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Cisitalia 202 Cabriolet Farina

Cisitalia (Compagnia Industriale Sportiva Italia) was founded to manufacture sports equipment in 1939 by Piero Dusio, a Turinese textile industrialist who made a fortune making military uniforms during WWII and was even the Juventus team president in late 40s.

Vehicle Overview

The Cisitalia 202 Cabriolet Farina: In the summer of 1946, the Cisitalia 202 CMM (Coupé Mille Miglia) was initially designed by Dante Giacosa and continued by Giovanni Savonuzzi (hired by Dusio in August 1945). The first Cisitalia 202  coupé was built by Alfredo Vignale, at the time the departmental head of Stabilimenti Farina and allowed him to set up his own carrozzeria. The Cisitalia 202 SMM (Spyder Mille Miglia) was derived directly from the coupé. After Nuvolari epic effort, subsequent competition spiders were known as 202 SMM Nuvolaris. Savonuzzi’s design was submitted to Battista Pinin Farina as an initial concept for the new coupé 202 Gran Sport and inspired the master to create one of the most significant example of body styling in automotive history. Cisitalia provided Pinin Farina with the chassis on which the Cisitalia’s body was placed. The body was more or less handcrafted, with its aluminum panels shaped over wooden forms. Its shapes are the finishing point of all the previous research: the hood, body, fenders, and headlights are integral to the continuously flowing surface, rather than added on, creating a general sense of beaty and speed. Unveiled in 1947 at the exhibition of Coachbuilders at the Milan Triennale and Paris Motor Show, it won the Coppa d’Oro prize at the Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance. The Cisitalia 202 Gran Sport was defined as “a rolling sculpture” in 1951 when it was chosen, along with seven other cars, for an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA). The 202 is the progenitor of all modern sports cars and stands as a timeless bridge between pre- and post-war sports car design. Its lines had a strong impact on the aesthetics of car design at the time, breaking with tradition and introducing new concepts in style. Coupé versions of the 202 were the first produced. A cabriolet followed. The 202 were built around low-cost Fiat components including a redesigning chassis and a 1089cc four-cylinder engine delivering 66 horsepower. The first Gran Sport model has only two seats and is the first car in history to have the brand name even in the back. The first development, the 202 Berlinetta – or B – can instead accommodate four people (three in front and one, badly, behind) and is distinguished by its more massive grille and chrome bumpers. The 1951 202 C has the the trunk accessible from outside and the rear window wider. The early 202 grill was aluminum and had 23 individual blades shaped like a “D” with the curved part facing forward, and a narrow surround. The later 202 had a chrome plated grill with 18 thicker blades and a thicker surround. The twin windscreen was later replaced with a one piece curved windscreen. The 202 body production by Pinin Farina soon shifted over to Stabilimenti Farina and, to a lesser extent, Vignale. Although both built the 202 with Battista Pinin Farina’s original design, there are some differences. Approximately 100 coupes were built. Pinin Farina built only one 202 Cabriolet, before production of the remaining approximately 59 cabriolets shifted over to Stabilimenti Farina and, to a lesser extent, Vignale and, for some examples, Castagna. The Cisitalia 202 Cabriolet Farina, with its flowing lines and rich set up, had quickly become fashionable and appreciated by people like Henry Ford II or Roberto Rossellini, who bought one. Only approximately 34 convertibles are known to survive.

cisitalia 202 cabriolet stabilimenti farina

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
    1948
  • Make
    Cisitalia
  • Model
    202 Cabriolet
  • Coachbuilder
    Stabilimenti Farina
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  • Engine Type
    4L
  • Designer
    Giovanni Savonuzzi
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