1 of 60: 1951 Cisitalia 202 SC

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Cisitalia Automobili was an Italian manufacturer of sports and racing cars in the mid-20th Century. One of its creations was this beautiful 202 SC Gran Sport Cabriolet of which maybe only five dozen were built, with no indication as to how many are thought to survive. This award-winning vehicle was meticulously restored about 20 years ago and is expected to fetch between $600,000 and $800,000 and Amelia Island Auctions (Florida) in early March 2023. It’s available to review here on goodingco.com for your delight. Thanks for this lofty tip, Araknid78!.

The company was founded in the 1920s by soccer star/race driver Piero Dusio. But the Great Depression and World War II came along and things didn’t shine until the late 1940s when they built the first race car to use a full space-frame chassis. At the 1947 Mille Miglia, Cisitalia debuted the 202 SMM sports-racing car and finished second in one of the most legendary races ever. The 202 SC Coupe came next, which would be the basis of the Cabriolet (aka convertible) that you see here. It was hailed as a design masterpiece yet only a limited number of open-air cars were ever produced.

As the story goes, this example was exported to Uruguay in 1951 and then sold to an air force major in 1959. It changed hands again in 1970, when the third owner made a few modifications that the listing does not elaborate on (or whether they’ve been reversed). By the turn of the Century, the car found its way to Carrozzeria Quality Cars of Vigonza, one of the most renowned restoration shops in Italy. They performed a remarkable restoration upon it.

The automobile has been shown professionally several times since then. In 2018, it took Third in Class at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. When this car changes hands again, it will go will more than 100 pages of records and some tools. The beauty is powered by a 1,089-cc OHV inline-4 that’s rated at 63 hp with a single Weber carburetor. If you’ve never seen one of these automobiles, you’re in for a treat.

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  1. Jim in FL

    Fun fact – if you’re ever in NYC, this is the only automobile on permanent display at MoMA. The design is thought to be important enough to be considered art,

    Like 7
    • Martin Horrocks

      It´s the coupé version which is in MOMA. It is a Pinin Farina design which actually owes quite a lot to Buick! But was one of the first European post war integrated fender and fastback coupé, helping to define GT cars for the next 20 years

      Like 2
      • Allen L

        Looking at a framed poster of it as I type this.
        Purchased at the MOMA, after I touched the real one.
        Over 30 years ago.
        Good times.

        Like 1
    • Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

      My first reaction to seeing the picture of this beautiful little car was, Austin Healey! Looks to me like Donald Healey may have got some inspiration from this car. Anybody else see the same as I did?

      Like 0
      • Raymond J Lawson III

        I definitely agree with you on the Big Healey resemblance, but… actually, Gerry Coker was the brilliant designer, (ditto the Sprite). It was Healey who had the connections and money to bring it to a finished product.

        Like 0
  2. Michelle RandStaff

    One of the coolest things about the Cisitalia is the molybdenum tubular frame, super strong and light. Love the amber interior bits. This example is really just stupendous. Thanks for covering it, Russ!

    Like 8
  3. Steveo

    Wrong hand drive. No thanks. (just kidding)

    Like 0
  4. Marilyn

    Thats the year I was born…cool.

    Like 0
    • RallyeMember

      Never thought I’d be able to meet a young chick here that’s into cars.
      How do you do and what do you drive?

      Like 0
  5. Husky

    318 Poly Swap?

    Like 1
    • MikeG.


      Like 0
  6. Melton Mooney

    Looking at the pics of this sweet little gem is a great way to start the day.

    Like 3
  7. Ryder

    I am on my way to Amelia Island for the first time. Seeing this Cisitalia is now on my priority list !

    Like 4
  8. Kevin

    I’ve always wondered about the correct pronouciation of these. Ci in Italian is pronounced Ch as in church or ciao. So the correct pronouciation of Lancia is something like Lan che uh. If you carry that over to Cisitalia it becomes Cheesy Italia, which in my 8 year brain sounds hilarious.

    Like 4
    • RallyeMember

      You’re close. Cheese Italia. There was one we saw several times while it was very near here for a couple of years for a repaint. It was silver and I thought it had raced. Th body was somewhat different. Someone from Milwaukee owned it. I can’t remember his name but he was here a couple of times.

      Like 0
  9. Little_Cars Little_Cars

    Early March, 2023? It is upon us! This looks outstanding with the top up, a little clumsier with the top retracted. I have a refrigerator magnet of this car as a coupe purchased when the “Art of The Automobile” came to the Frist Museum in Nashville.

    Like 2
  10. Martin Horrocks

    Agreed tat these are fantastic little cars, built by some amazing engineers. When Dusio went bankrupt, one of his engineers took over and the result was the first Abarth.

    Dusio went to Argentina, where Cisitalia continued into the 1960s, building a version of the Abarth 750 Allemano, so the connections were still strong.

    Dusio´s Italian bankruptcy was down to his dream of a radical Grand Prix car, which he engaged Ferry Porsche to design. So what ruined Dusio put Porsche in a position to build the 356 prototyope.

    Like 0
  11. James

    silly money for a 60hp car.

    Like 1
  12. Robert HagedornMember

    I have never seen a more beautiful restoration, especially the engine. Will this car ever see a trip to the local grocery store just to pick up a quart of milk?

    Like 0
  13. chrlsful

    not in my mind but I’m Italian 50s/60s, early 70s biased.

    Perfect lill car for perfect lill things. The best in life is not necessarily ‘grand’n gluttonous’. Much of this car is just right – a 40 yr more modern aspiration system (carb & 2 or 4 of them) is one.

    Like 2
    • Glenn ReynoldsMember

      Motor is probably a Fiat 1100 with a fancy valve cover. Price is nuts.

      Like 0
  14. MarKO

    CheeseItalia… That explains the” holes “on the front fenders…

    Like 0
    • RallyeMember

      The one that Benny painted didn’t have any portholes. It was more like this one in the photo. The only other things I remember was it had twin carbs and Cibie headlamps. I remember the Cibies because they used the same B21D (21mm base with 3 locating pins) bulbs that the early Marchal headlamps used. The only other Cibie headlamps like those that I’ve seen, I bought and still have a pair.

      Like 0
  15. DRV

    sis it al ee a

    Like 0
  16. Joel Stein

    What’s interesting is that the metal gas tank is proximal to the engine. Not the safest looking arrangement, but beautiful never the less. Look at the Nuvolari edition…for real beauty!

    Like 0
  17. Tony

    It looks like it should have 3 portholes.

    Like 0
  18. Araknid78

    Hammered Sold for $720,000

    Like 0

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