Chassis #: SC 052
Engine # CS 007
The Siata 208CS with chassis number CS052 is a Stabilimenti Farina Coupe built for the Turin Auto Show and the Mille Miglia. This historic car has a documented racing history, Italian engineering and coach building of the post war era. In recent years, the car has been given a restoration and the engine was rebuilt by Strada e Corsa, Haarlem, Holland. They also restored the suspension, steering box and differential. Many original parts were used during the engine restoration and a special camshaft was created by Megacycle in San Rafael, California. The original Weber 36 DCZ3 carburetors were rebuilt, as was the radiator, and many other parts. The gearbox was in excellent condition and only required a cleaning before it was returned to the car.
By the 1950s, Societa Italianà Applicazioni Techniche Automobilistiche (SIATA) had been established for over two decades. They were founded in Turin on July 19th of 1926 by Giorgio Ambrosini who intended on making high performance accessories for Fiat cars. By the 1950s, along with their performance products, they were building a small number of coupes and spiders in a variety of shapes and displacements.
When Fiat introduced their Otto Vu (V8) machines, SIATA immediately realized the potential of this new platform.
This Fiat/SIATA Otto Vu 208S CS052 wears a custom built coupe body by Stabilimenti Farina. They are one of the lesser known Italian coachbuilders. It was founded by Giovanni Farina, Battista 'Pinin' Farina's older brother; Stabilimenti Industiali Farina S.A. was founded in Turin in 1906 and was the first coachbuilder in Italy to use stamping machines extensively. The company would be in business for forty-seven years and would create many elegant coachwork products for Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and Itala. Their designs were elegant but heavy. When World War II came to an end, they concentrated on building sports cars for companies such as Ferrari, Cisitalia, Fiat, and SIATA. CS052 would be one of the last products created by Stabilimenti Farina before going out of business in 1953.
CS052 was put on display at the Torino Auto Show, held from April 23 1952 to May 4th. It was one of the lowest coupes ever built. It has an aggressive grille incorporating driving lights and retractable headlights. There is a wrap around windshield with small side windows, and a racing filler cap that protrudes from the rear quarter windows.
CS052 is the only one of the Farina/Balbo SIATAs to have a slight upswing in the door windows at the A pillar. The interior is minimal, but it does have a very large 8000 RPM tachometer, with two small gauges placed on both sides of the tach. There is a four-spoked aluminum steering wheel with a wooden rim.
After the Turin Auto Show, the car was sent back to SIATA in preparation for the Mille Miglia, held on May 3rd, the last Saturday of the Turin show. The last minute preparations included the fabrication of two small trapdoors in the front fenders and the installation of a third windscreen wiper on top of the driver's side.
The car, wearing number 542, was piloted by Tullini and Rossi but retired early. One of its sister cars finished 11th overall. After the race, all three cars returned to the factory for further modifications. The side vents were increased in size, the fog and spot lights were removed as was the third wiper. A new large capacity fuel tank was installed in a space behind the rear axle and differential with the quick filler cap moved to the midline below the rear window.
CS052 returned to racing and was piloted by a variety of owners. In the early 1960s, it was exported to the United States by Ronal Karish and Bernie Friend, who sold it to Tony Bosh. Bosh sold it to Jarl de Boer who retained the car in his collection for two decades. The current owner acquired the car, including all of its spares and the original engine in 2002.
In 2009, the car was offered for sale by Bonhams at the Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia sale held at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, CA. It was estimated to sell for $1,600,000 - 1,900,000. As bidding came to a close, the lot had failed at finding a willing buyer, capable of satisfying its reserve. It was left unsold.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2009