Cisitalia D46

1947 Cisitalia D46 Monoposto

Offered by Bonhams | Monaco | April 23, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Piero Dusio’s Cisitalia got its start by building tiny open-wheel race cars. In fact, the D46 was their first attempt at building a race car. And it was groundbreaking. It featured a tubular spaceframe chassis, which was something new in the open-wheel world.

The cars scored victories all over Europe in 1946 and 1947. Some of them continued racing into the 1950s season, even though Cisitalia had introduced other cars – and eventually road cars. Power is from a Fiat 1.1-liter inline-four. It’s a tiny engine, but with the chassis built the way it is, the car is light. It didn’t need a ton of power to be competitive.

This car is said to have been raced by Harry Schell back in its competition days and later spent time in Australia. In the 1960s, it returned to Europe, remaining with an owner for 40 years before the current owner bought it in 2003.

I’ve been waiting to feature one of these for some time, so it’s a treat that it has popped up. The pre-sale estimate is $180,000-$240,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $190,682.

Cisitalia-Abarth 850 Scorpione

1962 Cisitalia-Abarth 850 Scorpione Coupe

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | March/April 2021

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

Piero Dusio got rich making uniforms during WWII and parlayed that cash into a small company he founded called Cisitalia. They built racing cars, and eventually road cars. But racing is expensive, and eventually, he ran out of money, forcing him to relocate to Argentina.

Cisitalia collaborated with Abarth (Carlo Abarth was Austrian by birth) here and there, and after the company moved to South America, the two got together for one last fling. Abarth had a car out there called the Fiat-Abarth 850 Allemano. This car is essentially a badge-engineered version of Carlo’s 850. It features an 847cc inline-four that was rated at 55 horsepower when new.

Fewer than 200 Fiat-Abarth models were produced, and about the same (or less) of these were also made. It is not really related to the similarly-named Abarth Scorpione. This one has obviously been restored and is up for bidding now. The auction ends tomorrow. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $74,000.

March 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re back with more from Amelia Island, beginning with Gooding & Company where they sold a previously-featured Porsche 911 GT1 road car for $5,665,000 – a nice bump over the price the owner paid for it five years ago. The big-money Jaguar XKSS failed to sell, as did the Pegaso. Our Most Interesting award goes to David Brown’s personal 1949 Aston Martin DB Mk II which sold for $1,540,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

Mazda’s 767B sold for $1,750,000 and the Cisitialia we featured brought $550,000. The rest of Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island results can be found here.

We didn’t get to feature anything from Motostalgia’s Amelia Island sale, but I wish we would’ve featured the top seller, this 1950 Abarth (Cisitalia) 204A Spyder that sold for $1,001,000. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Motostalgia

And now, the final results from Amelia Island: RM Sotheby’s. The Ferrari 166 would’ve been the top seller, but it failed to meet its reserve. So top sale honors went to another of our feature cars, the Bugatti 57S by Vanvooren for $7,700,000. Other million dollar sales included the Lancia Tipo Bocca for $2,145,000, the Supercharged Stutz for $1,705,000, and a previously featured Lancia PF200 Spider that brought $1,248,500.

There were other cars that sold here that we had featured in the past. This beautiful coachbuilt Graham-Paige sold for $770,000 – earning its consignor over a half a million in profit in one year’s time. At the other end of the spectrum, this Atlas Babycar went for just $30,250 – roughly half of what it sold for four years ago.

We’ll give “Most Interesting” to this 1959 Devin D that we neglected to feature. It sold for $88,000.

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Other feature cars were the Zimmerli Roadster that went for $71,500 and the Meyers Manx that sold for $68,750. To see complete results, including the sale of the Orin Smith Collection, click here.

Now how about a couple of auctions in France? Aguttes held a sale in Lyon and this 1972 Dino 246 GT was the top sale at $335,171.

Photo – Aguttes

The Honda we featured brought $36,210. Complete results can be found here.

Finally, Osenat auctioned off the Perinet-Marquet Citroen collection. While we didn’t feature anything, this 1969 Citroen DS21 Cabriolet Usine was the top sale at $129,720. Click here for the rest of the results.

Photo – Osenat

Cisitalia 202 SC

1947 Cisitalia 202 SC Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

From 25 feet (or, you know, in photos), this Cisitalia might look like any number of postwar sports cars. But it’s coachbuilt – by Vignale, no less – and the details on this car are fantastic.

The 202 was Cisitalia’s main road car, introduced in 1947 and produced through 1952. There were some pretty exotic versions of it, including the CMM and the famed SMM Spider Nuvolari. It’s borderline blasphemous to call any Cisitalia “pedestrian” but I think the attractive yet subdued styling on this Cabriolet, coupled with the fact that it lacks any real racing pretensions, is what makes it special.

