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Directors of Luxury Life Accessories
The Sunday Drive….Strada e Corsa Fiat 8V
Yes, the same company that is mainly known for the popular small Topolino and Cinquecento models. The FIAT Otto Vu (eight vee in Italian) was a Gran Turismo car for the wealthy gentleman.
Of the 114 cars made, many were clothed with lightweight Zagato coachwork. Other body shops included Vignale, Ghia and Pinin Farina. Powered by an aluminum V8 of 2 liters capacity, the car was very successful in the up-to 2 liter class in rallying and road races. The car featured independent suspension on all four wheels, which was very advanced for the early fifties. The example you see here is fitted with coachwork designed by Giovanni Savonuzzi who worked for Carrozzeria Ghia.
This was a small shop in Turin where a group of dedicated craftsmen made the coachwork by hand, beating dozens of aluminum panels to the correct shape and welding them together. The result was quite spectacular, and the car soon became known as the Supersonic for obvious reasons. This version was popular among designers and celebrities. Next to the Supersonic, even the most radical Ferrari or Maserati sports car looked dull by comparison.
The car in these photos is one of the last of only 14 such examples built. Its mechanical components such as engine, gearbox and suspension were restored by Strada e Corsa in the Netherlands. They also acted as a consultant for the coachwork and interior restoration which was done in Italy. Post restoration, the car won several prestigious prizes at international concourses. These awards are a fine tribute to this unique car and its restoration team!