication of two small trapdoors in both front fenders and the installation of a third windscreen wiper on the drivers’ side.

The car started in the Mille Miglia with start number 542 driven by Tullini and Rossi, but for some unknown reason it did not finish. After the race, it was sent back to the factory for other small modifications.

The side vents were increased in size and the fog, the spotlights and the third wiper were removed from the grill.

The car got a new large capacity petrol tank that was fitted in a more common space behind the rear axle, while the original tank behind the driver seats was removed creating more space inside.

The car is the only example with an upward kink of the lateral upper contour of the side window frames, which makes quite easy to recognize. Another unique feature on this Berlinetta is the telescoping 4-spoke wooden steering wheel. Only the sister car, spider #054, constructed by Bertone, has the same steering wheel construction.
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