The Silverstone Classic Sale 2017

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1950 Fiat based Siata Roadster 'Appreciation'

Lot No.: 706

Registration: YWG 575
Chassis Number: 330483
Engine Number: TBA
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1100cc
Year of Manufacture: 1950
Estimate (£): 25,000 - 35,000
(+buyer’s premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)

Siata (Società Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori) was an Italian car tuning shop and manufacturer founded in 1926 by amateur racing driver Giorgio Ambrosini initially selling performance parts to modify and tune cars manufactured by Fiat.

After World War II, the company began building its own brand of sports cars which continued until the mid-1970s starting with the first wholly original design of the 'Siata Amica' (1948 to 1952) which was then followed by the 300BC Barchetta Sport Spider in 1951. Designed by Mario Revelli de Beaumont and built by Nuccio Bertone and Rocco Motto, around 50 production models were created and were mainly powered by either a 750cc Crosley or 1100cc Fiat engine.

The Siata 208S, introduced in 1953, featured Fiat's 2.0-litre 8V engine and 35 cars were produced between 1953 and 1955 priced at $5,300. They were available as a convertible (Spider) or a coupé. The 208 Spider was an incredibly beautiful machine, typical of Italian 'Barchettas' of the period, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by legendary actor Steve McQueen who purchased model BS523 from Los Angeles-based Siata importer Ernie McCaffe in the mid-1950s. According to Bruce Sand, who subsequently bought the Siata, McQueen had replaced the front Siata  badge with a Ferrari shield and dubbed the car his "Little Ferrari".

This Siata 'Homage' is a superbly built, fully aluminium-bodied roadster and bears a visual similarity to Siata  roadsters from the early fifties. The front has obviously been influenced by the 208 CS Bertone Spider Corsa from 1953 and the rear is reminiscent of the '52 300BC Sport Spider. The net result is a striking motor car that is pure fifties'Italian.

The chassis is from a 1950 Fiat together with the suspension, steering, and brakes. The engine is a tuned 1100cc with a performance manifold, twin-choke Weber carburettor, and four-Speed manual transmission. Formerly part of a deceased estate, documentation includes copies of the former Italian Libretto and a current UK V5C.

This, lovingly crafted, charming little Italian sports car sits on Borrani-style, knock-off wire wheels and is finished in Metallic Royal Blue with twin black upholstered race seats. There is enough room for a passenger and a small boot area for luggage when on a tour or a rally.