1954 Fiat 8V news, pictures, specifications, and information
Designer: Zagato
Toward the close of 1951, Fiat designer Dante Giacosa created a new high-performance sports car, the legendary 2-liter 8V, or Otto Vu in Italian. Designed to take on the 2-liter class of the Italian sports car championship, the Fiat 8V made its debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March of 1952. Only 114 examples of Fiat's 8V were built, the first of which featured Fiat's own body by chief designer Fabio Luigi Rapi. The cars were built at Fiat's Lingotto factory and were identified by a Carrozzerie Speziali badge. The most famous and highly collectable of the Fiat 8Vs are the 30 or so with coachwork by Zagato.

The Fiat 8V made its debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March of 1952. A high performance coupe, it was intended to bring prestige to Fiat's line of economy cars. About 40 of them were fitted with lightweight alloy bodies by Carrozzeria Zagato of Milan. The cars were powered by a 1996 cc overhead valve V8 of 105 hp, and raced successfully against the Alfas and Maseratis in the mid-fifties.

The particular car shown is one of only five 8V 'double-bubble' coupes bodied by Zagato, and was raced by Elio Zagato himself (his height is said to be the origin of the unusual roof-line!). Following its restoration, it participated in the 1990 and 1991 Mille Miglia and later on the Colorado Grand.
Designer: Zagato
Chassis Num: 106000061
Engine Num: 000112
Sold for $682,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.
The Fiat 8V had a reported top speed of 124 mph. This two-seater coupe had a fully independent suspension with most of the coachwork handled by the factory. Some of the bodies were given coachwork by Ghia, Pinin Farina, Vignale and Zagato. A number of one-off designs were also created. The 70-degree, eight-cylinder alloy engine displaced 1996cc and offered 115 horsepwoer. There was a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

Fiat introduced the 8V at the 1952 Geneva Motor Show and quickly earned a reputation for its elegant styling and unique power plant. In total, there were just 114 examples of these unique cars created during the production lifespan, lasting from 1952 through 1954.

This example left the Fiat factory for Torino on June 10th of 1953. It was then given its Zagato coachwork featuring a first series body and given several special features such as the absence of air outlets and a thin aluminum strip on the hood scoop. It was designed and built for competition and painted in Italian Racing Red. Many of the Fiat 8V cars were used in competition, as their potent engine made them very successful in the two-liter class.

The first owner of this car, chassis number 106000061, was Erik Jossipovic of Trieste, Italy. Over the next two years, the car was raced extensively with the support of the Milan-based Scuderia Madunina. It made its competition debut at the Coppa Felice Bonetto in March of 1955 where it finished 5th in the Gran Turismo Speciale class. It raced at the XII Salita delle Torricelle before making its first appearance at the Mille Miglia. It wore race number 439 and was piloted by Jossipovic and Placido Durrigoni. Sadly, it did not finish the race.

In June the car was entered in the Trieste-Opicina where it finished 15th overall. In July it raced at the Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti where it finished 37th overall. The final outing for this car in 1955 was in October at the XVI Treponti - Castelnuovo. In 1956, it raced at the IV Coppa Vigorelli e Alborghetti. In April it raced for the second time in the Mille Miglia, this time wearing racing number 330. It finished 69th overall, completing the endurance race in 14 hours and 57 minutes. It was then entered in the XVI Bolzano-Mendola where it came in 12th in the Gran Turismo category. Its final European outing was at the X Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti and the VII Coppa InterEuropa.

Near the close of the 1950s, the car was exported to the United States and sent to its new owner, Mr. Benjamin Barber. It was sold in 1960 to Austin K. Wildman Jr. of Scottsdale, Arizona. While in his care, the engine was damaged and removed. The car was sold in 1967, and by the mid-1970s, the car had been fitted with Ford 302 V-8 engine.

In the mid-1990s, the car was re-fitted with its original engine and sold to its next owner who began a comprehensive restoration. By 2007, the car was in the ownership of Jean Laurent-Bellue. That year, it was taken to Tecnica Auto in Pari where it received extensive mechanical work. The following year, it was sent to Jim Stokes in England where it was given a limited slip differential. Later that year, it was imported into the United States.

This 8V has its original competition-style seats, a Nardi steering wheel, correct Plexiglas anti-turbulence strips on the door frames and Borrani wire wheels wearing Pirelli tires.

In 2009, this Fiat 8V was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was expected to sell for $875,000 - $975,000. Sadly, a willing buyer able to satisfy the vehicles reserve was not found and the lot was left unsold.

