This Cisitalia Deserves Another Shot At Achieving Mille Miglia Glory
Photography courtesy of Gooding & Company
With so many extraordinary classics parading the Mille Miglia, you don’t want to show up in just any old sports car—you’ll need something extravagant and unique to make a statement. Take our Editorial Director’s car of choice, for example. Ted Gushue helmed an oh-so-prestigious 1937 BMW 328 Touring Roadster earlier this year—the epitome of driving tastefully.
But, being the Mille Miglia, you might be more inclined to choose something Italian. Obviously, nobody will shun you for wheeling a vintage Ferrari at the MM, but a prancing horse seems almost cliché. How about this 1946 Cisitalia 202 Coupe Vignale Aerodynamica instead?
The Pininfarina-designed Cisitalia 202 road going sports coupé’s chassis was quite capable when it debuted at the 1947 Paris Motor Show. Its capable handling and slick aluminum shell offered a brilliant base to build upon for competition use. Cisitalia hired a talented trio to rework the already brisk pace setter by primarily focusing on improving aerodynamics.
Lead Fiat engineer Dante Giacosa acted as the 202’s personal trainer, putting the car on a strict diet while gaining muscle for a more athletic character. Using a wind tunnel as part of their testing grounds, engineer Giovanni Savonuzzi worked alongside a then-unknown craftsman by the name of Alfredo Vignale. This undertaking was Vignale’s first independent project that laid the foundation for a fulfilling career. The reshaped aluminum body was elongated and features massive quarter fins, complete with rear wheel spats.
Although the highly modified dual Weber carb-fed Fiat inline four-cylinder made only 60 horsepower, the 202 Aerodynamica made up for its modest output with clever wind-cutting design while maximizing agility thanks to it’s airy 760 kilogram weight (around 1,675 pounds)! Referred to as the 202 CMM, for Coupe Mille Miglia, this machine was specifically built to take on the 1,000 mile race.
Wearing a numero 7 livery, this slippery silver fin fairing coupe raced in the 1948 Mille Miglia with the young up-and-coming driver Piero Taruffi and co-driver Domenico Rabbia. With advanced aero, lightweight construction, and a tried and true Fiat powertrain, the Cisitalia factory race team looked promising. Unfortunately, the duo failed to finish the race due to mechanical troubles—this is where you come in.
It’s got the go, it’s certainly got the looks, and best of all it’s got the pedigree of already having participated in the 1000 mile endurance. With the racer’s 70th Mille Miglia around the corner, it’s the perfect time to give this stunning silver Cisitalia a second chance at completing the Mille Miglia—let us know if you need a copilot!
– Raced in the 1948 Mille Miglia with Piero Taruffi (DNF result)
– Vignale’s first independent project
– Maintained in a Japanese collection for years
~60 horsepower 1,098 cc Fiat four-cylinder with twin Weber carburetors, transverse leaf spring and wishbone front suspension, live axle longitudinal leaf spring rear suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm.
Chassis no.: CMM-002