Fiat 8V Zagato

Only 114 examples of Fiat’s 8V, or Otto Vù, were built between 1952 and September 1954, with each survivor remaining immensely collectible and satisfying to drive. Its creator, Dante Giacosa, proposed a smaller V8-powered sports car in the wake of an aborted luxury-car programme, based upon an all-new tubular chassis with a fully independent suspension. Construction and some chassis development were consigned to Siata, while Fabio Rapi influenced its streamlined fastback lines. The public’s positive reaction was immediate and performance was startling, with over 120 mph available from its 1,996 cc narrow-angle V8 engine.

As stated by The Motor, “the last thing which had been expected from Italy’s largest car factory was a truly streamlined two-seater saloon.” America’s Road & Track called it “the biggest surprise of the year.” While Fiat did not race the 8V, cars were placed with drivers who did, and the first of these, owned by Franco Auricchio, took fifth in class at the 1952 Mille Miglia. Ovidio Capelli, the Milanese Fiat dealer, commissioned Zagato to develop a full-race 8V with a lightweight, aerodynamic body in record time for the Giro della Toscana. There, it placed third in class and went on to take the national two-litre GT championship.

Fiat ended 8V production in September 1954, although many were not completed until 1955 and even 1956. In 1955, Elio Zagato, the famed coachbuilder’s son, really put the 8V on the map by winning the two-litre championship, followed by more victories until 1959. His car begat the rare Zagato-bodied “production” variant of the 8V, based upon approximately 30 chassis, which were secured by Zagato in a joint venture with Franco Cornacchia. However, as each car was hand-built to customer order until 1959, each Zagato-bodied 8V Berlinetta was in fact unique, representing a bespoke automobile with subtle variations noted from one car to another.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2010 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.

105 bhp, 1,996 cc overhead-valve V8 engine, four-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm (94.5")

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Fiat 8V Zagato