Cisitalia was an Italian sports and racing car brand. The name "Cisitalia" derives from "Compagnia Industriale Sportiva Italia", a business conglomerate founded in Turin in 1946 and controlled by the wealthy industrialist and sportsman Piero Dusio. The Cisitalia 202 GT of 1946 is well known in the world as a "rolling sculpture".

Cisitalia people. From left: Piero Taruffi, Piero Dusio and Giovanni Savonuzzi.
HeadquartersTurin, Italy
Key people
Piero Dusio, founder

Cisitalia D46

Coppa asti spumante 1947
Ilario Bandini driving with Cisitalia D46 in 1947.
Cisitalia D 46 1946-1947 schräg
Cisitalia D46

Using Fiat parts as a base Dante Giacosa designed the D46 which made its successful debut in 1946. Giacosa had a vast knowledge of Fiat bits and pieces as he had designed the legendary 500 Fiat Topolino before WWII. The engine and suspension were directly derived from the small Fiat but extensively modified for racing. The engine received dry sump lubrication and further tweaks considerably increased the power output to 60-70 bhp. With a spaceframe chassis[1] and weighing under 400 kg (880 lb) the available power was more than enough for competitive performance. Dusio's dream of a one model series came to nothing, but instead his D46s started to dominate the voiturette series. Highly talented drivers like Tazio Nuvolari piloted the D46 to multiple successes against more advanced but older racing cars.

This successes led to a much more ambitious single seater project that would prove too much for the small company. Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned to design and construct a full Grand Prix car which led to the innovative but complex Cisitalia 360. With a mid engined layout and four wheel drive the Type 360 was far too expensive for Dusio to support and the attempt essentially killed any further racing cars.

Cisitalia 202

Cisitalia 202
Cisitalia 202
Cisitalia 202 Heck
Cisitalia 202 Coupe
Cisitalia 202 Front
Cisitalia 202 Coupe

Dusio commissioned several automobiles from Europe's leading designers. He provided Pinin Farina with the chassis, on which an aluminum body was handcrafted. When first presented to the public at the Villa d'Este Gold Cup show in Como, Italy, and at the 1947 Paris Motor Show, the two-seat 202GT was a resounding success. The 202 was an aesthetic and technical achievement that transformed postwar automobile body design. The Pinin Farina design was honored by New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1951. In the MOMA's first exhibit on automotive design, called "Eight Automobiles", the Cisitalia was displayed with seven other cars (1930 Mercedes-Benz SS tourer, 1939 Bentley saloon with coachwork by James Young, 1939 Talbot-Lago by Figoni teardrop coupé, 1951 Willys Jeep, 1937 Cord 812 Custom Beverly Sedan, 1948 MG TC, and the 1941 Lincoln Continental coupe). It is still part of the MoMA permanent collection.[2] It was not, however, a commercial success; because it was coachbuilt, it was expensive, and only 170 were produced between 1947 and 1952. Most cars were coachbuilt by Pinin Farina with some by Vignale and Stabilimenti Farina.

Building on aerodynamic studies developed for racing cars, the Cisitalia offers one of the most accomplished examples of coachwork conceived as a single shell. The hood, body, fenders, and headlights are integral to the continuously flowing surface, rather than added on. Before the Cisitalia, the prevailing approach followed by automobile designers when defining a volume and shaping the shell was to treat each part of the body as a separate, distinct element—a box to house the passengers, another for the motor, and headlights as appendages. In the Cisitalia, there are no sharp edges. Swellings and depressions maintain the overall flow and unity, creating a sense of speed.

The 202 is featured in the 2011 video game L.A. Noire by Rockstar Games and Team Bondi as a secret car called the Cisitalia Coupe.

Cisitalia 202 MM

Since the 202 never made large scale production and all the cars were handmade, the small talented group at Cisitalia, including Carlo Abarth, Dante Giacosa and Giovanni Savonuzzi, made several variants of the 202. Of the more important versions, the SMM Nuvolari Spider was built and named after a class victory at the 1947 Mille Miglia by famed driver Tazio Nuvolari. It is easily identified by its large rear fins, twin windscreens and usual Italian red paint scheme.

In total, around 200 cars were made which made a large impact on the later marques, including Abarth's later range of cars.

Cisitalia 202 SMM

For the upcoming 1947 season, Giovanni Savonuzzi, who had designed most of the 202, sketched a coupe body for Cisitalia's competition car. The design was executed by Stabilimenti Farina upon both chassis #101 and #102. After two coupes had been finished, a spider version, Called the SMM for Spider Mille Miglia, was completed which would adorn all subsequent competition cars bearing the MM designation.

