1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216
Lot 326
1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta
£ 250,000 - 350,000
US$ 340,000 - 480,000

Lot Details
1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216 1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta  Chassis no. SLO216
1952 SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A Barchetta
Coachwork by Stabilimenti Farina

Registration no. 278 YUB
Chassis no. SLO216
*Ultra-rare Italian sports-racer
*Delivered new to the USA
*Extensively restored in 2014
*Mille Miglia entrant in 2015 and 2016

Footnotes

  • Founded in 1926 in Turin, Italy by Giorgio Ambrosini, SIATA (Societa Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori) began life as a tuning firm specialising in the modification of FIATs. When the company, now renamed SIATA Auto Spa, eventually introduced its first production car in 1949, FIAT components, in this case sourced from the Topolino, were the logical choice for the new Amica cabriolet. During the 1950s and on into the '60s, a variety of US engines including Crosley, Ford and Chrysler V8s was adopted in addition to FIAT's home-grown motors.

    The Milanese firm's next effort, based on the FIAT 1400, was the Rallye, a traditionally styled roadster bearing more than a passing resemblance to the MG TD. Not all SIATA's designs were so obviously plagiarised, the series of FIAT 8V 2.0-litre V8-powered coupés of the 1950s, equipped with a variety of stylish Italian coachwork from the likes of Stabilimenti Farina, Vignale and Bertone and arguably the firm's finest creations, being particularly striking. We should also mention the similarly powered 208C Spyder - sister car of the Gran Sport – made famous by such owners as Steve McQueen, who dubbed his 'my little Ferrari'.

    SIATA's Daina model of the early 1950s was based on the FIAT 1400 and built in both Convertible and Coupé forms, most of the former being bodied by Stabilimenti Farina and the latter by Bertone. Later cars were designated 'SL' (Scatolato Lamiera – literally: sheet metal box). The Daina used the FIAT 1400 overhead-valve engine, modified by SIATA with a special cylinder head, pistons, and twin-carburettor inlet manifold. A 1,500cc unit was available as an option.

    SIATA was active in racing from its earliest days, and a Daina Gran Sport driven by Dick Irish and Bob Fergus won its class in the inaugural Sebring 12 Hours race of 1952, finishing 3rd overall ahead of many larger-engined cars. The nimble handling of these cars was highly regarded in the USA, where many were modified to accept larger engines. SIATA was also a regular competitor in the famed Mille Miglia race in Italy.

    The car offered here is an example of the rare SIATA Daina Gran Sport Type A. The Type A, distinguishable by its front-hinged bonnet and engine sitting over the front wheels, is much less numerous than the Type B, and it is estimated that only eight at most still exist. It is believed that chassis number 'SL0216' was originally sold by SIATA importer Ernie McAfee of Hollywood, California and shipped to Dayton, Ohio by a colonel in the United States Air Force. This is a well-known car with ownership history documented from the early 1980s onwards. It has spent most of its life in the USA, was registered in Germany from late 2006 and is currently registered as '278 YUB' in the UK.

    The car was probably fitted with a 1,400cc SIATA engine originally (although it is possible that it was supplied without an engine) but this was replaced in the 1950s with a 265ci Chevrolet V8. When sold in 1969, the car had no drive train; by 1972 a 240bhp Ford 302ci V8 had been installed.

    In 2014, an extensive restoration was carried out by Premium Classic Cars of Sudbourne, Suffolk in preparation for the 2015 Mille Miglia, for which the car was accepted. Works undertaken included returning the drive train and other areas, including the engine bay, to period specification. To this end, engine number 'SL0209' (recorded as an original SIATA unit) was installed, and Borrani wire wheels fitted, painted in gloss black like those of SIATA's original Mille Miglia car.

    In terms of originality, great efforts were made to restore 'SL0216' as close as possible to original specification. However, the interior, though period, is not entirely original; rather, it has been configured to be comfortable for the Mille Miglia while at the same time incorporating a number of safety features (all as allowed by the Mille Miglia scrutineers). Noteworthy accessories include a rally trip meter, full tonneau, and auxiliary sockets for iPhone, etc.

    Unfortunately, a water pump failure forced the car to retire from the 2015 Mille Miglia. It was accepted again for the Mille Miglia in 2016, prepared by Century Classics of Hungerford, and this time successfully completed the race. The car is presented today exactly as it finished the last Mille Miglia, still wearing the livery of 2015 and 2016. Nothing has been done to the car since the 2016 Mille Miglia, other than repairing the brake master cylinder to overcome the only problem affecting it during that event. The car will come with a spare water pump (the weak point that eliminated it from the 2015 Mille Miglia). Accompanying documentation consists of a current MoT certificate, UK V5C Registration Certificate, FIVA papers, and a full photographic record of the restoration.

    From arguably the most evocative period of post-war sports car racing, this ultra-rare SIATA has been much admired at the Mille Miglia and has the potential for further development. Opportunities to acquire strong, Mille Miglia-eligible cars are increasingly rare, particularly when they are in recently restored condition like this one.
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