The adventurous life of FIAT 8V Vignale


Elegant  but  Spartan.   There have been ten FIAT 8Vs built by Alfredo Vignale and the example bearing chassis number 00052 designed by Giovanni Micheletti is undoubtedly the one with the greatest  competitive talent.   Vignale would have liked to exhibit it at the Paris Motor Show in 1954 but he was unable to finish it in time.

The car was sold to the gentleman driver Casimiro Toselli;  then it started a long competitive life, starting with  the  Sestrière Rally in 1955  followed by the Giro di Sicilia in the same year and by the Mille Miglia.   The lightness  (1,000 kg less than the original  FIAT with a steel body)  and the good performance of the  8V engine which in the production models developed 127 HP at 6,600 rpm, made it possible for the Turin coupé to race until 1959,  driven  by Canaparo from 1956 onwards. With its harmonious but aggressive design  the beautiful aluminium body of the 8V chassis 00052 has been more than once maltreated by the various racing drivers.

In need of repair towards the end of the 1950s,  the front was slightly modified by widening its “nose”.  As such we can see  it today and when the present owner embarked upon a complete restoration the  expert  Salvatore Diomante recommended leaving such modification unchanged since it had also become  historic.