1952→1955 Fiat 8V
One of the quintessential Italian sports cars is the Fiat 8V or Otto Vù. It is named after the peculiar 70º V8 engine which takes up little space in the engine bay. Fiat outsourced many 8V bodies to the Italian design houses, thus no two cars are alike and each has a unique style.
As early as 1945, Fiat was working on a eight-cylinder engine which was internally known as Tipo 106. The idea was a new engine for mass production but that never happened so instead a limited series of sports cars were produced.
Released at the 1952 Geneva Auto Show with factory-designed bodywork, the 8V was touted as a competition car and many of the very first 8Vs were also prepared for racing and sold to racing clientele. With a fully independent suspension from the Fiat 1100 and 124 mph top speed, it was competitive in the two-liter classes, winning the Italian GT Championship in 1954.
The 1996cc Ottu Vù engine was designed by Dante Giacosa in aluminum alloy. Its short stroke was suitable for high-revs and a steep power curve. The 8V engine wasn’t used in any other Fiat model, but because of its narrow dimensions several other companies adopted the design including Siata for their 208S.
The V8’s standard specification produced 105bhp at 5,600rpm and Fiat offered a factory option with twin Weber carburetors producing 115bhp. Some engines were fitted with huge four-throat Weber 36 IF4/C carburetors offering 120 bhp, but the intake manifold was very rare.
The engine was fit into a standard steel tube chassis with Fiat 1100 suspension components. With the body welded to the chassis it was a semi-unitary consturction.
Just enough 8Vs were made over to meet international homologation regulations. With lightweight bodywork, the 8V was competitive and won often won the the two-liter class. At Stella Alpini in August 1952, Ovidio Copelli won the 8V’s first trophy. This was followed by Elio Zagato who bodied many of the later competition cars and even won the 1954 Bari three-hour race as a driver.
In total 114 8V’s were produced. The first of these featured Fiat’s body by chief designer Fabio Luigi Rapi. These were built at Fiat’s own Lingotto shop and usually carry a “Carrozzerie Speziali” badge. The prototype used an art deco grill that extended into the hood. A second series was made featuring four headlights with some of the later cars have a full-width windscreen.
Subsequent cars were outsourced to other design houses including Zagato which made around 30 competition models, some in aluminum. Others were sent to Ghia to receive the extravagant supersonic coachwork.
In 1954 a Fiat 8V chassis and components were used to test a gas turbine engine.
|type||Series Production Car|
|production years||1952 – 1955|
|released at||1952 Geneva Motor Show|
|valvetrain||2 Valves / Cyl|
|displacement||1996 cc / 121.8 in³|
|bore||72 mm / 2.83 in|
|stroke||61.3 mm / 2.41 in|
|power||78.3 kw / 105.0 bhp @ 6000 rpm|
|specific output||52.61 bhp per litre|
|bhp/weight||98.96 bhp per tonne|
|torque||145.07 nm / 107.0 ft lbs @ 4600 rpm|
|body / frame||Steel Body over Tubular Chassis|
|front brakes||Drums w/Hydrualic Assist|
|rear brakes||Drums w/Hydrualic Assist|
|f suspension||Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar|
|r suspension||Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar|
|curb weight||1061 kg / 2339 lbs|
|wheelbase||2400 mm / 94.5 in|
|front track||1288 mm / 50.7 in|
|rear track||1288 mm / 50.7 in|
|length||4028 mm / 158.6 in|
Auction Sales History
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic 106.000035 – The First of 15 8V Supersonics. Advanced Sports Car Chassis with Jet Age Streamlined Styling. Exceptional Provenance and Unblemished History. Shown in Period and Featured in Several Publications. Outstanding Provenance with One Owner for over 55 Years. Approximately 17,000 Miles from New. 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Post-war Preservation Class Winner. Auction Source: The 2013 Amelia Island Auction by Gooding & Company
1953 Fiat 8V Elaborata 106.000022 – Formerly the Property of Jean-Claude Arifon. 2nd Place at the 1956 Coppa Internazionale Delle Dame. One of Only Five Zagato Elaboratas Built. Distinctive Double-Bubble Roof and Aesthetic Features. Noteworthy Period Competition History. Genuine Matching-Numbers Example. Beautifully Maintained Show-Quality Restoration. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Award Winner. Two-Time Colorado Grand Participant. A Prime Candidate for the Most Important Automotive Events. Auction Source: 2011 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company
1953 Fiat 8V Series II Berlinetta – Extremely rare with a marvelous performance history, the Fiat 8V has always been sought after. Never did this masterwork suffer the indignity of being just an old car. The 8V has always represented a high point for the great Fiat marque and an example of what creative genius can achieve. This particular Fiat 8V, 000086, is a stunning example of the model with matching numbers, restored with loving care down to the finest detail and intelligently upgraded for reliable performance. It is ready to serve as the perfect entry to any top-rank vintage rally, race or concours in the world. Auction Source: 2010 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction
1954 Fiat 8V Zagato Coupe 106000061 – As a First Series Zagato-bodied 8V, the car features crisp, uncluttered lines and is fitted with the rare flat dashboard used only in the earliest 8VZs. Beyond its impressive mechanical preparation, the car is equipped with the original competition-style seats, a correct Nardi steering wheel, the correct Plexiglas anti-turbulence strips on the door frames and proper Borrani wire wheels wearing Pirelli tires. This superb 8V is also offered with an almost-unobtainable original owner’s manual, printed in 1953. Auction Source: 2010 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction
1955 Fiat 8V Zagato Berlinetta 106.000076 – The car offered here, chassis 000076, is one such Zagato-bodied example, a second-series car powered by an early 104.000-series engine. It was completed on 8th August 1955 and has remained in Italy ever since, with documented ownership to the present. It has enjoyed a successful vintage racing career, including a number of vintage rallies as well as eight Mille Miglia Storicas, with several top ten finishes! Auction Source: 2010 RM Auctions Sporting Classics of Monaco