1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupe
|Written by Donald Osborne|
|Wednesday, 01 September 2010 00:00|
The Cisitalia 202 had a space frame with Fiat 1100 mechanicals, and as bodied by Pinin Farina, was one of the classic designs of all time, becoming the only automobile in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Bankrupt by 1949, Dusio decamped for Argentina to pursue a will-o-the-wisp Grand Prix car project under the patronage of Juan Peron.
The Cisitalia 360 GP car was unsuccessful, but Dusio built a good business with Willys Jeep variants for rural Argentineans. In 1960, he attempted to resurrect the Cisitalia brand with government help and a partnership with Fiat Argentina SA.
Fiat had prepared a 1500S version of their 1,481cc engine Cabriolet with a 1,491 cc twin-overhead-cam engine designed by OSCA, another boutique tuning house started by the Maserati brothers after they sold their namesake business to the Orsi family. Fiat licensed the OSCA engine for manufacture in their own plants, but supplied a few back to OSCA for their more sophisticated chassis.