Up for Auction: Million Dollar 1953 Zagato Fiat 8V Elaborata

Million dollar Fiats are a rare thing in the automotive world and this one is going up for sale at Pebble Beach.

The 1952 Geneva Auto Show played host to the first and only Fiat V8. Built for domination in 2-seat racing, the Fiat received some further work from Italians Zagato and is set for the auction block at Pebble Beach. Fiat, under the impression that Ford owned the trademark on V8, gave the racer the odd moniker 8V, or in the original Italian 'Otto Vu.' The racer's engine is essentially two V4 engines with a 70-degree lean on a single crankcase to make the car a 2-liter V8.

The racer's engine is essentially two V4 engines with a 70-degree lean on a single crankcase to make the car a 2-liter V8. Spotted a pair of twin-choke Weber 36 DCZ3 carburetors, they gave the racer a total output of 110hp. A four-speed non-synchronized first-gear manual transmission delegated power to the rear wheels through a Fiat-shared differential. 'Worm-and-roller' steering, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel drum brakes gave the classic racer some control on the track. Dante Giacosa, Fiat's design engineer at the time wanted to take down Maserati, Lancia and Ferrari with this model.

200 units were scheduled for production, however only 114 chassis were put out from 1952-54. Legendary coachbuilder Carrozzeria Zagato received 32 Otto Vu chassis and 'elaborated' on the Fiat design, hence the new name Elaborata. On a side note, these models were the first cars in competition to sport the rigid Zagato double-bubble roof. The 1953 Fiat Zagato 8V Elaborata has an interesting story. The No. 0022 Otto Vu was first sold new in April 1953 and given to Zagato to put the finishing touches on the racer. One of Italy's most decorated female drivers, Anna Maria Peduzzi, raced the car several times.

The car was then turned over to its latest owner in 1998. He restored the Fiat to its original state and also installed a five-speed Alfa Romeo transmission. The car has been in several classic-car rallies and was shown at several shows. The car still has good handling and allows for nice control. The interior is very well kept, with an array of toggle switches and knobs that sit in the refurnished Zagato Green dash. Word has it that it corners very well. The 1953 Fiat Zagato 8V Elaborata will go under the hammer at Pebble Beach on August 20-21st. Auction company Gooding and Co. expect the racer to rake in more than $1 million.

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