Image credits: © Fiat.

1953 Fiat 8V

The end of World War II left many factories destroyed, materials were in short supply, economies were questionable, and normal manufacturing was struggling. In similar fashion, custom coachbuilders experienced a plethora of obstacles, including a shortage of automobiles in production that were suitable for custom bodywork. Finding lucrative contracts were difficult and in short supply. Several carrozzerie, including Pinin Farina and Bertone, landed contracts with Alfa Romeo and Lancia.

Overseas manufacturers were prime targets for the fledgling Italian coachbuilders. Virgil Exner, the head of Chrysler's design department, was impressed with the designs and skilled craftsmanship of Ghia. In the years that followed, a relationship between the two companies was cultivated. The work that resulted was beneficial for both companies - Ghia received steady cash-flow and publicity while Chrysler had the benefit of European design and fashion.

Also in the early 1950s, Fiat introduced the 8V chassis. Elio Zagato was among the first to prove that custom coachwork could be applied to this new platform. Soon, other Italian carrozzerie followed, approaching Fiat with ideas and proposals for limited-production 8V models. Ghia was one of those trying to attract the attention of Fiat. Luigi Serge, the Commercial Director of Ghia, had an idea for the 8V that was based on the designs by Giovanni Savonuzzi, the company's new Technical Director. Savonuzzi had begun his career in Fiat's aeronautical sector where he worked closely with Dante Giacosa, the man responsible for the 8V project. Savonuzzi's first automobile was the Cisitalia 202, a design that helped launch his career to new levels and enhance his reputation.

Savonuzzi's design for the Fiat 8V was a two-door coupe that drew design inspiration from previous projects and experiments. The design comprised of contemporary and modern trends in aerospace and featured streamlined forms, subtle tail fins, and a swept-back roofline. It was referred to as 'the Supersonic' and it had a radical figure that was graceful, elegant, and slightly flamboyant. It was one of the first cars to feature designs that would later become known as 'jet-age' styling.

Late in 1953, Luigi Serge was visiting Detroit to meet with Chrysler executives. While there, he showed pictures of the Savonuzzi designs to Exner. Another individual who had the pleasure of seeing these designs were Paul Farago, a designer and engineering who was involved in Chrysler's styling department. Impressed by the designs, Farago (with support from Exner), placed the first order for a Ghia-bodied Fiat 8V Supersonic. That vehicle was chassis number 106.000035.


by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2019
1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Elaborata Coupe
Coachwork: Zagato

Chassis Num: 106.000022
Engine Num: 104.000.000043

Confusion and distraction surrounded Fiat during the mid-1950s. This would cause the company to flounder and become rather aimless. Unfortunately, one of its newest sports cars would suffer as a result.....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Supersonic
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Giacosa

Fiat stunned and surprised the motoring world at the 1952 Geneva Motor Show when it introduced its next competition car, the Supersonic with 2-liter 8V, or in Italian terminology, the OttoV. Designed for motor racing, it became very successful, winni....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Berlinetta
Designer: Fabio Luigi Rapi

This Fiat 8V Berlinetta has coachwork by designed by stylist Fabio Lucio Rapi. It was on display at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in the Postwar Custom Coachwork Sports Category.....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

GT Coupe
Coachwork: Zagato

Chassis Num: 0026
Engine Num: 0031

At the 1952 Geneva Motor Show, Fiat excited the public with a new car developed especially for racing. Powered by a Fiat 2 litre V8 engine, the car was known as the 8V, or 'Otto Vu.' Of the 114 8Vs built, very few received bodywork by Zagato like thi....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Berlinetta
Designer: Fabio Luigi Rapi

Chassis Num: 000086
Engine Num: 000120

This 'Carrozzeria Speciale Berlinetta,' developed by Danto Giacorsa and styled by Fabio Lucio Rapi, is one of only 34 produced. The body employs a double steel shell concept - each wafer thin; the inner providing structural rigidity, the outer giving....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Supersonic
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Savonuzzi

Chassis Num: 106.000035
Engine Num: 104.000.000058

This vehicle, the first 8V Supersonic produced by Ghia, features a number of distinct differences that is not found on the other 14 examples of the 'Supersonic.' ....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Coupe
Coachwork: Zagato

Chassis Num: 106.000065
Engine Num: 104.000.000116

Fiat completed this 8V on October 6th of 1953 and delivered to Milanese coachbuilder Zagato as a bare chassis. Zagato clothed this vehicle in lightweight berlinetta with clean features and uncluttered lines and the rare, flat dashboard used only on t....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Coupe
Coachwork: Vignale

Chassis Num: 106*000051*
Engine Num: 104.000*000073

The Fiat 8V is a sports car produced by the Italian automaker Fiat from 1952 to 1954. The car was introduced at the 1952 Geneva Motor Show. The Fiat 8V got its name because at the time of its making, Ford had a copyright on the term V8. They were not....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Supersonic
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Giacosa

Chassis Num: 106 000042

The Fiat 8V model, or Otto Vu in Italian, was built for just two years with a total of 114 examples produced. They were the star of the Geneva Salon in March of 1952 and remains one of the marque's most legendary motor cars to this day. ....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Supersonic
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Savonuzzi

Chassis Num: 106 000049
Engine Num: 104.000 000085

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.....[continue reading]

1953 Fiat 8V vehicle information

Supersonic
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Savonuzzi

Chassis Num: 106.000043

The Fiat 8V (the Otto Vu) made its public debut at the Geneva Auto Salon in March of 1952. The car was powered by Fiat's new 70-degree, overhead-valve V8 engine designed by Dante Giacosa. A total of 114 examples of the 8V were built, and 40 of these ....[continue reading]

Elaborata Coupe by Zagato
Chassis #: 106.000022 
Supersonic by Ghia
 
Berlinetta
 
GT Coupe by Zagato
Chassis #: 0026 
Berlinetta
Chassis #: 000086 
Supersonic by Ghia
Chassis #: 106.000035 
Coupe by Zagato
Chassis #: 106.000065 
Coupe by Vignale
Chassis #: 106*000051* 
Supersonic by Ghia
Chassis #: 106 000042 
Supersonic by Ghia
Chassis #: 106 000049 
Supersonic by Ghia
Chassis #: 106.000043 

Related Reading : Fiat 8V History

The curvaceous and glorious Fiat 8V was given its name due to its eight-cylinder engine in vee configuration. The engineers had though that the Ford Motor Company had exclusive rights to the name V8, which later turned out not to be the case, but the name 8V was already given. The engine displaced just over 120 cubic-inches and produced around 110 horsepower. Fitting the larger engine in the....
Continue Reading >>

Related Reading : Fiat 8V History

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.....
Continue Reading >>

1953 Fiat Models

1953 Fiat Concepts

Concepts by Fiat

Similarly Sized Vehicles
from 1953

Fiat Monthly Sales Volume

June 2019
933
May 2019
1,025
April 2019
931
March 2019
847
February 2019
616
January 2019
751
December 2018
977
November 2018
1,309
October 2018
1,151
September 2018
1,185
August 2018
1,374
July 2018
1,240
Additional Sales Volume Data


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