1947 Cisitalia 202 Gran Sport Berlinetta  Chassis no. 023 Engine no. 047

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Lot 242
1947 Cisitalia 202 Gran Sport Berlinetta
Chassis no. 023 Engine no. 047

Sold for € 186,500 (US$ 207,313) inc. premium
1947 Cisitalia 202 Gran Sport Berlinetta
Coachwork by Pinin Farina

Chassis no. 023
Engine no. 047
A talented entrepreneur and gentleman driver, Piero Dusio recognized that post-war Italy would have a thirst for motor racing and conceived, with typical style and flair, a post-war one-make single seater series to quench the pent up demand of both drivers and spectators.

He soon concluded that sports car racing presented an even greater opportunity and put his chief designer Giovanni Savonuzzi to work creating a 2-seater from the basic monoposto design. Likewise a space frame chassis, the resulting Cisitalia 202 was ready for the 1947 Mille Miglia. A variety of bodies were hurriedly created by several local coachbuilders including Colli, Vignale, Garelli, Pinin Farina and Stablimenti Farina. Tazio Nuvolari showed his grit and skill, taking the slowest of the five Cisitalias entered into the lead by eight minutes at Rome. A 20 minute delay to dry out the ignition system put Nuvolari behind Biondetti’s Alfa Two-Nine but he recovered to finish second, followed across the line by Bernabei and Minetti also in Cisitalias.

Fuelled by such success Cisitalia then went into production. Of the output of some 170 cars built, most clients’ favourite coachwork was the Gran Sport berlinetta by Pinin Farina, a milestone aerodynamic design which was chosen by New York’s Museum of Modern Art as part of its permanent collection. This car, chassis ‘023’, boasts Pinin Farina’s signature berlinetta body and was delivered new to Potenza in Southern Italy, soon afterwards being sold to Rome and ending up in Bari by 1949. It remained there until 2001 when acquired by the vendor, a longstanding Cisitalia enthusiast and collector, who embarked upon a total, ‘ground up’ restoration to concours standards.

The original engine and gearbox were fully rebuilt, as were the suspension, brakes and steering, and the electrical system rewired. The bodywork was stripped, sanded and repainted in the original colour. The interior was retrimmed in beige corduroy cloth of the correct pattern and texture. Photographs of the rebuild attest to the quality and thoroughness of the work, which was completed early this year. The car is also accompanied by its old style Italian libretto.

Hubris brought Piero Dusio’s empire down when he committed to building the fabled Cisitalia Grand Prix but the resounding success of the Cisitalia 202 in the Mille Miglia and other early post-war races, as well as its seminal contribution to the success of post-war Italian coachbuilders and design, have firmly established the reputation of both marque and model. One of only 170 Cisitalia 202s built, with uniquely refined bodywork and sparkling performance from its light weight, skillfully designed and developed chassis and twin-carburetor Cisitalia engine, this beautifully presented berlinetta is both an historically important automobile and the ideal entry for the most enjoyable and important historic events.

Cette voiture, châssis no.023, dont la carrosserie berlinette est signée Pinin Farina, fut livrée neuve à Potenza dans le sud de l’Italie avant d’être vendue à Rome. De 1949 à 2001, elle fut stockée à Bari avant d’être acquise par l’actuel propriétaire, un aficionado de la marque. Il entreprît alors une restauration totale. Le moteur d’origine ainsi que la boîte de vitesses furent entièrement reconstruits, tout comme la suspension, les freins, la direction ainsi que l’électricité. La carrosserie fut mise à nu, sablée puis peinte dans sa teinte d’origine. L’intérieur fut refait avec des matériaux similaires à ceux d’époque. Un dossier photographique atteste de l’excellent travail effectué lors de cette restauration, achevée au début de l’année 2005. Livrée avec son ancien Libretto italien, cette Cisitalia est la voiture idéale pour participer aux plus grands évènements historiques.
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