1948 Cisitalia 202 Cabriolet

Cisitalias are one of those odd exceptions to the “top goes down, price goes up” rule, and in this case the coupe is actually the preferred model


A talented “gentleman driver” and owner of the sports equipment concern Consorzio Industriale Sportiva Italia-or Cisitalia, as it was known-Piero Dusio recognized that post-war Italy would have a thirst for motor racing. He conceived of a one-make series to quench the pent-up demand of both drivers and spectators, based around the ubiquitous Fiat 1100 engine.
The single-seat Cisitalia D-46 was arguably the first space-frame racing car. It carried Fiat suspension components and was powered by a reworked version of the 1100 that made 60 horsepower. But Dusio saw that a sports racing car would present an even greater opportunity, so he created a two-seater from the same basic design. This was the 202, prepared for the 1947 Mille Miglia and driven to a second place finish by Tazio Nuvolari.
A variety of bodies were created for the 202 by several local coachbuilders including Colli, Vignale, Pinin Farina and Stabilimenti Farina. Most of the output of some 170 cars bore Gran Sport berlinetta coachwork by Pinin Farina, a milestone aerodynamic design that was chosen by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as part of its permanent collection. But 17 of the chassis were bodied by Carrozzeria Vignale as cabriolets, one of which is offered here.
As with so many coachbuilt cars, it contains some unique aspects, including the one-piece, curved glass windscreen and subtly lower hood line and driving position.
Owned by a dedicated Italian collector for nearly three decades until the mid-1990s, it has been lovingly preserved and is especially well equipped, with wire wheels, the original Condor Ultraplat radio and dual Weber carburetors.

Ed Godshalk

Ed caught the sports car bug in high school in the early 1970s when he bought a rusty Triumph TR3A that promptly seized its motor. His primary interest is Italian sports cars, but he also has an Amilcar CGS and had a Bugatti Brescia, both from 1925. He completed the 2004 Mille Miglia in the Amilcar, and took 3rd place at Pebble Beach in 2009 with the Bugatti. He vintage-rallies a Lancia Aurelia GT, and he’s won the Monte Shelton NW Classic Motor Rally five times since 1990. Godshalk is restoring a Cisitalia 202 “Corsa” coupe, driven by Taruffi in the 1948 Targa Florio, and a D46 monoposto once owned by Harry Schell. He runs the web site Cisitalia.net.

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