For Sale: 1955 Fiat 8V in Westport, Connecticut

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Vehicle Description

Only 114 Ever Built One of Thirty with Zagato Coachwork Chassis. 106.000.108, Engine number 104.000.171 Restoration personally overseen by Elio Zagato In the 1950s, European racing was at its height with companies like Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Maserati, and Jaguar tying for first place at tracks all over the continent. Competition was fierce as these cars performed spectacular feats and created legendary stories that are still talked of today. The European racing circuit of the 1950s was a time like no other as these great cars did battle at tracks like Le Mans, Nürburgring, and Silverstone. It was against this back drop that one of Italy’s oldest car companies built their entry into the world of competitive motorsports. Indeed, Fiat was certainly preoccupied with supplying cars to the motoring public, but that didn’t mean that they couldn’t sidetrack into a racing venture. The result of their efforts was the 8V, a car of legendary status that not only kept pace with the great Ferraris and Jaguars of the day, but also took home its fair share of victories. So dominant was the 8V that even though production ended in 1955 it went on to win the Italian 2-litre GT championship all the way through 1959. The 8V from Fiat turned out to be a three year production wonder and in that time just 114 examples were built. Of those 114 cars 34 carried coachwork from the factory’s special body department, but the company also allowed just 30 8Vs to be bodied by great Zagato. As one of Italy’s premier coachbuilders, Zagato did wonders on the 8V as exemplified by the example offered here. Rare, exquisite, and beautiful are just a few of the words that describe this incredible “Double Bubble” 8V that has undergone a full and complete restoration that has returned it to factory new condition. The 8V offered here is chassis number 108 and was the seventh to the last Fiat 8V built before production ended. It carries Zagato’s famous “Double Bubble” coupe design, which makes it an aerodynamic masterpiece. It is known that it was sold new to a client in Germany, a fact proven by a special identification plate in the car that states Fiat’s German subsidiary Neckar, Heilbronn, Germany, handled distribution of the car. It is highly likely that it was the only new Fiat 8V sold on the German market. The story of this Fiat 8V has an interesting history behind it, as well as its resurrection at the hands of some of the most talented craftsmen in the world. After leading the hard life of a racecar, it surfaced in Florida during the eighties and was brought to California by Fiat 8V expert and highly respected specialist Anton Krivanek. He sold the chassis and a number of parts to the late and greatly respected journalist Raymond Milo, who then sold it on to a collector in the Netherlands in 2002. It was then that a full restoration was commissioned that involved the chassis, as well as the Zagato Berlinetta body. The restoration took place at the shops of Carrozzeria Granturismo Milano and used original Zagato body parts that were sourced from Granturismo as a guide. Carrozzeria Granturismo Milano was no stranger to the significance of this 8V as the company was involved in the restructuring of the Zagato Company in 1996. Headed by Elio and Andrea Zagato, the company built multiple new Zagato prototypes while the historical activities of CGM were overseen by the late Elio Zagato himself. It was during this time that several complete Fiat 8V restoration projects were undertaken including the example offered here, which was the last 8V Zagato restoration executed and certified by Elio Zagato himself. With Elio Zagato’s personal oversight the final result is a car that is authentic in every way. The beauty of this 8V is found in Zagato’s signature styling details such as the Double-Bubble roof, the aerodynamic rear bonnet, the mounted roll bar, and the magnificence of the exterior and interior colors. Authenticity of the restoration was ensured by multiple original reference materials and tools, including an original Zagato body from 1954 that was used in the process. In all, several thousand hours were spent perfecting the unique aspects of the body. The restoration did not stop at the body and appearance as the chassis, engine, and all mechanicals underwent a full restoration as well. During the restoration of the mechanical parts, a stroke of luck happened when the original engine was discovered in the USA. The engine was exported to Italy where it was rebuilt in the shops of Mario Villa of Giussano near Monza, Italy. The entire engine was serviced and reborn according to competition specs that included a crankshaft-driven front oil pump, reinforcement of the engine block, a blueprinted crankshaft, and new connecting rods and pistons used in final assembly. The mechanical work executed was by the finest craftsmen and this 8V now runs as well as it looks. The total restoration of Fiat 8V #108 took more than 10 years and it has now been returned to its former glory. It comes with a detailed restoration dossier as well as a certification for all body work performed. Most impressive is the engine itself, which is a work of art. The Fiat 8V engine consists of a 1996 cc, V8 configuration that produces 135 horsepower in competition form. Fiat calculated the top speed for the 8V at 118 mph, but the lightweight Zagato coachwork lightened its weight considerably and actual speed varied according to the body. Power reaches the rear wheels through a four speed gearbox. Independent suspension on all four wheels makes handling superb and the 8V used drum brakes on all four wheels. Rare and exotic Italian sports cars are the substance of legend. The Fiat 8V was a very expensive car when new and evened rivaled Ferrari. Many were exported overseas and sales were limited to just 30 cars per year. The amazing era of the early European racing days may be long gone, but this Fiat 8V is a car that takes us back to time when European motorsports were a premier attraction and some of the greatest cars in the world battled it out for first place. Perhaps Fiat themselves said it best when they advertised the 8V as, “Built for speed and designed by the wind.” The fit and finish on this car is absolutely stunning and the tastefully executed lack of glitz and glamour underlines that fact that this is a full bred racecar. The authentic and documented restoration of this matching numbers 8V makes it one of the best in existence. This Fiat 8V with its rarity and Zagato design is a car that represents a significant investment in the future of an investment grade sports car and would be a welcome addition to any vintage or concours event. Contact Alex Dragone for more info 203 218-1903 or alexdragone1@gmail,com

Vehicle Details

  • Listing ID:CC-879878
  • Year:1955
  • Make:Fiat
  • Model:8V
  • Exterior Color:Unspecified
  • Interior Color:Unspecified
  • Stock Number:1498-879878