As a successful businesman and experienced amateur driver, Piero Dusio started Cisitalia, officially known as Consorzio Industriale Sportive Italia. The company employed a wealth of talent to develop limited production sports cars that were based around upgraded Fiat components. Cisitalia’s first product was the D46, a small single seater which used a space frame to support its Fiat 1090cc engine and Fiat 500 suspension.
After producing a several customer D46s, and achieving a debut victory in the Brezzi Cup in Turin, Cisitalia focused on building small passenger car based on the D46, including it’s Fiat components and space frame chassis. All cars were finished as a rolling chassis and bodied by various design houses. Pinin Farina was responsible for the first coupe which was implemented by Vignale, albeit with subtle changes.
Since the 202 never made large scale production and all the cars were handmade, the small talented group at Cisitalia, including Carlos Abarth, Dante Giacosa and Giavonni 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. It is easily identified by its large rear fins, twin windscreens and usual Italian blood red paint scheme.Partly due to expensive construction of the mid-engine, four wheel drive formula one car, designed by Ferry Porsche, Cisitalia went into receivership in 1949 and was sold in 1952. In total, around 200 cars were made which made a large impact on the later marques, including Abarth’s later range of cars.
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.