1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic / 106 000049 Chassis Information

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V photograph

1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V1953 Fiat 8V
Supersonic
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Savonuzzi
Chassis #: 106 000049
Engine #: 104.000 000085
Sold for $1,815,000 at 2015 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction.
Sold for $1,375,000 at 2017 RM Auctions : Amelia Island.
In 1953, the jet age was well and truly underway, sending imaginations soaring. At the 1954 Geneva International Motor Show thoughts of sound barriers, the stratosphere and the tarmac would come together in the form of the striking FIAT Supersonic.

The Supersonic would get its start as a vision for a Mille Miglia challenger. The man with the plan was Virgilio Savonuzzi. He had an idea for a body that would combine space-age aerodynamics with just the right engine to produce a car capable of challenging the 1,000 mile race.

The right engine was a new and burgeoning option known as the Otto Vu. Originally beginning life as a V-6, the Otto Vu would end up a V-8 comprised of a 70 degree angle and such racing elements as a finned aluminum sump, forged crankshaft and a tubular 4X1 stainless steel exhaust manifolds. Known internally as the Tipo 104, the V-8 was a small engine just under 2-liters, but this made for an exciting engine for competition and a special line of small sports cars.

Unfortunately, the competition derivative would miss the mark. However, what became known as the Supersonic would soon get the go-ahead for a limited production run.

To provide the public a glimpse of the jet-age for the road a chassis would be sent from FIAT to Ghia to be fitted with the Supersonic design. Chassis 000049 would leave the FIAT factory in July of 1953 and would become the tenth to receive the Ghia-designed Supersonic bodywork.

From there, it is believed, the car would make its way to the 1954 Geneva International Motor Show where it would be on display for the public. Chrysler chairman K.T. Keller would purchase the car and would have it shipped to the United States.

The car would soon garner the attention of Lou Fageol, a man well-known around Indianapolis campaigning his double-Offy car in the 500 mile race. Fageol was also well known for his family ties with Twin Coach bus company. Fageol would purchase the Supersonic and would end up showing it at the 1957 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Fageol would make some modifications to the car including larger fins riveted over the top of the factory tailfins, and then a Continental tire kit. Following his death in 1961, the car would remain in the family passing on to the son, Ray.

Ray would not necessarily go along with his father's modifications having, in 1965, a full restoration undertaken to return the car to the way it had been when it left Ghia.

The Supersonic would leave Ray and would pass through the hands of a couple of people before ending up with its current owner in 1979. This collector absolutely loved the Supersonic and would take every step necessary to ensure the car would thrive in the future. This would include housing the car in a garage and planned very carefully for the car's whole restoration.

A part of these efforts included finding, amazingly, the original motor and some other important elements to return the car to its original condition. Despite purchasing the car in 1979, the restoration would not be able to get underway until after the engine had been found. Therefore, in 2007, the restoration efforts would get underway.

Painstakingly photographed and documented, every detail of the restoration would be taken seriously and with great care. Paul Lazaros, a former employee of the owner of the Supersonic prototype, would prove an invaluable member of the restoration team using his knowledge of the original prototype he had once purchased from his boss to act as a guide for 000049.

Disassembling bodywork, smoothing out panels and refurbishing the engine would all be a part of this effort that would span numerous expert shops and states. From Dayton Wire Wheels and Jon Wright's Custom Chrome in Ohio to Bob's Speedometer in Michigan, great lengths would be taken to restore the car to as new a condition as possible. Complete in Ghia's blue green metallic paint, the Supersonic would take eight years to restore and would cost in the region of $600,000.

A veritable step back into the jet-age of car design, the 1953 FIAT 8V Supersonic would be made available to the public as part of the 2015 Bonhams Quail Lodge auction. And, all of the hard work and attention to minute details would not be overlooked as the car would sell for an impressive $1,815,000.