This car is powered by a 63 horsepower, 1.1-liter straight-four. Coupes came first, but the Cabriolet is rarer, with only about 60 built (of a total 202 production run of 170 cars). This example was discovered in Argentina before coming stateside in 2003. The restoration dates all the way back to 2016 and the chassis number is an early one. It is expected to bring between $525,000-$625,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Gooding’s Amelia Island lineup.

Update: Sold $550,000.

Cisitalia 202 CMM

1948 Cisitalia 202 CMM by Vignale

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Cisitalia’s first cars were single-seat, open-wheel race cars built by Piero Dusio’s company in 1946. The 202 was introduced in 1947 and has become Cisitalia’s most famous and legendary car. And the CMM coupe you see here is among the most dramatically styled post-war automobiles.

This car is the second two-seat Cisitalia built and was bodied by Vignale. It features big fins out back and a two-piece windshield. You should really check out more photos of the car on Gooding’s site, here, because it’s amazing. This car is powered by a 60 horsepower 1.2-liter straight-four. With the aerodynamic bodywork in play, this car was able to hit 125 mph in testing.

Cisitalia used this car in the 1948 Mille Miglia, where it DNF’d with Piero Taruffi driving. It competed in other events, both in Europe and Argentina (where the car ended up when Dusio moved there in 1949). This car was discovered in Uruguay in 1974 and has had multiple Argentinian and Japanese owners since. It has been restored and is one of two 202 CMMs ever built. With that said, it should sell for between $2,000,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Cisitalia 505 DF

1953 Cisitalia 505 DF by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | London, U.K. | September 7, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Piero Dusio’s Cisitalia is most well-known for their sports cars and race cars in the immediate post-war period. The Cisitalia 202 is a highly sought after Italian sporting classic. But as time went on, open-top sports cars needed to give way to slightly more sensible cars if the company were to survive.

Unfortunately that strategy didn’t work either. The 505 DF is one of the rarest Cisitalia models. Introduced in 1953 at the Geneva show, it was based on the Fiat 1900 and uses the Fiat’s 1.9-liter straight-four making 79 horsepower. The very pretty body is by Ghia. It’s so smooth, with very few lines. Look how slick that rear panel looks. You can’t even see the door gaps.

Sold new to a Swiss owner, this car spent a lot of its early life in Switzerland before going to Germany. The restoration was completed in 2011. At most, 10 of these were built and only two survive. The other one is not roadworthy, making this the best one in the world. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $224,224.

Cisitalia 33DF

1954 Cisitalia 33DF Voloradente

Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013

1954 Cisitalia 33DF Voloradenta

Here is another rare, low-volume Cisitalia. Piero Dusio started Cisitalia automobile production immediately following World War II. The first car, the 202, appeared in 1947. There was a follow-up to that model (dubbed the “303”) – and we featured one of those a few weeks ago. And there was also this: the 33DF.

I don’t know what the 33 refers to but the DF refers to it being a Fiat derivative. It is based on the Fiat 1100 – using an upgraded 1100 engine with twin Weber carburetors. The 1.1-liter straight-four makes 69 horsepower and it could propel this tiny car to speeds slightly above 100 mph. “Voloradente” supposedly means “low flying.” The aluminium body was styled by the same guy who designed the Ferrari 206 Dino.

This particular car was restored in 2008 and repainted in its original livery. It was sold an auction about a year ago where it carried a pre-sale estimate of $160,000-$200,000 before being hammered away for $189,665. The estimate this time around is between $175,000-$225,000. This is one of only 14 or 15 33DFs built – covering both coupe and spider bodystyles. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $167,440.

One of 12 Cisitalia 303s

1952 Cisitalia 303 F

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 13, 2013

1952 Cisitalia 303 F

The Cisitalia 202 is a well-known, sought after Italian sports car from the 1950s. Cisitalia only built cars from 1946 into the 1950s. They also built single seat race cars for use in a one-make series as well as various Formula series around Europe.

In the early 1950s, Cisitalia was losing money faster than they could make it back. The 202, while beautiful and renowned, was very costly to produce and company founder Piero Dusio was trying to field a mid-engined Formula One car at the same time – which has always been an inherent money loser. Cisitalia wanted to keep the 202 around, but they had to make some concessions. They moved the chassis to that of a Fiat 1100 and renamed it the 303 F (with the F standing for “Fiat”).

The bodies weren’t as fantastic as the 202 and the engine was the 1.1-liter straight-four making about 51 horsepower. These were the last of the Cisitalias (Dusio had to flee Italy due to tax issues) and only 12 were built with only eight or nine still around. This one has had three owners from new. Good luck finding another one – either for sale or at auction. It should bring between $95,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Cisitalia Spider Nuvolari

1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spider Nuvolari

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2012

1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spider Nuvolari

Cisitalia was founded in 1946 by Piero Dusio in Turin. They started by building little single-seat race cars with an eye on Formula One (Dusio entered one F1 race in a Cisitalia but DNQ’d). Instead, the company shifted focus to road-going sports cars and in 1947 the 202 SMM was introduced.