At the 1947 Mille Miglia, the Cistitalia spider really proved itself by leading most of the race in capable hands of Tazio Nuvolari. Despite having competition with engines three times larger, Nuvolari held back the competition until troubles ensued in the rain. In the end, the Cistitalia took second overall and first in class. For this epic effort, subsequent competition spiders were known as 202 SMM Nuvolaris.

Since the 202 SMM received much attention at the Mille Miglia, Stabilimenti Farina continued production of the design for several customers. In total around 20 cars were made very similar to Nuvolari's winning car.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1952 Cisitalia D46 BPM ? SUI 500 BEL FRA GBR GER NED ITA
Italy Piero Dusio DNQ


  • D46 Monoposto
  • D47 Monoposto
  • D48 Monoposto
  • 202SMM Spyder Nuvolari
  • 202SC
  • 202C Coupe
  • 202C Cabriolet
  • 202 Streamliner
  • 202 MM Razzo
  • 202 Giacossa
  • 202 Cassone
  • 204 Spyder Sport
  • 360 Grand Prix
  • 808XF
  • 202D Coupe and Spyder
  • 303 DF Spyder
  • 303 DF Coupe
  • 33DF Voloradente
  • DF85 Coupé
  • 750GT
  • 505 DF (by Ghia, 10 examples)


  1. ^ Ludvigsen, Karl (2010). Colin Chapman: Inside the Innovator. Haynes Publishing. pp. 152–153. ISBN 1-84425-413-5.
  2. ^ The Cisitalia 2002 at MoMA.
  3. ^ "Results from".

External links

1947 Italian Grand Prix

The 1947 Italian Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race held in Portello district on 7 September 1947.

1948 Roussillon Grand Prix

Results from the III Grand Prix du Roussillon held at Circuit des platanes de Perpignan on April 25, 1948, as Formula Two. The Grand Prix is raced in 40 laps with the best drivers from the two 27 laps heats.


Abarth & C. S.p.A. is an Italian racing car and road car maker founded by Italo-Austrian Carlo Abarth in 1949. Its logo is a shield with a stylized scorpion on a yellow and red background.

Abarth & C. S.p.A. is a fully owned subsidiary of FCA Italy S.p.A. (formerly Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A.), the subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (formerly of Fiat S.p.A.) controlling its European automotive production activities.

Carlo Abarth

Carlo Abarth (15 November 1908 – 24 October 1979), born Karl Albert Abarth, was an automobile designer. Abarth was born in Austria, but later was naturalized as an Italian citizen; and at this time his first name Karl was changed to its Italian equivalent of Carlo.

Circuit des Nations

The Circuit des Nations ("Circuit of the Nations") is a long street circuit of 4110 meters between Lake Geneva and the Place des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. It hosted the Grand Prix de Nations, similar to a Formula One race; the Grand Prix de Genève, similar to a Formula Two race; and various championship events. The first Grand Prix de Genève was held in Meyrin in 1931 and won by Marcel Lehoux, racing for Bugatti.

Cisitalia Grand Prix

The Cisitalia Grand Prix is a single-seater car for the postwar 1.5-litre supercharged Grand Prix class, built by Italian sports car manufacturer Cisitalia and introduced in 1949. It was designed on behalf of Cisitalia by Porsche between 1946–47, and is therefore also known by its Porsche project number, Typ 360.

An extremely advanced design, it proved too complex to build for the small Italian firm—leading to a lengthy development and eventually to the financial downfall of the company. Between Cisitalia's 1949 liquidation and the fact that supercharged engines were banned for the 1952 Formula One season, the car never raced.

Dante Giacosa

Dante Giacosa (3 January 1905 - 31 March 1996) was an Italian automobile designer and engineer responsible for a range of Italian automobile designs — and for refining the front-wheel drive layout to an industry-standard configuration.

Erwin Komenda

Erwin Komenda (6 April 1904 - 22 August 1966) was a Porsche employee, and a lead contributor to the design of the bodies for the VW Beetle and various Porsche sports cars.

Erwin Komenda was born on April 6, 1904 in Jauern am Semmering. His father, Franz Komenda, was the technical director of the first power station on the Semmering and in Weyer / Enns, where the family relocated in 1913.

From 1916 to 1920 he attended a higher technical institute for iron processing in Steyr.

From 1920 to 1926 he worked as an automotive designer in the "Wiener Karosseriefabrik" and completed the bodywork design course at Josef Feldwabel in the Vienna Technological Museum of Commerce.