By Jeremy McMullen
Supersonic
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Savonuzzi
Chassis #: 106 000049
Engine #: 104.000 000085
Sold for $1,815,000 at 2015 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction.
Sold for $1,375,000 at 2017 RM Auctions : Amelia Island.
In 1948 Fiat began developing a V-6 engine to be used in a planned six-passenger sedan. Although it was never produced the engine morphed into a V-8 of considerable merit with advanced racing components for the time. In early 1953 G. Savonuzzi contributed a sleek new coupe body featuring a long front deck and sloping fastback with rear tailfins culminated in lamp bezels resembling jet afterburners and was dubbed the Supersonic. This is the 10th Supersonic body built by Carrozzeria Ghia. It left the Fiat factory on July 14, 1953. One of only 15 Fiat Supersonics it is a rare automobile seldom displayed. It is believed the car was shown at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 1954 before being exported to its first owner Chrysler Chairman K.T. Keller. Subsequent custom modifications included the addition of Imperial style fins on top of the factory tailfins (involving riveting with no cut-outs of the original metal) and a continental tire kit. One owner found and installed the original engine in 2007 during an eight year restoration finished in 2015.


2017 RM Auctions : Amelia Island

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$1,600,000-$1,900,000 
Sale Price :
$1,375,000

2015 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$1,800,000-$2,400,000 
Sale Price :
$1,815,000

2019 1
2017 2
2015 2
2014 1
2013 1
2012 1
2011 2
2010 1
2005 1

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1953 sales)
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic
Chassis#: 106.000043
Sold for $1,625,000
  2019 Bonhams : Quail Lodge Auction
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 Fiat 8V Berlinetta Elaborata
Chassis#: 106.000022
Sold for $1,485,000
  2017 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia
Chassis#: 106 000049
Sold for $1,375,000
  2017 RM Auctions : Amelia Island
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 FIAT 8V SUPERSONIC
Chassis#: 106.000049
Sold for $1,815,000
  2015 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 Fiat 8V Cabriolet by Vignale
Chassis#: 106.000050
Sold for $1,218,560
  2015 RM Sotheby's : Villa Erba
 
1953 Fiat 8V Coupé by Ghia
Chassis#: 106 000042
Sold for $946,000
  2014 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic
Chassis#: 106.000035
Sold for $1,760,000
  2013 Gooding and Company - The Amelia Island Auction
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 Fiat 8V
Chassis#: 106.000065
Sold for $750,000
  2012 Gooding & Company, Amelia Island, Fl
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 Fiat 8V Elaborata
Chassis#: 106.000022
Sold for $1,127,500
  2011 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic
Chassis#: 106.000035
Sold for $1,705,000
  2011 The Scottsdale Auction - Gooding & Company
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 Fiat 8V Series II Berlinetta
Sold for $400,000
  2010 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions
1953 Fiat 8V image  1953 Fiat 8V image  
1953 Fiat 8V
Chassis#: 106000095
Sold for $200,640
  2005 Bonhams - Les Grandes Marques a Monaco
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1953 Fiat 8V's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1953 FIAT 8V ELABORATA106.0000222016 Scottsdale, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa   
1953 Fiat 8V Coupe106*000051*2015 Gooding & Company : Amelia Island $1,600,000$2,000,000
1953 FIAT 8V COUPE VIGNALE 2013 ARTCURIAL MOTORCARS À RÉTROMOBILE   
1953 FIAT 8V Coupé1060000652010 Bonhams Automobiles d'Exception á Rétromobile $530,000$650,000

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Vehicle Profiles

Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Supersonic
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Supersonic
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Berlinetta
Chassis Num: 000086
Engine Num: 000120
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 GT Coupe
Coachbuilder: Zagato
Chassis Num: 0026
Engine Num: 0031
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Supersonic
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis Num: 106 000042
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Supersonic
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis Num: 106 000049
Engine Num: 104.000 000085
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Vignale
Chassis Num: 106*000051*
Engine Num: 104.000*000073
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Elaborata Coupe
Coachbuilder: Zagato
Chassis Num: 106.000022
Engine Num: 104.000.000043
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Supersonic
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis Num: 106.000035
Engine Num: 104.000.000058
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Supersonic
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis Num: 106.000043
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1953 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Zagato
Chassis Num: 106.000065
Engine Num: 104.000.000116
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1954 Supersonic Coupe
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1954 Elaborata Coupe
Coachbuilder: Zagato
Engine Num: 000174
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1954 Supersonic Coupe
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis Num: 000040
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1954 Coupe
Coachbuilder: Ghia
Chassis Num: 000042
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1954 Berlinetta
Coachbuilder: Vignale
Chassis Num: 000066
Chassis information for the Fiat 8V1954 Coupe
Chassis Num: 106000061
Engine Num: 000112


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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