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Showroom Location: 1145 Park Avenue • Emeryville, California 94608 USA

1953 Siata 208S Spyder

Two Time Pebble Beach Including 1st Place in 2006. Absolutely Stunning and Extremely Rare

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Exterior Color Black
Interior Color Red
Mileage 13741 Miles
Engine 2 litre V8
Transmission 4-speed manual
Status Sold
Stock FJ699


1953 Siata 208S Spyder
s/n BS519 engine no. BS106
Black with Red Interior

Another illustrious recipient of Fiat`s glorious two litre 8V engine, the 208S came from the enthusiastic and capable SIATA (Societa Italian Auto Trasformazioni Accessori) company, which had begun in 1926 producing speed equipment for Fiat automobiles. After the war, the company was producing its own cars, and in 1953, the 208S was introduced, available in both open and closed versions. It was an extraordinarily fine car with sophisticated chassis design (including independent suspension all around) and stunning bodywork to match the all-alloy short-stroke eight cylinder engine. Just 37 examples would be built, but the cars have always enjoyed a tremendous following thanks to their combination of so many ideal characteristics.

This particular example, BS519, is widely regarded to be the finest 208S currently in existence. It is a four owner car with known history from new. Its original owner lived in Los Altos, California and purchased the car from Ernie McAfee Engineering in 1954 (Ernie McAfee raced a 208S with considerable finesse). The owner kept the car until 1989, accumulating just 10,000 miles during that period, and the car had never been restored at that point. Its second owner undertook a comprehensive two-year restoration and entered the car in Pebble Beach in 1991. The car took first in class, and was then sold on to an enthusiastic new owner in 1992, who entered the car in the world`s major driving events during the next decade. The current owner purchased the car in 2003, and a freshening evolved into a complete restoration. The car was returned to exact 1954 specifications (including the color combination) and entered in Pebble Beach again in 2006. The car again received first place, as well as the Road and Track Trophy (representing the editors` choice for car they would most like to drive).

The restoration was of course extremely complete, and the car is genuinely spectacular. The body was stripped to bare metal for restoration, and the black color ensures that the level of preparation and quality of paint are truly to the highest possible standards. The gaps are excellent and the panels perfectly straight. The car retains its five original wheels, which bear their June of 1953 date stamp and wear Pirelli 165-400 tires as the car would have worn when new. All hardware throughout the car was checked for correctness, included bolt head markings, and the correct finishes applied.

The interior is functional, elegant, and beautiful. It has been retrimmed in its original vinyl upholstery material (Siata did not use leather), and the floors covered with the correct black diamond rubber matting from Pirelli. The painted dashboard and Jaeger instruments are excellent and fully functional, and the wood steering wheel beautifully restored. The car comes with restored side curtains, along with a bag done in the same material as the seat upholstery. The soft top is in excellent condition as well.

The engine compartment is awe-inspiring. The 8V engine is a work of art with its shapely exhaust manifolds and unusual airbox. It is of course spotless, correct, and highly detailed. The car has seen a total motor rebuild by an 8V specialist and is of course numbers matching, including engine, transmission, and differential. The correct finishes have been applied throughout the engine compartment, and the correct Magnetti Marelli battery is fitted. The underside is equally nice, being extremely clean, very well detailed, and exceptionally dry. The sophistication of the chassis is evident and is truly remarkable for having been conceived in the early 1950`s.

This is also evident when driving the car. The car feels light and nimble, with very precise steering, and lovely refined and sophisticated feel. The engine is a true gem with gratifying power characteristics (even if it is not exceptionally powerful). The brakes and transmission are also a pleasure to use, and the brakes are very effective thanks to the car`s light weight.

This is a genuinely unique opportunity to acquire the best. A historically important, rare, and technically interesting car, this example has been beautifully restored and enjoys irreproachable California history from new. Its quality is proven by its show success, and is also extremely complete, with tools, jack, side curtains, reproduction manual, extra keys, knock-off hammer, yellow California license plates, and speedometer blank-off plate with running in instructions. 

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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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