Piero Dusio, a former soccer star, set up a company called Consorzio Industriale Sportiva Italia in 1939. Its purpose was to manufacture and sell a range of sports equipment. During the War years, the company made military uniforms and became quite wealthy. With this wealth and fueled by his passion for racing, Dusio introduced the D-46, a single-seat racing car powered by an 1100cc Fiat engine. It featured novel space-frame construction, the first series-built racing car to do so. Fifty were sold enabling him to finance a production sports car. His engineer, Giovannia Savonuzzi was told by Dusio, 'I want a car that is wide like my Buick, low like a grand prix (racing car), comfortable like a Rolls-Royce, and light like our single-seater D-46.' After Savonuzzi created the design, the project was given to Pinin Farina to complete.
The 202 coupe and spyders were built around low-cost Fiat components including a modern chassis and a 1089cc four-cylinder engine delivering 66 horsepower. Though elegant and attractive, just 153 coupes and 17 spyders were built from 1947-1952. This was, perhaps, due to its high price ($5,000 for the coupe and $7,000 for the spyder).
Cisitalias placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in the 1947 Mille Miglia, the 2nd place car with Tazio Nuvolari at the wheel. Cisitalia chose to name the racing version in Nuvolari's honor. The Museum of Modern Art displayed one example in its 1951 exhibition titled 'Eight Automobiles' showcasing the emerging art of aerodynamic styling.
Since only 26 202s were manufactured by Cisitalia in Torino, Italy, all of the models were handmade by a small talented group including Carlos Abarth, Dante Giacosa and Giavonni Savonuzzi. Several variants were made, and one of the more important ones, the SMM Nuvolari Spyder, was built and named after a class victory at the 1957 Mille Miglia with Tazio Nuvolari at the wheel. It is easily identified by its large rear fins, twin windscreens and usual Italian red paint.
Little history is known of #17 until it was sold to Peter Kaus of the Rosso Biano Collection in Aschaffenburg near Frankfurt, Germany. In 1982, it was registered in Switzerland. The current owner purchased the car in France in 2008. It was restored by Vintage Cars in the United Kingdom and more recently by D.L. George Historic Motorcars, Inc. in Cochranville, Pennsylvania.Also photographed at :