In 2010, the car returned to auction. It was offered for sale at Gooding & Company's Pebble Beach sale where it was estimated to sell for $675,000 - $750,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $682,000 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010
Supersonic Coupe
Coachwork: Ghia
Dante Giacosa began work on a new high performance 2-liter V8 powered sports car in the early 1950s. It featured a fully independent suspension, welded sheet metal frame, and bodywork that was welded to the frame. The engine was two four-cylinder blocks mounted on a common crankcase. It was given three Weber carburetors and was capable of producing 115 horsepower.

Ghia produced ten examples of the 8V. The cars were given an aluminum-body and made its debut at the 1953 Paris Auto Show. The cars were intended for touring rather than racing.

This example is an unrestored original car and is number of the ten built. The current owner purchased the car in 1955, later sold it to a friend, and later re-acquired it in 1981.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Supersonic Coupe
Coachwork: Ghia
Launched at the 1952 Geneva Auto Show the displayed V-8 Fiat could not be called that because at the time the Ford Motor Company had a copyright on the term 'V8' so the car was called the Fiat 8V (or Otto Vu). The car is named after the peculiar 2-liter, 70 degree, aluminum, V-8 engine which almost looks lost in the engine compartment. Its short stroke enabled it to achieve high-revs producing a steep power curve.

Code name Tipo 106, Fiat had been developing the V-8 engine since 1945 with the intention of fitting it into a mass produced model.

Fiat built 34 examples in their Lingotto shop, these examples usually carry a 'Carrozzerie Speziali' badge, the remaining 80 cars were out sourced to the famous Italian design houses between 1952 and 1954, thus no two cars are alike and each has a unique style. Carozzeria Zagato built 30 that they labelled 'Elaborata Zagato.' Ghia and Vignale also produced their own renditions of which most were coupes, but some spyders were made as well. A one-off fiberglass-bodied example currently resides in the Fiat Museum.

The standard engine specification produced 10 5horsepower at 5600 RPM, Fiat offered a factory option with twin Weber carburetors producing 115 horsepower. The engine and gearbox are fitted into a steel tube chassis with Fiat 1100 suspension components attached to each corner. With the body welded or in the case of the aluminum bodies cars mechanically attached to the chassis made it a semi-unitary construction.

This car was first shipped to K.T. Keller, Chrysler chairman. He subsequently sold it to a three-time Gold Cup winning hydroplane racer, Lou Fageol. For some inexplicable reason, Fageol though he could design better than the famed Giovanni Savonuzzi and he modified the car dramatically. Among other things, he added fins from a Chrysler Imperial and installed a twin-supercharged 1957 Chevrolet Corvette V8.

In 1979 the current owner bought it from a friend and was determined to restore the car to its original configuration. He spent years tracking down the parts needed. One day his telephone rang and the California caller asked if he did indeed own what had been Fageol's car. The owner said he did and the caller said he had the original engine. This claim seemed highly doubtful until the caller read off the numbers and they matched the research. The engine had been stored under a workbench in nearby Ann Arbor for all those decades. It was quickly reunited with the Supersonic.
Elaborata Coupe
Coachwork: Zagato
Engine Num: 000174
Only five Fiat Elaborata Zagatos were built by Zagato. These cars had a 2,000cc V8, 115 horsepower engine built for racing. During 1955 to 1957 this car participated in 14 races and finished each. The car is 100% original as it left the factory in 1954.
Coachwork: Ghia
Chassis Num: 000042
The 8V motor was developed by Dante Giacosa at Fiat for sports car applications. Approximately 125 8V motors were produced and supplied to various Carrozzeria including Zagato, Vignale, and Siata. The car is powered by the 114 horsepower, 1966cc overhead V8 engine coupled to a four-speed gearbox. The suspension consists of a four-wheel coil spring independent suspension and has four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes riding on a 94.5 inch wheelbase. No fewer than fifteen 8Vs emanated from the Ghia workshops. At least 14 of them were the 'Supersonic' coupe penned by Giovanni Savonuzzi.