Because it was proper Italian form to send your new sports cars to the circuit, the 202 made its debut at the 1947 Mille Miglia, the first running of the race after the war. Five were entered and one was driven by Tazio Nuvolari, who despite great odds, came home second. After that, the 202 SMM was nicknamed “Spider Nuvolari.” My favorite design feature of this body, by Stabilimenti Farina, are the little fins at the back of the car. The engine is a 60 horsepower 1.1-liter straight-four.

This was one of the first 202s built and by 1949 it was in the hands of an American doctor in New York, who never raced it. But when he sold it in 1951, the new owner took it racing in the SCCA and beyond. Some highlights of its career include:

  • 1952 6 Hours or Vero Beach – 11th (with owner Paul Ceresole)
  • 1952 12 Hours of Sebring – 18th, DNF (with Ceresole & J. Greenwood)
  • 1953 12 Hours of Sebring – 34th, DNF (with Ceresole & Logan Hill)

By 1953, the car wasn’t exactly competitive and it passed from collector to collector until it was restored in the 1980s. Yes, the restoration is a bit old (you can see it in the seats) the body and paint look great. It is one of about 28 ever built and should sell for between $700,000-$850,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding in Scottsdale.

Update: Sold $650,000.

Artcurial Rétromobile Highlights

The Artcurial auction at Rétromobile in Paris had a high sell-through rate with a variety of interesting cars. Unfortunately, we only had time to feature two of them. First was the 1938 Horch 853 Cabriolet that ended up selling for $520,732, slightly exceeding its pre-sale estimate. Our other feature car was the awe-inspiring 1913 Delaunay-Belleville that has been in the same family since new – almost 100 years. Artcurial provided a rather large range for the car’s estimate and it sold right in the middle for $600,834.

There were numerous really interesting cars (I keep mentioning that, don’t I?). Some were extravagantly priced while others were downright affordable, like this 1965 Renault 4 that was modified to a convertible shortly after purchase. Renault did produce a 4 convertible – called the Plein Air, but this car pre-dates that model. It sold for $16,690.

The next car was not, well, affordable. But it certainly is jaw-dropping. It’s a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B with a 180 horsepower 5.4 liter straight-8. This particular car was once in the Rockefeller family and has an awesome paint scheme with black and silver with red highlights. It was the second top seller at $629,961.

A quartet of interesting pre-war cars from lesser-known manufacturers than Mercedes-Benz include this 1908 Lorraine Dietrich 12 HP Touring car. It sold for $72,831.

Even older is this London-to-Brighton eligible 1898 (or 1899) Decauville Voiturelle. It’s an early French car that appears to be quite rudimentary by today’s standards. But this was quite a vogue car back in 1898 when over 600 of them were sold. I’m sure they cost a lot less in the 19th century than the $106,212 it went for in Paris in 2012.

The 1912 Gobron-Brillie 12 CV Torpedo Skiff by Rothschild (below) had been on sale in St. Louis at Hyman Ltd. for $325,000. It’s the only one in existence and it could have been yours for $273,117. That’s about a $50,000 savings over buying it off the lot.

The cheapest car (by price) in the entire auction (including motorcycles and scooters) was this 1933 Rosengart LR4 Torpedo that missed its estimate and was sold for $6,828.

Slightly newer is this 1969 Alpine A110 1600 Coupe – a great looking car with racing pedigree. It sold for $84,970.

Cisitalia is best known for their 202 road car and even their monoposto race cars. But they also built about 15 of the 33 DF Voloradente model in the mid-1950s. This 1954 model brought $189,665.

Something I personally thought was really cool was this 1977 Fiat 131 Abarth Rally – a homologation rally car built for the street. 500 were built with a 140 horsepower 2.0-liter straight-4. It’s boxy, so you know it means business. Sale price: $71,314.

Top sale of the auction (which it as by nearly a factor of 10) was this 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder. It sold for $5,740,248. The average price for a LWB California Spyder over the past five or so years is about $3.4 million. Prices are rising.

Two other Italian gems were this aluminum-bodied 1967 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada – one of only 72 alloy 5300 GTs. A very desirable car, selling for $447,608.

The other was this 1947 Fiat 1100 S MM by Rappi. It’s eligible for all kinds of historic events including the Mille Miglia. These cars are very rare and, although it only has 51 horsepower, they are apparently quite fun – and stylish. $166,905.

This auction also featured more than a dozen rare cars in their original condition. Multiple cars from Talbot-Lago, Hotchkiss, Panhard, Talbot, and Salmson. Most were sedans from the late 1940s and early 1950s. They all looked stately and dusty and ready to be freshened and brought back to life. Prices ranged from about $27,000-$90,000 for the cars as they were in various conditions. None of them were especially extravagant, but the one that keeps catching my eye as I look through the results was the last lot in the sale – this 1939 Hotchkiss 686 Chantilly Limousine. It is in need of a restoration – but imagine how good it would look all prettied up. It sold as is for $39,450.

For complete results, click here.