Monday, December 11, 2017

Fiat 8V Rapi Berlinetta (1952-54)

Fiat was one of Italy's automotive pioneers and has been involved in international motorsport from the dawn of motoring. At the 1952 Geneva Motorshow, Fiat stunned the gathered crowd with an all new car, developed especially for racing. Powered by a 2 litre V8 engine, the car was simply known as '8V' or 'Otto Vu' in Italian. This to prevent problems with Ford, who, Fiat believed at the time, had claimed the V8 type-name. It was designed specifically to take on the two litre class, which was a highly contested class of the Italian championship.

4 speed Manual. Rear wheel drive. Fiat's V8 was derived from two 4-cylinder blocks mounted on a common crankcase. To keep the engine compact, the angle between the cylinder banks was just 70 degrees. A centrally mounted camshaft operated the valves by pushrods. Breathing through two Weber Carburetors, the engine was good for 105 bhp and with an extra Weber 115 bhp and eventually 127 bhp could be achieved. Fiat's potent V8 proved to be a good match for Maserati's straight six, Ferrari's V12 and Lancia's V6.

Highlights of the fine handling car's lengthy career included clinching the 1954 Championship and winning its class in the 1957 and final Mille Miglia. With only 114 examples built in total and a relatively brief racing career, the 8V is a little known Italian masterpiece. Fiat's chief designer Fabio Luigi Rapi designed the factory body. Other coachbuilders included Zagato (32), Ghia (14 Supersonics and 1 Coupe), Vignale (10) and Pininfarina (1). Especially the Zagato 8Vs, which benefited from additional engine tuning and feather light bodies were highly successful in the Italian Championship.

Fiat 8V Rapi


Fiat's chief designer Fabio Luigi Rapi was responsible for the factory body. Series 1 (30) which featured two large headlights in the grill and two smaller lights in the fenders. Series 2 (28) body featured four headlights in the fender to comply with the GT regulations. (ultimatecarpage.com & conceptcarz.com)

Series 1 

30 made with two large headlights.





























Series 2

28 made, with slanted quad headlamp to comply with the GT regulations.
Some Series 2 models have Series 1 tail lights.















































This Series 2 Fiat 8V Rapi has different tail lights.









(Photos from history-of-cars.com, duttongarage.com, ultimatecarpage.com, conceptcarz.net)



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