This vehicle was sold new in Turin on June 10, 1953. It is not clear whether it was supplied direct to Ghia or was handled by a local dealer. It was the only one to receive this body style.
Supersonic Coupe
Coachwork: Ghia
Chassis Num: 000040
The Fiat 8V chassis was built between 1952 and 1954 and is one of the marque's most legendary motor cars. Ghia built 14 extravagant 'Supersonics' penned by Giovanni Savonuzzi. Building upon his aeronautical background the streamlined body became a classic example of the 'Jet-age' styling. This car was first sold in the US to Lou Fageol, a flamboyant businessman and hydroplane racer. He added his own American style chrome bumpers and entered this car in the 1955 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it won first in class. Fageol sold the car in 1959 and equipped with a Chevy engine, it was used as a daily commuter for years until the car was put away for nearly 2 decades, partially dismantled and in need of a total restoration. Its current owner discovered the car in need to a total restoration. Its current owner discovered the car in 2012 and began a restoration that has just been completed.
Designer: Zagato
This Fiat 8V or Otto Vu is one of the great Italian sports cars of the 1950s, and was first shown at the 1952 Geneva Auto Show. Named after their 2 litre, narrow angle V8 engine designed by Dante Giacosa, Fiat outsourced most 8V bodies to Italian Carrozzeria like Vignale, Ghia and Zagato and each has a unique style. The 8V was promoted as a competition car and many were prepared for racing and sold to racing clientele. In total 114 Fiat 8Vs were produced to meet international homologation regulations. This example is a pre-production model that was owned and raced in the 1954 season by Elio Zagato himself, winning a number of races including their 1954 Bari three-hour race for 2 litre sports car. The 2015 Pebble Beach Concours was the first time this Fiat 8V had been shown since its racing days over five decades ago.
Designer: Zagato
Chassis Num: 106 000063
The Fiat Tipo 106 Otto Vu was introduced at the Geneva Auto Salon in March 1952, and just 114 of the 2-liter, 8V-engined cars were delivered before production stopped in 1954. About 63 Otto Vus were built with factory bodies and the rest were bodied by other caochbuilders. Zagato built 30 of these cars, including 6 with its famous 'double bubble' roofline.

This car is from the first series of production and has several individual features, including twin wipers, a body side crease between the wheel wells, no side vents and a slight hump on the air intake on the hood. The finished car first raced in Italy in 1955, driven by Elio Zagato himself, and it later took part in three Mille Miglias, winning its class in 1957. Its current owner bought the car in 1998 and it has been driven in almost every Mille Miglia Retrospective since then.
Coachwork: Vignale
Chassis Num: 000066
Carrozzeria Vignale built nine Fiat 8V Otto Vus, including this unique berlinetta designed by Giovanni Michelotti. It was exhibited at the 1955 Turin Auto Show as the Tipo Mille Miglia 1955 and was bought off-the-stand by amateur racing driver Mario Bonacina, who raced it in the 1955 Mille Miglia. It was exported to the United States in 1958 and then spent most of its life in California, first with Shelly Pfeiffer of June Lake and then with Dan Simpson of Glendora. During its time in June Lake the engine was replaced and the car sadly deteriorated, but Simpson took on the challenge of finding the original engine and getting the car back on the road. In 1994 that reunion finally took place and the car was rebuilt. It was acquired by its current owner in 2012 and he has restored it.

By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2007
The Fiat 8V, also known as 'Ottu Vu' in Italian, was first shown to the public at the 1952 Geneva Motor Show. Production lasted from 1952 through 1954 with a total of 114 examples being produced. The car was powered by a V8 engine, and since Fiat thought that Ford held the trademark for 'V8', they dubbed their vehicle the 8V. The design was courtesy of Dante Giacosa and stylist Fabio Lucio Rapi.

Of the 114 examples produced, many were unique. They had been designed for competition, specifically the two-liter class in the Italian Championship. The 2.0-liter V8 engines were fed through two Weber 36 DCF3 Carburetors and produced 105-115 horsepower, depending on configuration. There was a four-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel drum brakes, with an independent suspension comprised of coil springs, telescopic shocks, stabilizer bar and transverse wishbones. The lightweight bodies, especially those from Zagato, were mounted on a traditional tubular steel frame. The factory bodies had two large headlights in the grill with two small lights in the fenders. There was a second series of the bodies, which had changes to comply with GT regulations. These changes resulted in four headlights in the fender.

The Fiat 8Vs did well in competition, especially those created by Zagato. The bodies were lightweight and the engines were highly tuned. In 1954, the Fiat 8V won the Championship and cemented these cars potential in history.

Of the 114 examples produced, 34 had coachwork by Carozzeria Speciale FIAT. Carrozzeria Zagato produced bodies for 32, which were known as 'Elaborata Zagato.' The rest of the bodies, which were mostly coupes with a few spyders, were created by Ghia and Vignale.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
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