1 Of 50: 1952 Siata 300BC Convertible

The Siata Company- or Societa Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accesori for long- was originally founded in 1926 by an Italian gearhead named Giorgio Ambrosini, whose initial vision was to open a tuning and modification shop for Fiat cars and to sell high-performance parts for these vehicles.  He was also interested in racing and after World War II found success building coupes and roadsters, and in the early 1950’s the company introduced the 300 BC.  Around 50 of these cars were manufactured, so they are few and far between and don’t come up for sale very often.  If you are in the market for one of these unusual vehicles and have $325,000 to spare, this 1952 Siata 300BC might be a good car for you.  It can be seen here at Sports Car Market and is located in Connecticut.  Barn Finds would like to thank Araknid78 for the tip on this one.

The Siata being offered here is said to have been in the same family for over 45 years and is highly original.  It is powered by a Fiat 1100cc engine, which is original and numbers matching.  This particular 300 BC is known as telaio (chassis) and motore (motor) number ST 447, as seen on the tag.

The seller says this Siata provides a quick and lively ride for its driver and passenger, and it sure looks like it would be a fun car to get behind the wheel of.  This 330BC is also said to be eligible to be driven in Mille Miglia, an Italian parade limited to cars produced before 1957.  The body of this Siata looks to be in well-preserved condition and the red paint looks bright and shiny, so you would stand out and look good no matter where you drove it!

The leather seats are original and look really good for their age.  The interior is all business, just as one would expect, with only a few necessary instruments and a massive steering wheel that looks like it was designed for endurance.  The rest of the inside is pretty barren, with no door panels and not much of anything else which helped keep the weight light, as the 330BC apparently tipped the scale at just over 1500 pounds.

There’s no doubt that this is a nicely preserved example of this rare piece of beautiful Italian craftsmanship, and it may be a long time until another one of these tiny roadsters comes around the block.  What are your thoughts on this 1952 Siata 300BC?

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice car, but the Italians never built too many cars worth 300K plus, this being one of them.

    Like 8
    • GreggoL

      So Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Maseratis are not worth 300K?

      Like 6
  2. DRV

    These, the Diana, and the 308 are works of art.

    Like 4
    • Gerard Frederick

      True story! simply beautiful, just lovely.

      Like 1
  3. Scott Marquis

    I love Siatas (excluding the Spring). But … it can tough make the proportions of a very small car work. These are just off somehow; tall, narrow and vaguely cartoonish.

    Like 1
  4. Mike

    Top pic looks like a pedal car.

    Like 3
    • Wayne from Oz

      Mike, turn your phone sideways to get the proportions right.

      Like 3
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    GreggoL…Worked on Ferraris and Lamborghinis in the ’80s that hadn’t inflated to on the moon prices, and quality control was not in the Italian vocabulary. The real early cars were works of art with details other makers could only dream about. Present day cars aren’t what we’ve got here and their prices indicate the quality and design presently being turned out.

    • Willowen Member

      Good comment about Italian QC. Got a ride one day in a Ferrari 250GT my garage guy was working on. The inside trim was off my passenger door, and the metal upper sill, where its curved surface would be invisible behind the rim, had just been chopped off with tin snips! Larry’d had another Ferrari in his shop when a fire broke out. and though the car escaped much damage there was a big puddle of lead on the floor and some misshapen fenders.

  6. Malcolm Boyes

    I believe Steve McQueen had a SIATA and put Ferrari badges on it! Love these rare Italian beauties.

    Like 1
  7. timothy fairchild

    not to be mean but don’t you think a 2500 dollar midget of the time is a better value, same weight, and motor type. Wow,300000. Even then if you are over 5 feet 5 inches tall you would not attempt to crawl in.

    Like 4
  8. Martib Horrocks

    This is one of the few cars advertised as MM eligible which might get given an entry. They love fresh etceterini.

    Goes without saying that is no Poor Boys Tour. So $300K or not, there’s some value here.

    Like 1
  9. gaspumpchas

    325 large and its got a Fiat (fix it again tonite) mill? Certainly rare . the old adage that just because its rare doesnt neccesarily that valuable might apply here–what say you?? Good luck and happy motoring

    Like 4
    • Martin Horrocks

      This is not the only car on the market with an ambitious ask. But thete are people who will pay this or close.

      Many cars are advertised as Mille Miglia eligible, but this has a chance of pulling an entry. The$300K is the downpayment on a rich enthusiast’s lifetime dream.

      Like 3
  10. Araknid78

    Thanks Mike, for the nice and complete write-up. These are really cpecial cars

    Like 2
    • Mike Stephens Staff

      And thank YOU for the tip on it! Please keep those great tips rolling into Barn Finds.

