Classic Van Auction Talk

Tuesday 2 October 2018

1948 FIAT-SIATA 750 Coachwork by Bertolini - BONHAMS AUCTIONS The Zoute Sale Saturday 6th October 2018 KNOKKE-HEIST, PLACE ALBERT DE KNOKKE LE ZOUTE Place Albert de Knokke Le Zoute 8300 Knokke-Heist

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The Zoute Sale
Saturday 6th October 2018
Place Albert de Knokke Le Zoute
8300 Knokke-Heist

1948 FIAT-SIATA 750
Coachwork by Bertolini
€ 250,000 - 300,000
£ 220,000 - 270,000

Chassis no. 72001-48
•Ultra-rare Italian sports-racer
•Ex-Guiseppe Gilera (GILERA Motorcycles)
•Matching numbers
•Professionally restored in Italy by KCA
•Guaranteed entry into the Mille Miglia Storica

  • Based on a FIAT Topolino and powered by a SIATA engine, the car offered here was built in 1948 by a Mr Bertolini, proprietor of a garage and body shop in Parma that made several small competition cars during the post-war period (see the book Le Sport by Curami). Needless to say, much more is known about SIATA than Mr Bertolini.

    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. 

    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.

    From arguably the most evocative period of post-war sports car racing, this particular car was made in 1948 starting from a FIAT Topolino chassis frame that was modified with additional tubular reinforcement. The engine is a SIATA 750 Type B fitted with Weber carburettors DR32, aluminium oil sump and inclined exhaust. The car was sold to Mr Musa, a gentleman driver from Parma, and entered in the 1948 Mille Miglia, Mr Musa's co-driver being one E Maestri. They hit trouble during the race and did not finish. Later in 1948 the car was given to Mr Giuseppe Gilera, founder of the eponymous motorcycle company. Mr Gilera raced the car in the 1948 Coppa delle Dolomiti, and in 1950 it participated in several races including the Parma-Berceto. On the Italian registration documents we can trace changes of ownership in 1968, 1985 and 2012. It was around that time that this SIATA was completely restored by the famous KCA workshop in Milan, the engine being rebuilt by the renowned specialist, Facetti. The restoration was finished in 2013. Guaranteed entry into the Mille Miglia Storica, this charming little Italian sports car comes with continuous history since 1948 and a large book of photos and original documents including copies its old Italian registration papers.




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