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Robb Design Portfolio: Elite Eight

Larry Bean

1952 Siata 208S Spyder

The 208S represented a reversal of roles for two Turin, Italy, automakers: Siata (an acronym for Societa Italiana Applicazione Trasformazione Automobilistiche), which once had been a source of power for Fiat, became a recipient. Siata began, in 1926, as an aftermarket firm that specialized in making Fiats faster. Over the next two decades the company evolved into a boutique carmaker, and in 1952 Siata built its first-ever chassis, for the new 208S. The framework was designed to accommodate a V-8, or rather, an 8V, Fiat’s Otto Vu. The engine, distinguished by the narrow, 70-degree angle that its block formed, powered Fiat’s auto of the same name, also a 1952 debutant. Fiat stopped making the Otto Vu car after only a year and sold its surplus of engines to Siata. When its supply of 8Vs ran out, in 1955, Siata ceased production of the 208S. It had built about three dozen Spyders, most of which were sold in the United States for $5,300 apiece. The company itself went out of business in 1970.

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