From 1926 to 1929 he was a designer in the Steyr works. Here he met Ferdinand Porsche for the first time, who came to Steyr as Technical Director after leaving the Daimler-Benz AG.

From 1929 to 1931 he was chief designer of the experimental and body development department of Daimler-Benz AG in Sindelfingen. During this time, cars such as the Mercedes-Benz Mannheim 370 K were built in a remarkably weight-saving design with a new design, equipped with Steyr technology from the Steyr XXX: "swinging-axle suspension, independent suspension, braking systems". Also a streamlined small car with rear engine was developed.

In November 1931 Komenda joined the engineering office newly founded by Ferdinand Porsche as head of the bodywork design department, which he headed until 1966.

Among other things, he developed the body of the VW beetle.

With more than 21.5 million copies, VW Beetle became the best-selling automobile of the 20th century. With a graduate engineer Josef Mickl, a Porsche employee specializing in aircraft construction and aerodynamics, Komenda developed the bodywork of the P-Auto Union racing car and Cisitalia racing car.

As early as 1946 Komenda began work on the body of the first Porsche sports car. He developed the body of the 356, various following types and the Porsche 550 Spyder.

As a responsible Porsche engineer, he led the Stuttgart-based company into the next generation, accompanying and supervising the bodywork production of the Porsche 356, 901, which was further developed for the 911. One of his latest projects was the development of the plastic body of the 904 race car.

Komendas last phase of life was marked by in-house difficulties with Porsche family members during the development of the Porsche 911.

Erwin Komenda died on 22 August 1966. He was an active employee at Porsche until his early, sudden death. His life ended with the development of the Porsche 911.

Felice Bonetto

Felice Bonetto (9 June 1903 in Manerbio, near Brescia, Italy – 21 November 1953 in Silao, Mexico) was a courageous racing driver who earned the nickname Il Pirata (The Pirate).

He was a road racing legend, who started racing in the 1930s, and enjoyed a brief Formula One career, including a win in the non-Championship Grande Premio do Jubileu in 1953. During his Formula One career, he raced Italian cars, starting with a privateer Maserati for Scuderia Milano, then the works Alfa Romeo, and finally the works Maserati, achieving two shared podiums finishes in the World Championship. His greatest successes were in sport cars, winner of the 1952 Targa Florio, but his career and life were cut short when he fatally crashed into a lamp post in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana whilst leading.

Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche

Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche (19 September 1909 – 27 March 1998), mainly known as Ferry Porsche, was an Austrian technical automobile designer and automaker-entrepreneur. He operated Porsche AG in Stuttgart, Germany. His father, Ferdinand Porsche, Sr. was also a renowned automobile engineer and founder of Volkswagen and Porsche. His nephew, Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, is the longtime chairman of Volkswagen Group, and his son, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, was involved in the design of the 911.

Ferry Porsche's life was intimately connected with that of his father, Ferdinand Porsche, Sr., who began sharing his knowledge of mechanical engineering already in his childhood. With his father he opened a bureau of automobile design, in Stuttgart in 1931.

They worked together to fulfill their country's National Socialist regime's needs and they met Adolf Hitler at many business events. [source?] The Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche, Sr. and a team of engineers, including Ferry Porsche.

After World War II, while his father remained imprisoned in France being accused of war crimes, Ferry Porsche ran their company. Aided by the postwar Volkswagen enterprise, he created the first cars that were uniquely associated with the company. Despite the political-economical adversities of the postwar years, the company manufactured automobiles and, eventually, became a world powerhouse for producing sports cars.

Flat-12 engine

A flat-12 is a 12-cylinder internal combustion engine in a flat configuration. Rarer, wider, and less tall than a V12, the flat-12 design was used in Formula One and endurance racing and some exotic sports cars.

Flat-12 engines are generally not horizontally opposed engines (boxers), but rather 180° V-engines. A true boxer has one crankpin journal per piston, while in the 180° V-engine, two opposing pistons share the same crankpin journal. The engine also has a naturally lower center of gravity than a V12, but, with the exception of the Mercedes-Benz C291, is mounted somewhat higher in the engine bay to provide clearance for the exhaust system.

Giovanni Savonuzzi

Giovanni Savonuzzi (Ferrara 28 January 1911 –– Ferrara 18 February 1988) was an Italian automobile designer.

