How much a Fiat would sell at an auction may be something you’ve always wondered about. Well, during an auction held at Villa Erba back in 2015, a 1953 8V Cabriolet that was designed by none other than Vignale fetched a total $1.18 million (€1,120,000).
This amount though could be beaten as on the upcoming Amelia Island sale by RM Sotheby, it has been revealed that a 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic will be up for bidding. Considered by many as both more beautiful and even rarer than the one that was bid out in 2015, it may well become the most expensive Fiat sold. Given its pristine condition and the fact that it has no reserve, experts say it could go from a low of $1.6 million to a high of $1.9 million.
Designed Carrozzeria Ghia of Torino, only 15 units had the "Supersonic" styling cues. For the one that will be up for auction, it was first put on display during the Geneva Motor Show back in 1954. When it first came out of the factory in 1953, it had 000049 for its chassis number and 000085 for the engine number.
On its body was the figure 810 to signify that it was the tenth unit to be built. This model was later sent by Chrysler chairman K.T. Keller to the U.S. to be sold to three-time Gold Cup-winning powerboat racer Lou "The Speed King" Fageol.
After that, it was sold to Paul Lazaros sometime in 1979. Lazaros worked to make sure that it would be restored to what it once was given the various modifications done by the previous owner to it. The work included finding the original engine instead of using the aftermarket Corvette unit that was placed by then Fageol. By 2007, it underwent extensive restoration with some features being rebuilt like the dashboard switches, drivetrain, suspension, and transmission.
Over a course of 65 years, this model has had a total of 5 owners.
The model will be part of the Gentleman’s Collection auction to be conducted by RM Sotheby on Amelia Island on March 10, 2017.
For those who have been following the brand’s Fiat history, the 8V was named as the biggest surprise of 1952 by Road & Track. Fiat had been established as early as 1899 and was known to create excellent competition cars. However, it was only after World War II that the brand would be known to manufacture mass-produced cars for the daily driver like the Topolino. Despite being a tiny vehicle, it became one of the most popular models in Europe.
It was then that Fiat surprised the world with the introduction of a powerful sports car that came with the light alloy overhead-valve V8 engine. In addition, it had the Siata-fabricated chassis and the independent four-wheel suspension.