Tag Archives: Siata

Classic Europeans – Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance

Last week I looked at some of the classic American vehicles at the Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance, today it is the turn of some of the Classic Europeans thanks to Geoffrey Horton who kindly shared his photographs.

Jaguar, de Tomaso, Ferrari, Desert Classics, Concours d'Elegance

Geoffrey’s Jaguar XK140 FHC SE/MC is seen above parked alongside the unique De Tomaso Sport 5000 which was raced once and retired from the 1966 Grand Prix di Mugello and the Replica Ferrari Testa Rossa I looked at on Friday.

Delage D8 Letourneur et Marchand, Desert Classics, Concours d'Elegance

In 1935 Louis Delage had to liquidate the Delage company he founded in 1905 and sold the marque to Delahaye. The first Delage of the Delahaye era 4.7 liter / 286 cui straight eight powered D8-120 twelve chassis of which were sent to LeTourneur et Marchand where stunning 18′ Aerosport Coupe Coachwork was fitted, the 1937 example above is one of eight known to remain.

SIATA Daina Gran Sport, Desert Classics, Concours d'Elegance

For some reason my blog on the SIATA 208S proved one of the most popular I have ever written to date, the 1951 SIATA Daina Gran Sport above was a FIAT based Special predecessor of the 208 powered by a modified FIAT motor with a unique to model overhead camshaft and twin carburetors which increased the power from 60hp to 72hp.

Lancia Aurelia B24 Convertible, Desert Classics, Concours d'Elegance

Lancia manufactured the Aurelia from 1950 through to 1958, from 1956 Lancia built just 521 B24 Convertibles like the 1957 example seen above.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL Coupé, Desert Classics, Concours d'Elegance

In 1963 Mercedes Benz was winding down production of it 300 SL Coupé derived 300SL Roadster building just 26 of the latter, above is one of just seven 1963 300 SL Roadsters thought to have been built for the European market.

Porsche 911 Adamowicz Trans Am Tribute, Desert Classics, Concours d'Elegance

Tony Adamowicz dominated the up to 2 litre / 122 cui class of the 1968 Trans Am series winning eight out of ten races to seal the championship, above is a Porsche 911 Adamowicz Trans Am Tribute car built by the same team who built the original.

Citroen 2CV6 Beachcomber, Desert Classics, Concours d'Elegance

In 1990 I was driving through a small town in Surrey when I spotted A 1983 Citroen 2CV6 Beachcomber for sale in a drive. Having bought and sold several of these cars I had no hesitation in pulling over to check it out. It was not in the same condition as the one seen above but I bought it there and then anyway and over the next couple of years drove it 36,OOO miles extremely happy miles across Europe.

Maserati MC12 Stradale, Desert Classics, Concours d'Elegance

On the 1st of December 1914 the Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto established the company, featured on this blog every Monday, bearing their name. FIAT became the current owners of the company in 1993 and in 2004 after an official 4 decade absence from racing Maserati returned to the tracks with the MC12 Corsa. The MC12 Stradale is the road going version heavily based on the running gear of the faster Ferrari Enzo. Like the Enzo all 50 MC12s were pre sold.

Morgan Aero 8, Desert Classics, Concours d'Elegance

Finally a sad tale soon after this photo of a Morgan Aero was taken it was involved in a collision with a truck. Fortunately no one was hurt but the Morgan was left much the worse for wear.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classic Europeans” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a vintage Plymouth. Don’t forget to come back now !


Torino Transformation – SIATA 400F

It would appear that the SIATA 400F is a Coupé version of the SIATA 208S which Steve McQueen referred to as his ‘little Ferrari.

SIATA 400F, Goodwood F o S

SIATA, Societa Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori, an automotive accessory company was founded in 1926 by Giorgio Ambrosini an amateur racing driver to make and sell performance parts for vehicles manufactured by FIAT.

SIATA 400F, Goodwood F o S

After the Second World War SIATA started manufacturing vehicles with first FIAT 500 cc / 30 cui and then with larger American Crosley Motors.

SIATA 400F, Goodwood F o S

From 1953 to 1955 SIATA manufactured around 35 208’s sports cars and no more than ten 400 F Coupés, of the type seen here at Goodwood Festival of Speed, all powered by Dante Giacosa designed 2 litre / 122 cui FIAT ‘8V’ motors.

SIATA 400F, Goodwood F o S

The chassis design is credited to be the work of Austrian Rudolf Hruska who’s cv includes working on a huge variety of vehicles from the original Beetle, Tiger tank Simca 1000, FIAT 124/128 and a variety of ALFA Romeo’s including the ALFA Sud.

SIATA 400F, Goodwood F o S

The Berlinetta Bodywork of the 400 F is credited to Giovanni Michelotti who was working for Farina at the time, with the body panels manufactured by Carrozzeria Balbo in Turin.

Thanks for joining me on this Torino Transformation edition of ‘Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be announcing the winner of the Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz and publishing the answers. Don’t forget to come back now !


Piccoli Ferrari – Siata 208S

Today’s photograph by Carlyle Blackwell comes from Ed Arnaudin’s collection and I’d like to thank his son Steve for sending it to me.

Siata 208S, Blackwell Archive

Photo Carlyle Blackwell, Publised Courtesy Blackwell Archive, for sales enquiry’s please e-mail infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk and your contact details will be forwarded to the Blackwell Archive.

Just 35 Siata 208S’s were manufactured in Italy from 1953 to 1955. Of those 25 were imported into the USA by Ernie Mcafee.