Savonuzzi received a degree in Mechanical engineering from Politecnico di Torino in 1939 and worked for Fiat Aviazione and taught in Aeronautics at the politecnico. During World War II he served in Albania. In August 1945 he succeeded Dante Giacosa as technical director of the Cisitalia carmaker, first completing Giacosa's Cisitalia D46 cigarshaped racing car. Before he left for in 1948 due to a disagreement, he had sketched out the Spider Nuvolari and the 202 CMM Aerodinamica Savonuzzi (to be built by Pininfarina).He designed the SVA Midget racer while with Società Valdostano Automotori (SVA) 1948–49, lectured at politecnico and had some freelance work, including for Cisitalia in 1951 under Carlo Dusio, leading to a short collaboration with Ford led to his chassis design for the 808X prototype.

As the technical director for Carrozzeria Ghia under Luigi Segre from 1953 to 1957, Savonuzzi developed the "Supersonic" series inspired by gas turbines (as a result of his access to wind tunnels at the politecnico). First one-off car was an Alfa Romeo 1900 tuned by Conrero for Mille Miglia race. He then applied this to Fiat 8V (14 chassises), DeSoto Adventurer II, Jaguar XK120 (three chassises) and Aston Martin DB2/4.Even more futuristic and bold styling saw the 1955 Ghia "Gilda" (named after Rita Hayworth), and a less radical Ferrari 410 Gilda Superamerica.

From 1957 to 1969 Savonuzzi worked under research director George J. Huebner (1910–96) for the turbine department of Chrysler in Detroit, being chief engineer for automotive research from 1962. The resulting Chrysler Turbine Car 1962–64 were not designed by Savonuzzi, but bodied by Carrozzeria Ghia. He also studied crash-proof cars. Following some time as Director of R&D under Gianni Agnelli at Fiat, he devoted himself to teaching at the politecnico until retirement in 1977.

Grand tourer

A grand tourer (GT) is a car that is designed for high speed and long-distance driving, due to a combination of performance and luxury attributes. The most common format is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement.

The term derives from the Italian language phrase gran turismo which became popular in the English language from the 1950s, evolving from fast touring cars and streamlined closed sports cars during the 1930s.

Maggiora (manufacturer)

Maggiora was an Italian coachbuilder from Moncalieri near Turin. They produced the Fiat Barchetta and the Lancia Kappa Coupé which was designed by Centro Stile Lancia. In 2003 the company was closed.

The company was formed in 1925 as Martelleria Maggiora by Arturo Maggiora as a high quality car body maker - a coach builder or 'Carrozzeria'. Their work has graced many Fiat and Lancia cars like the early Fiat 1100 Viotti Giardiniettas and the Lancia Flaminia Tourers. The company was grown and extended, with several Abarth and Cisitalia bodies produced. In 1951 it moved to Borgo San Pietro Moncalieri where car like the Glas (BMW) GT (1963), Glas V8 (1965) and the Maserati Mistral (1963) were built. Rocco Motto was a team leader at Maggiora until 1932 when we opened his own workshop.Maggiora merged with Sanmarco and Lamier to form IRMA SpA in 1991 - later a major supplier to the Ducato range. Maggiora SRL took over the old Lancia factory in Chivasso north of Turin in 1992, and produced there from October 1992 to 1994 the last Integrale Evoluzione. The new capacities in the Lancia factory were later used to produce the Fiat Barchetta - at around 50 bodies a day. Some complete cars were produced here too (including the rare Kappa Coupe).

In addition many design studies, prototypes, special orders e.g. were produced by Maggiora, these have included soft top Unos and Cinquecentos, special Integrales, a Barchetta Coupes, a Puntograle, the Lancia Thesis Coupe prototype.

Piero Dusio

Piero Dusio (13 October 1899 – 7 November 1975) was an Italian soccer player, businessman and racing driver.

Rocco Motto

Rocco Motto was an Italian (Turin) coachbuilding company established in 1932. The company produced bodies from Cadillacs to Delahayes. In 1946 Motto commenced building aluminium bodies for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Cisitalia, Bandini and Ermini. By 1963 Motto bodied Franco Scaglione-designed Porsche-Abarth 356 Carrera GTL berlinetta. He also bodied a handful of Ferraris.

Rudolf Hruska

Rudolf Hruska (2 July 1915 in Vienna – 4 December 1995 in Turin) was an Austrian automobile designer and engineer, most famous for his design of various Alfa Romeo cars.

