1-Of-2 In The US? 1952 Siata Amica

Only purists will recall the Siata Amica. It was a low production sports car made in Europe between 1948 and 1952, and rare in the U.S. – then and now. Supposedly only two of the 1952 models were imported into the United States and the other one (a coupe) turned up for sale earlier this year. This convertible is in rough shape and will take both commitment and dollars to bring it back to life. It’s located in Akron, Ohio and located here on Facebook Marketplace for $7,500. Thanks to Barn Finds’ Jim Cormany for bringing this one to light!

Siata was launched in 1926 by amateur Italian race car driver Giorgo Ambrosini. In the beginning, the company sold performance parts for tuning Fiat cars. After World War II, Siata began building sports cars of their own and stayed in business into the 1970s. Siata’s first production models were built from 1948 to 1952, including the Amica, a two-seater which was the company’s first original design. They came in convertible and coupe body styles. Fiat supplied the running gear for the Amica, which could be had with 500cc or 750cc 4-cylinder engines.

This rare automobile looks to have been sitting for many years and needs a total restoration. There is a great deal of rust, especially with the interior where you can see through to the ground. It’s said to be a complete car except for the seats, which is good news because sourcing parts for a low-production, 68-year-old sports car would be daunting. We’re not sure which engine is in this Amica, but if it’s the 500cc, it would have put out about 22 horsepower. Fortunately, the motor has its roots in Fiat, so the engine might be the easiest thing to find parts for.

Because of the scarcity of these cars today, Amica’s can command some big bucks. Hagerty suggests the average value of the cars to be $27,000. So, at the seller’s asking price, you have about 20 grand to work with to do a restoration without potentially going into the hole. But if you were to spend the time and money needed to get this car back on the road, you would have something no one else is likely to have.

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Comments

  1. Danger Dan

    Only purists will not recall the siata amica…

  2. Elanguy

    I guess Amicas were less popular than the Daina and 300 BC because the latter used larger Fiat engines, 1400cc and up.

    • Bill McCoskey

      The used car dealer in the Mannheim, Germany area where I found [and bought] a Euro-spec 1956 Imperial sedan, also had a Daina coupe. What a lovely looking car, but as I was traveling all over Europe and needed a lot of luggage space, I bought the Imperial. [They were the same price; 300DM, equal to about $100.]

      I sure wish back then I had a place at home in Maryland to store a few cars, as I was being offered rare European cars, sometimes for almost nothing. Like a running & driving BMW Isetta that failed the TUV inspection, the owner said 100DM and it was mine. That worked out to just over $30.

  3. Elanguy

    Wow, that’s a Zagato Stelvio parked next to it! So is the seller Myron Vernis?

  4. James HGF

    Anyone with an interest in the Carrera Panamerican Mexican road race or sports car racing in the ’50s will most likely be familiar with Siata sports/racing/GT cars if not the Amica in particular. The car on offer will require a massive amount of work/money to restore, but it’s a relatively unique car in that it’s constructed on Siata’s frame by famed Italian coach builder Bertone and has the Siata designed and manufactured cylinder head with dual carbs to adding horses to the Fiat engine

    For readers unfamiliar with Siata sports and racing cars the following Etceterini dot com page by Cliff Reuter provides a wealth of information, photos, and magazine articles:

    http://www.cliffreuter.com/etceterinisiata.htm#ami

    For fans of the ’63 split window Vette note that Bertone was building split window coupes on Alfa, Siata, and Fiat chassis a decade prior to Chevy introducing their highly prized design. Most of Bertone roadsters, cabriolets, and coupes including the split windows are extremely good looking. One cannot be faulted for at first sight, at least seen in a photo, thinking they might be based on a high end Italian chassis with more than eight cylinders.

    Note Barn Finds has queued up the “Auction of the Century” which is RM Sotheby’s 28 October auction of the three Alfa Romeo Bat cars, #3, #5, and #7 of which the first two were hand crafted in 1953 with #7 being the 1954 entry.

    Elanguy Notice the Autech Nissan Stevio, but didn’t think about a possible Myron Vernis connection.

    • James HGF

      Arrgh. Typos … Elanguy….”I noticed”

  5. Bill Wilkman

    Looks similar in design and concept to the Austin A40 Sports of the same era.

  6. Bill McCoskey

    While there might have been 2 brought into the USA when new, the license plate marked USA indicates it was imported as a used car by a US Military service member when they came back from as US post in Italy.

