Sold for $385,000 at 2006 Gooding & Company. This 1947 Cisitalia 202 Spider Nuvolari is powered by a 1089-cc four-cylinder engine that produces 60 horsepower. It has a space-frame chassis and a four-speed manual gearbox. It has spent the majority of its life in the United States. It was sent to the US around 1949 and into the care of a NY resident. It was entered in a 1950 Watkins Glen race and in the 1952 12 Hours of Sebring. In 1952 it was featured in Sports Cars in Competition issue number 109. From then, the car passed through several owners. During the years, the car was lovingly restored back to new condition with factory correct materials and components.
In recent times, the car has been raced at historic events such as Lime Rock and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. It has even traveled the concours circuit.
This car was offered for sale at the 2006 Gooding & Company Auction held in Pebble Beach, CA. It is one of only a few vehicles constructed in the Nuvolari Spider configuration. The car is in wonderful condition and will be a welcomed entrant at many future historic competition and sporting events. On auction day the car did find a new owner, selling for $385,000. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
Sold for $26,325 at 2006 Bonhams. This 1947 Cistalia 202 SMM is a recreation, believed to have been built in Italy around 1990. Its graceful body sits atop a tubular frame and is in many ways, an exact duplicate of the originals. The car does have shortcomings, as its estimated selling value at the 2006 Bonhams & Butterfields auction held at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California would suggest. The car was estimated to sell between $3,000 - $6,000. The engine, transmission and suspension are not in running order. The car was sold as a rolling chassis with the purposes of being a display vehicle. At auction, there was much interest in the vehicle - or since it was the first automobile of the day to be auctioned, the high bid was driven well above what was expected. The car found a new owner for the price of $26,325. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2007
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.
Prior to World War II, Italian industrialist Piero Dusio had proved his abilities in amateur racing competition. He had a passion for racing and talent to back it up. More importantly, he had the financial means to create his own sports car and to compete in more competitive arena's. He had done well with the Consorzio Industriale Sportivo Italia which was a conglomeration with interests in various industries such as sporting goods, banking, and textiles. When World War II emerged, his dreams of building racing cars were put on hold. At the conclusion of the War, he convinced Dante Giacosa and Giavonni Savonuzzi to aid in the creation. Both of these individuals were renowned engineers who had worked with Fiat and were more than capable of building a competitive racer.
The first creation of the Cisitalia Company was the D.46 monoposto powered by an 1100cc engine. They were the first racing cars to use a full space frame chassis. Since the engineers had experience with Fiat technology, many of the components were from Fiat, such as the engine and four-speed gearbox. The engine was modified with dry-sump lubrication and twin Weber downdraft carburetors which resulted in an increase of horsepower to 60.
Seven of the monopostos made their debut in 1946 at the Coppa Brezzi in Turin's Valentio Park. Competition was fierce but the Cisitalia driven by Dusio was still able to cross the finish line ahead of the pack. Though this was an impressive accomplishment, it was not as entertaining as watching Tazio Nuvolari cross the finish line in hot, and angry pursuit. His steering wheel had come detached and he was forced to drive the car by the steering hub with one hand as the other held a hold of the detached wheel.
The next iteration of vehicles produced by Cisitalia was a road going sports car named the 202. The first vehicle off the production line was a space-framed chassis which was sent to Carrozzeria Colli to receive its body. The second was another coupe which was sent to Alfredo Vignale to receive its body. The third vehicle was given an open roadster body that was clothed by Garelli and further improved by Stabilmenti Farina.
Production of the 202 continued until 1952 with a total of 17 spiders and 153 coupes being constructed. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
Some grand prix circuits just have a mythical status about them. Besides the drivers and great races, a lot of the equation comes down to how memorable the circuit truly is. In the case of the Pau Circuit,...