In 1951, Fiat’s great designer Dante Giocosa began work on a new high-performance sports car, the legendary 8V, or “Otto Vu” in Italian, a two-liter, V8-engined two-seater.
Giacosa theorized that for a car to have the power and characteristics for which he was aiming, a tubular chassis would not be stiff enough to mount the fully independent suspension, so a platform was constructed from welded sheet metal, to which was welded the coachwork paneling.
The chassis construction was contracted out to specialist manufacturer Siata, which would go on to build its own 8V versions, and Fabio Luigi Rapi was enlisted to design the bodywork. In March 1952, the 8V debuted at the Geneva Salon and stole the show. It soon became a favorite with Italian racing drivers who scored race wins, class wins, and championship victories in 8Vs.
The car also caught the attention of Italy’s coachbuilders, the first of which to render their adaptation was Zagato. Other versions were built by Vignale, Pininfarina, Siata and Ghia. The latter was dubbed “Supersonic,” an allusion to the car’s rocketship styling.
SUPERSONIC BEGAN AS AN ALFA
The Supersonic design first appeared on a Conrero-tuned Alfa Romeo 1900, which was entered in the 1953 Mille Miglia. Designed by Giovanni Savonuzzi, it was crafted in metal by Ghia, which built eight examples on the 8V Fiat chassis.
The car we offer today is meticulously restored and was shown at the Bagatelle Concours d’Elegance. The combination of Ghia bodywork, a dramatic period color scheme, and a potent little V8 makes this rare Fiat a desirable car. Many of these Fiat 8Vs received an Alfa Romeo five-speed gearbox back in the late 1950s, just as the car we are proud to offer today. It comes with a U.S. title and Swiss customs documents.