For many years Siata (Società Italiana Applicazioni Trasformazioni Automobilistiche) specialized in aftermarket products for Fiats. The Italian company used their intimate knowledge of Fiat's products to launch the first Siata badged, Fiat based car in 1948.
The introduction of the Fiat 8V in 1952 sparked the development the first Siata chassis. In 1953, the 208S was introduced, available in both open and closed versions. The new chassis was constructed of tubular members. In stock trim the two litre OHV engine produced just over 100 bhp, and with Siata's hotter camshaft and triple Weber Carburetors, the power could be boosted to 140 bhp.
Although only around sixty chassis were produced in 1953 and 1954, the new Siata received at least half a dozen type indications. The most common of these are the 208 S for the open cars and the 208 CS for the slightly larger coupe bodied machines. The coachbuilder of choice for the coupe body 208 CS was Stabilimenti Farina. That company folded after just six examples were produced and a further nine were constructed along the same lines by Balbo.
The Siata 208 was launched to much critical acclaim late in 1952. The journalists had nothing but praise for the fine handling and good looking Italian thoroughbred. However much everybody liked the little Siata, its high price drove customers away to the much cheaper MGs, Jaguars or Porsches. Like the Fiat 8V, the nimble Siata is still well loved today and good examples are rare to find and very expensive.
1953 Siata 208 CS Stabilimenti Farina Spyder
First shown at the 1953 Brussels Salon, chassis CS058 was one of the very last cars clothed by Stabilimenti Farina. It was one of six cars to receive the very low competition 'Berlinetta' body that was most likely penned by Giovanni Michelotti. In 1955 Siata turned the car into a roadster to lengthen its competition career. For many years the 208 CS Stabilimenti Farina Spyder was on display in Peter Kaus' fabulous Rosso Bianco Museum. In 2006 the collection was sold in its entirety and the car has since been acquired by the current owner. Beautifully restored, it was seen at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it was awarded 'Best in Class' in 'Postwar Sports'. (ultimatecarpage.com)
(Photos from ultimatecarpage.com, conceptcarz.net)