Fiat 8v Vignale Coupé
First in Class, Fiat 8v Class, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, California, USA, 2002.
Lightweight alloy body on a tubular steel frame.
The Fiat 8V (‘Otto Vu’ in Italian) made its debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March of 1952. A high performance coupé, it was intended to bring prestige to Fiat’s line of economy cars. About 40 of them were fitted with lightweight alloy bodies by Carrozzeria Zagato of Milan. The cars were powered by a 70-degree, 1996cc overhead valve aluminium V8 of 105–115hp, that raced successfully against Alfas and Maseratis in the mid-fifties.
Some of the cars were given coachwork by Ghia, Pinin Farina, Vignale and Zagato. A number of one-off designs were also created.
Mechanical specifications included a four-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel drum brakes, and independent suspension. The lightweight bodies were mounted on a tubular steel frame.
The 8V quickly earned a reputation for its elegant styling and unique power plant. In total, there were just 114 examples of these cars created during their production lifespan, lasting from 1952 through 1954.
Of the 114 examples produced, many were unique. They had been designed for competition, specifically the two-litre class in the Italian championship which they won in 1954.
34 of the 114 had coachwork by Carozzeria Speciale FIAT. Carrozzeria Zagato produced bodies for 32, which were known as ‘Elaborata Zagato. The remaining 48 bodies, which were mostly coupes with a few spyders, were created by Ghia and Vignale.