The cars were fitted with a 105 hp FIAT 70 degree V8 2 litre / 122 cui ‘8V’ engine which allegedly was so named because FIAT erroneously believed Ford owned the V8 trade mark.

The 208S is known to have been driven to victories by among others Bob Kuhn, Dick Hayward and Douglas Diffenderfer who was winning races as late as 1960.

Probably the most famous owner of a 208S was Steve McQueen who apparently replaced the badges on his car with Ferrari badges and called it ‘Little Ferrari‘.

It should be noted that Ernie Mcafee and Jack McAfee, who appeared on this blog a couple of weeks ago, were not related, though the younger Jack did work for Ernie and on one occasion raced with Ernie sharing a Parravano Ferrari in the 1952 Panamericana.

They often raced against each other right up until Ernie’s last race at Pebble Beech on April 22nd 1956 in which he was killed when his car hit a tree. A crash incidentally that heralded the end of Pebble Beech as a venue for racing and led to the development of racing at Laguna Seca in 1957.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s ‘Piccoli Edition’ of getting a lil’ psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

28 07 12 PS My thanks to Pamela Blackwell who has kindly retrospectively given me permission to post the photo’s her father took.


Prize Winning Brazilian – Avallone 11 #A1110 016

It’s always a thrill to bring you the rare and unexpected and today thanks to Peter M in Switzerland it is a tremendous honour to share with you the photos and the story behind this ‘Best Replica’ prize winning Brazilian vehicle from the 1978 Geneva Motor Show.

In 1924 William Morris later Lord Nuffield, founder of Morris Cars and Cecil Kimber general manager of Morris Garages in Oxford (owned by William Morris) sold their 48th specially modified Morris Cowley ‘Old Number One‘ with bodywork by Carbodies of Coventry with a special octagonal badge, thus launching MG Cars as a marque in it’s own right.

In 1936 MG launched the successful ‘T’ range with the TA an attractive 50hp two seat sports car featuring a steel body on an ash frame. Production of the TB was interrupted by WW2 but it was not until 1955 with exports outnumbering home sales by more than 10 to 1 that production of the final incarnation of the ‘T’ range, the 63 horsepower TF 1500 with independent front suspension, was halted to make way for the MGA. Some cars when they go out of production are never heard of again but the MG TF has proved over 50 years since production ceased to be an inspiration of sturdier stuff.

After some market research in 1968 a small volume Italian manufacturer Siata, up until then best known for building 40 odd Crosley powered 300 BC Barchetta Sports cars, went in to production of a MGTF replica called the Siata Spring using the mechanical components of the rear engined FIAT 850 ! The Spring continued in production until 1970 when Siata failed and continued under the ORSA name until 1975.

In 1974 the Brazilian furniture manufacturer Lafer created a fibre glass TF based replica again with running gear from a rear engined vehicle the VW Fusca (Beetle to the rest of us) ! Some 4300 MP Lafers were built with 1,000 thought to have been exported over a 16 years production span.

A couple of years later Brazilian racing driver / racing impresario and hitherto racing car constructor Antonio Carlos Avallone put the feeble but fun efforts of both Siata/ORSA and Lafer to shame by constructing his Avallone 11 an MG TF replica with a Brazilian spec Chevrolet engine at the front and additional Chevrolet do Brazil mechanical running gear all round.

The fibre glass panels were so strong that Antonio used to delight in handing potential clients at his factory and at motor shows a large rubber mallet and invite them to do their best to inflict some damage to the body panels.

Unlike the Siata/ORSA Spring or PM Lafer the Antonio Carlos Avallone paid a huge amount of attention to the details of the TF and then replicating them on his Avalone 11 which included not only the instrumentation …

but also the switch gear.

All of his dedication and hard work was rewarded when probably this very vehicle #A1110 016 was rewarded with the Best Replica Award at the 1978 Geneva Motor Show. An achievement recognised by MG with a letter of congratulation personally addressed to Antonio Carlos Avallone.

The intention of Swiss Importer Huber to introduce Avallone to the Swiss market some how got lost in the midst of time and this vehicle was found lying around in a building in 1982. With a lot of effort the previous owner managed to get the car legally registered for use on the road and drove it for some 20 years until he sold it to Peter M who informs me that the original steering wheel has been replaced with one of larger diameter, the original steel wheels have been replaced by larger wire wheels and that the original seats have been replaced with ones mounted lower in the cockpit.

Just as there seem to be a never ending stream of manufacturers making replica AC Cobra’s and Porsche 356’s so it is with replica MG TF other notable replica’s include the Naylor 1700 of the mid 1980’s and even today there is a company, TG, in new Zealand making TF kits using Maita MX5 running gear, yet none, so far as I am aware, of the other TF replica’s have been awarded a prize at the Geneva Motor Show.

I’d like to thank Peter M for furnishing me with the details and photographs of his highly praised car.

Thank you for joining me on todays Brazilian edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at another award winning French vehicle.

23rd Jan 2011 PS I have a friend who is looking to purchase a Radiator Grille for another one of these Avallone 11 vehicles, if you can help anyway with either the supply or location of such an item please leave a message below or send me an e-mail which can be accessed through my personal profile page.

Thanking you in anticipation
of your responses.

23 de janeiro de 2011 PS: Eu tenho um amigo que está olhando para comprar uma grade de radiador para outro desses 11 Avallone veículos, se puder ajudar de qualquer maneira com qualquer fonte ou localização de um item deste tipo, por favor deixe uma mensagem abaixo ou envie-me um e–mail que pode ser acessado através da minha página de perfil pessoal.

Agradecendo antecipadamente as suas respostas.