<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023

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Lot 141Ω
1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone

US$ 850,000 - 950,000
£ 660,000 - 740,000
Amended
1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone

Chassis no. CS507L
Engine no. CS023

1,996cc OHV All-Alloy V-8 Engine
Twin Weber DCF/3 Carburetors
125bhp at 6,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Whee Independent Coil Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Finned Alloy Drum Brakes

*A unique one-off creation
*Shown at the New York and Paris Motor Shows
*High quality restoration
*Italian V8 power


THE FIAT 8V

The Società Italiana Auto Trasformazione Accessori, or SIATA, was established in Turin by Giorgio Ambrosini in 1926. Initially a manufacturer of speed equipment for FIATs – dual carburetor manifolds, high compression cylinder heads, overhead valve conversions, superchargers, gearsets and even complete gearboxes – Siata enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with FIAT. The enhanced performance of Siata-equipped FIATs brought competition success and encouraged sales without FIAT's direct involvement.

Following World War II, Siata leveraged its success to resume construction of FIAT-based sports cars. With the FIAT-SIATA 750 Sport Competizione, Giorgio Ambrosini's son Renato won the 750cc Italian Championship in 1948 and 1949. A series of SIATA 300BC Spiders were built for the U.S. market powered by Crosley's potent little 750cc single overhead camshaft engine. Larger cars followed, which brought Siata to the attention of American enthusiasts like Tony Pompeo, Briggs Cunningham, John Perona and Ernie McAfee.

Having been involved in FIAT's Otto Vu project from the outset, and when the company ceased production after 49 cars were built, Siata naturally had access to the overrun of planned V8 power units. This led them to produce their own models: the 2 liter, or 208S. It was undeniably the best-looking car to wear the Siata badge by then (arguably ever), wearing incredibly beautiful coachwork penned by the styling house of Motto. Motto would go on to style other iconic automobiles, such as the Porsche Abarth Carrera.

Tuned by Siata to make 125 horsepower or more, the Siata 208S, in both Coupe and Spider, achieved exceptional performance and a degree of aesthetic presence that is unprecedented in the early Fifties. Their design – leaning forward in a pose that recalls the photographs of early racing cars and taken by cameras with focal plane shutters – is aggressive, potent, sleek and elegant. In the finest tradition of great coachbuilding and sports car design, the appearance of the Siata 208S was matched by its performance. An early owner characterized the Siata 208s as "a dream to drive...What I liked most about it was styling, handling and its ability to go like a rocket on demand."

Expectedly, the fabulous looks and sporting performance came at a price. Here in the States that meant a sticker of just under $5,000; a hefty number in the mid-1950s, but a natural fit for the California culture of design and performance and revered warm climate. The legendary Los Angeles Hot Rodder, turned dealer, Ernie McAfee ensured Siata's popularity on the West Coast; importing the lion's share of them helped by the backing of the wealthy Doheny family.

McAfee's period advertising proclaimed, "Equal these items in any Car and you have a SIATA V8 - 2 Liter V8 Engine, 4 Wheel Independent Suspension, 78 Spoke Borrani Racing Wheels, Genuine 120hp with 120mph, Fantastic Brakes, Michelin Tires, 1900 lbs. Weight. $4995 Complete." McAfee garnered this information from first-hand experience, having bravely campaigned one of the first examples on the Carrera Panamericana in 1953.

Siata's long and successful history, its experience tuning and developing Fiat-based performance cars, the excellence of the Rudolf Hruska-led design team, the performance and refinement of the Fiat Otto Vu V8, and the simple, refined beauty of the coachwork (provided by Italy's finest and most creative carrozzerias) designate the Siata 208S as one of the most appreciated, sought after, and desirable high-performance spiders of the period. They are rarely seen today, and infrequently available to collectors.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This SIATA 208 2+2 with matching chassis/engine numbers 'CS057L'/'CS023' was bodied by Carrozzeria Bertone on a slightly lengthened (by 200mm) chassis in mid-1952. Only four 2,700mm chassis were built by SIATA for these special 208 models, which had resulted from a one-off order from Stanley Arnolt at the beginning of his collaboration with Bertone.

Having made his fortune supplying engines to the US Marine Corps during WW2, American industrialist Stanley Harold 'Wacky' Arnolt was able to indulge his lifelong love of automobiles, and by 1952 was a regional BMC distributor and US distributor for Bristol cars. In 1952 a meeting between Arnolt and Bertone at that year's Turin Show led to Arnolt buying a stake in the Italian company, joining its Board of Directors and arranging manufacture of Bertone-bodied Arnolt MGs. By this time under the direction of Giuseppe 'Nuccio' Bertone, son of founder Giovanni, the Torinese firm was well placed to undertake Arnolt's commission, having only recently moved into a large new factory at Grugliasco from which some 40,000-or-so Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprints would emerge by the decade's end. As well as a gifted stylist, Nuccio Bertone was also a keen racing driver, campaigning a lightened and modified SIATA 208 until family pressure forced his retirement from the racetrack.

The first results of this US-Italian collaboration were sold as Arnolt-MGs in the USA. When the supply of MG TC chassis dried up, Arnolt's next venture made use of his Bristol connections, the UK manufacturer's '404' getting the Bertone treatment in 1953. The following year, after a meeting with Aston Martin's owner David Brown, Arnolt had eight Bertone-bodied cars built on the DB2/4 chassis, the first of which was exhibited at the New York Motor Show in 1954.

This particular SIATA 208 was exhibited at the Paris Auto Show in October 1952 and then at the New York International Motor Sports Show in April 1953. Arnolt eventually sold the car to Stuart Sherman in Illinois. It was sold on in 1955 to Roy Thoressen in Minnesota, who stored the car for more than 30 years until 1989. It was acquired in 1993, still in original condition, by Walter Eisenstark, of Yorktown Heights. Soon after the turn of the millennium, Mr Eisenstark started a total restoration to very high standard. Upon close inspection of the car today, the quality is readily apparent, and the vehicle will surely be welcome on any concours field. In addition, ample documentation from the project will be made available in the history file for viewing. More recently, the SIATA has found its home within the confines of a prominent Belgian collector.

This rare SIATA 208CS with its one-off Bertone body combines beautiful hand-built coachwork - typical of Italy's 1950s 'golden age' of automobile styling - with the exotic FIAT 8V mechanical parts. The car is offered US documentation and with EU import taxes paid.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, this vehicle is titled under the model year 1953 with chassis no. CS057L and the title will be in transit.
Contacts
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
<b>1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta</b><br />Chassis no. CS507L<br />Engine no. CS023
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