      Like 2
  11. Bob the ICE-Man

    Man oh Man! That’s some scratch $$$ for a car that really doesn’t seem that remarkable! What am I missing? For half of 300K I can purchase some impressive rolling stock that would put that car to shame.

    Like 3
  12. Pebblebeachjudge

    This is a great little car, and I am wondering why the car did’t sell in the Ebay ads for less than the $170,000 he was asking 2 years ago. Now painted over $300k? It’s still a $150 Siata. The steering wheel is the give away here tracking this car , it looks Pre-war. This one with the Fiat 1100 the preferred power source. Bertone or Moto, makes no difference. This is a beginners Italian ”race” car, that would be good fun, but looking at the job, think of a total technical rebuild adding $50’000 to the purchase price. Bonhams sold a good one last year for $170’000 restored, BAT in 2019 was it this one that died at $170’000, yesterday at Pebble Beach a very good one sold $190,000 all in. He’s over double the real value.

    Like 5
    • Daniel Rapley Member

      The $170k car from a couple of years ago was chassis 448. The very next car to the one shown here. It was sold and is being restored in the UK by the Italian restoration specialists Thornley Kelham. I hope we’ll see it at the Mille or on the field at one of the big shows in 2022.
      The car yesterday was one chassis number earlier (446). It had a lot wrong with it. Wrong gauges, steering wheel, hood scoop added. Also silence on whether the engine was matching numbered or not. I suspect someone purchased at a price ($218,000) where they can correct the problems and not be too far under water.

      The one shown here is 447 and possibly the most original 300BC known.

      For some buying a correct car is easier and cheaper than fixing one up.

      Like 5
  13. Robert Hagedorn

    Where would someone get replacement parts for this car if none of the other 49 are available to be cannibalized? Maybe I’m just being too practical.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Robert,

      Mechanicals are Crosley 750 or Fiat 1100 engine/gearbox, suspension & most other parts are Fiat 600. Chassis was so simple in design it can be made from sheet steel, if you have a sheet metal brake & gas welder. Body was hand made by Bertone except for last 10 or so.

      Technically these could easily be re-created 100%, as all the parts can be sourced, and the chassis & body pieces hand made as when new. Making a complete car like this one is very low-tech. For what originals are selling for, making a “replacement” would not be too expensive, but it’s finding a chassis VIN plate that’s the challenge.

      And if my memory is correct, Henry Wessells from south central PA raced #403 in the last 2 Watkins Glen street races, placing 2nd in class. I bought a Packard off his back lot back in the mid 1970s, and he was a fascinating guy to talk with once he warmed up to you.

      Like 2
  14. Lowell Peterson

    I always get a chuckle when the armchair appraisers break out material like: …..and a Fiat engine for$$$xxx?
    Get in your Kia and go for a drive and give thumbs up to everyone that gives you the same …or 1/2 the peace sign.

    Like 2
    • gaspumpchas

      Lowell, please keep your comments constructive, or stay away. I’m hardly an armchair appraiser. How many cars have you worked on? I bet you drive a prius with the foot print of the great american Chicken (peace sign) on it.

      • Lowell Peterson

        Just retired from operating restoration shop for the last 30 years . Recent 12 spent mostly on XKE, and many different British cars small and large. A few Italian German, and American. We are all armchair appraisers!

        Like 2
  15. Steveo

    For the life of me, I really can’t understand why folks with that kind of excess money just have some bloke hammer them out one.

  16. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    For the 6 figure asking price, you’d think the seller would include more than six photographs. I suppose they expect any genuine player to fly in and do an inspection then arrange for cartage home. What a beautiful automobile from every angle.

    Like 1
  17. Bill McCoskey

    Little_cars,

    I’ve always thought the Siata 300 was a beautiful design, from a purely asthetic manner. Wonderful flowing body lines unbroken by external chrome trim. It shows that a small and relatively inexpensive car [when new] can look and perform [in their respective classes] just as well as the expensive examples!

    As to the advancing prices, I would equate the rise of the Siata 300 to a Marx toy locomotive. for decades everyone wanted Lionel trains, pushing their prices skyward, and Marx prices remained way undervalued. Now that Lionel locomotive prices have taken many out of the range of the average collector, about 20 years ago people began buying Marx locomotives, and thier pricing continues to rise.

    For years the Siata 300 was overlooked by collectors who bought the big Italian cars, but interest in the Siata 300 slowly built up as the other cars became financially out of reach. I do believe that one reason for the slow acceptance of the Siata 300 as a car worth investing in, was the Siata Spring, “a car that only a mother could love”. Another was the initial Crosley drive train, it’s certainly not a V-12!

    Like 1

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