After graduating Vienna University of Technology he worked for Magirus in Ulm (1935–38) and Porsche in Stuttgart (1938–45), developing the Kdf-Wagen (1939) and Tiger I tank (1943). In Meran he and Carlo Abarth established a Porsche dealership (1945), and shortly after joined Piero Dusio in the Turin-based Cisitalia racing car project (1946–49). Hruska joined Finmeccanica (1951–54), consulting on the Alfa Romeo 1900. At Alfa Romeo (1954–59) he assisted Orazio Satta Puliga in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, before joining Simca and Fiat (1960–67), working on the Simca 1000 and Fiat 124/Fiat 128. Hruska then designed the Alfa Romeo Alfasud and established the new Alfa Romeo Pomigliano d'Arco plant near Naples (1967–73). Since then he was in a design firm in Arese (1974–80) and at I.DE.A Institute in Turin (1980-).

Tazio Nuvolari

Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtattsjo ˈdʒordʒo nuvoˈlaːri]; 16 November 1892 – 11 August 1953) was an Italian racing driver. First he raced motorcycles and then he concentrated on sports cars and single-seaters. Resident in Mantua, he was known as 'Il Mantovano Volante' (The Flying Mantuan) and nicknamed 'Nivola'. His victories—72 major races, 150 in all—included 24 Grands Prix, five Coppa Cianos, two Mille Miglias, two Targa Florios, two RAC Tourist Trophies, a Le Mans 24-hour race, and a European Championship in Grand Prix racing. Ferdinand Porsche called him "the greatest driver of the past, the present, and the future."Nuvolari started racing motorcycles in 1920 at the age of 27, winning the 1925 350cc European Championship. Having raced cars as well as motorcycles from 1925 until 1930, he then concentrated on cars, and won the 1932 European Championship with the Alfa Romeo factory team, Alfa Corse.

After Alfa Romeo officially withdrew from Grand Prix racing Nuvolari drove for Enzo Ferrari's team, Scuderia Ferrari, who ran the Alfa Romeo cars semi-officially. In 1933 he won Le Mans in an Alfa Romeo as a member of Ferrari's team, and a month later won the Belgian Grand Prix in a works Maserati, having switched teams a week before the race. Mussolini helped persuade Ferrari to take Nuvolari back for 1935, and in that year he won the German Grand Prix in Ferrari's outdated Alfa Romeo, defeating more powerful rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. It was the only time a non-German car won a European Championship race from 1935 to 1939.

The relationship with Ferrari deteriorated during 1937, and Nuvolari raced an Auto Union in that year's Swiss Grand Prix. He rejoined the Auto Union team for the 1938 season and stayed with them through 1939 until Grand Prix racing was put on hiatus by World War II. The only major European race he never won was the Czechoslovakian Grand Prix.

When Nuvolari resumed racing after the war he was 54 and in poor health. In his final appearance in competition, driving a Cisitalia-Abarth Tipo 204A at a Palermo hillclimb on 10 April 1950, he won his class and placed fifth overall. He died in 1953 from a stroke.


Vignale was an Italian automobile coachbuilder company. Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale was established in 1948 at Via Cigliano, Turin by Alfredo Vignale (1913–69) in Grugliasco, near Turin (Torino).

The first body on a Fiat 500 Topolino base was made in 1948, followed by a special Fiat 1100. Most customers were Italian firms such as Cisitalia, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Maserati, Lancia.

In 1952, Vignale collaborated with Briggs Cunningham to jointly produce the Continental C-3. In 1968, Vignale designed the body of Tatra 613.

Vignale designed and built cars, usually low volume variants of the main production cars of these automobile manufacturers. Amongst them were 850, Samantha, Eveline and the Vignale Gamine, based on the Fiat 500.A close cooperation was maintained with Giovanni Michelotti.

Vignale was taken over by De Tomaso in 1969 who already owned Carrozzeria Ghia. Shortly after selling, Alfredo Vignale died in a car crash. Both coachbuilder firms were sold to Ford in 1973 but the Vignale brand was discontinued.

At the 1993 Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin, at the time owned by Ford, produced a concept car called Lagonda Vignale. Ford then used the Vignale name in the Ford Focus Vignale concept car introduced at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, however the production model was named as Ford Focus Coupé-Cabriolet.

In September 2013, Ford of Europe announce plans to resurrect the Vignale name as an upscale luxury sub-brand of Ford. The cars will be visually distinct from regular Ford products and have an improved dealership experience. Exclusive services, such as free lifetime car washes, will be offered as well. The first Ford model to receive the Vignale name will be the 2015 Ford Mondeo.

On 1 March 2016 Ford of Europe announced a Kuga Vignale Concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show. where the company also announced the line-up of Vignale products, Ford S-Max Vignale, Ford Edge Vignale and Ford Mondeo Vignale five-door models debut alongside Ford Kuga Vignale Concept, offering a vision of the future of upscale SUVs as well as revealing Vignale Ambassadors and the signature Vignale collection

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