    I’ve owned an Amica auto, mine was a non-running but 100% complete fastback coupe, reminiscent of a miniature GM 2-door fastback of 1946-49. I bought mine in late April of 1995, stuck it in my storage building [the title still in the glove box], sitting sideways behind my SAAB 850GT Monte Carlo and 1935 Rover 12 Tickford drophead coupe. 2 weeks later the building was struck by lightning and about 20 cars were destroyed including my little Amica fastback coupe.

    This car, while using a small FIAT 500cc or later 750cc engine, has the Siata cylinder heads for mounting dual carbs. The carbs mount directly to the heads, with each head handling the split dual intake passages. [See engine photo] I suspect this is a 500cc. One of the hardest pieces to find [at least back in the mid-1980s] is the dual carb intake air cleaner, but it’s on this car.

    I have noted the front emblem is only the SIATA crest badge. Mine was the same but along the bottom of the crest it had 3 joined rings [like the Auto Union emblem’s 4 rings], the center ring slightly larger. Anyone know more about these emblems?

    Perhaps the owner should offer this car to members of the “Automated Musical Instrument Club America” [AMICA].

    Like 1
  7. Araknid78

    Intersting car. I’ve heard about many Siata models. But, I had not heard of the Amica.

  8. James HGF

    Bill McCoskey … Tomasillo’s modified Amica that I mention below had the three rings just below the Siata emblem a couple of inches above the Siata script as does the lovely little Amica fast back coupe as presented at the Salon di Torino in 1950. Sadly I have no clue as to the meaning. One coupe named the L’Orchidea (Orchid) per a plexiglass name plate which can’t be seen in the photo has wire knock offs which suit it.

    A modified Amica roadster with a bare bones interior and another engine would make $ and fun sense. Partly based on the photo of Pietro Tomasllo at the starting line of the Catania-Etna Sicilian road race in 1951. Wearing number 134 and benefitting from a cut down windshield similar to the 1952 Bertone Siata 750 prototype it looks far more sport than cabriolet and Tomasillo campaigned it extensively in Sicily.

    Recently there’s been a spate of MGAs sporing cut down windshields that add that little extra something.

    As to power source, one could opt for most anything reasonable, however Crosley 750s and Fiat 1100s were original spec. The Siata is small and stuffing more oomph than say a Suzuki GT 1300cc twin cam has would be over the top. With 100hp the Amica would be fast and require uprated brakes and rear axle. Just a thought.

    Back to Siata in general for a moment, it’s unfortunate that there are no or few online photos and text for some of the amazing pre war and immediate post war Mille Miglia and Italian race championship Siatas. Some of the streamlining was state of the art such as the 1938 Siata 1100 Viotti coupe wearing spats front and rear. BTW a Fiat Siata 500 ‘Pescara’ finished first in 750 sport class in the ’49 Mille Miglia.

    That “other” site’s 1950 Siata Amica from Jan 2018:

    https://bringatrailer.com/2018/01/24/topolino-based-bertone-cabrio-1950-siata-amica/

  9. Bill McCoskey

    James HGF,

    Thanks for the info. Do you know if there are any photos of the Coupe you mentioned? I lost all the photos I had of the car, in the fire, and now only have my memories of what the car looked like. I’m wondering if it might be the same car. It was blue when I had it, but it had been repainted from the original silver. Mine had a true fastback, almost a miniature 2-door Pontiac fastback look from the late 40s [without the Silver Streak!].

    Until this posting came up, I had pretty well forgot about the Amica, as I only ended up with it in a package deal to buy a 1948 Packard sedan and the Amica, as they were sold as part of an estate settlement in southern New Jersey.

    • James HGF

      The only photos (black & white) of the Amica Coupes that I know of are in the Siata segment of the Italian book ‘La “Sport” 1937 – 1965 e i due artigiani’ by Andrea Curari and Piero Verganno.

      Covers the Italian Sport Championship years 1937 through 1965. Auto sections, begin with Abarth, Aguzzoli, and Ala d’ora end with Vopini, Zagato, and Zanussi – 357 pages. Amazon has a couple copies.

  10. Browser

    I may buy this car just so i could see other cars Myron has!

    Like 2
  11. Paolo

    This Siata is an good example of the what I do find interesting on Barn Finds.

  12. JagManBill

    What the add really says (in between the lines) is that if you buy this and the #2 of 2 isn’t in your possession as a parts car, your screwed….

  13. HARM R SMIT

    Great find! For the discerning!

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