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Saturday, September 3, 2016

The first Italian supercar?

Automotive history is littered with dozens of “what if” stories, but none may be more tantalizing than Cisitalia’s officially known as Consorzio Industriale Sportive Italia. The company was founded after World War II by Italian industrialist and experienced amateur driver named Piero Dusio, who wanted to take his racing expertise and form his own company.

But unlike Ferrari, Cisitalia’s first road cars had made international sensations. The 1946 Cisitalia 202 was an revolutionary grand tourer that applied Cisitalia’s racing know-how to an impossibly gorgeous and well-mannered road car.
1946 Cisitalia 202 Berlinetta. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1dYJ0e)
Since all the 202 cars were handmade, and never made large scale production, the small talented group at Cisitalia, including Carlos Abarth, Dante Giacosa and Giavonni Savonuzzi, made several variants of the 202. 

In that time, the car easily identified by its large rear fins, twin windscreens and usual Italian blood red paint scheme. The Cisitalia 202 was used a modified Fiat inline-4 engine and considered such a triumph of design that the Museum of Modern Art bought one just to display.
Right side view of 1946 Cisitalia 202 Berlinetta. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1dYJ0e)
Unfortunately, the company was constantly burdened by money trouble, and ceased their car production in the early 1950s after only 170 unit of Cisitalia 202s were produced. Despite its obscure status, the Cisitalia may be the first Italian supercar. Who knows how history would have changed if the brand continued to grow in that time.

From massive automakers to small cottage companies, many have tried to break through the established supercar hierarchy and capture the public imagination. For some reason, these cars ever quite made the grade. But they provide an interesting counterpoint to the legends. The Cisitalia can be discussed along the early road-going supercars. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SUPERCAR.NET | GEAROPEN]
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