Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia – Jet age masterpiece

Stunning mid century masterpiece by Ghia and Fiat goes under the hammer....

We’re big fans of the jet age. And this stunning Ghia-bodied Fiat 8V ‘Supersonic’ is a high point in the design style that has become known as ‘jet age’.

Mid 20th century was a stone cold high point for industrial design: and when the aesthetic of Sputnik began to work its way into the car world, things went, well, supersonic.

 

The Fiat 8V (or “Otto Vu”) was a sports car produced by the Italian automaker Fiat from 1952 to 1954. The car was introduced at the 1952 Geneva Motor Show. The Fiat 8V got its name because at the time of its making Ford had a copyright on the term V8.

34 of the cars had a factory produced bodywork by the Reparto Carrozzerie Speciali (“Special Bodies Department”). Some cars had the bodywork done by other Italian coachbuilders. Carozzeria Zagato made 30 that they labelled Elaborata Zagato. Ghia and Vignale also made special editions. Most were coupés, but some spyders were made as well.

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Ghia designed and produced a limited run of cars named ‘Supersonic’ with this unique ‘jet age’ styling. This is a beautiful example of their vision. Ghia had recently been sold by Boano to Luigi Segre, and a one-off car had been built for a wealthy entrant in the Mille Miglia race. The car was displayed at the 1953 Turin show and the reaction inspired Segre to plan a limited production of cars based on the Otto Vu, aimed at the American market.

Only eight of these cars were completed after mechanical issues ended the project. Several of the cars were purchased by Americans; some were heavily customised and received engine transplants.

An original un-restored car sold at a Scottsdale, Arizona Gooding and Company auction in January 2011 with a gavel price of US $1.55 million. Ghia would later use its basic body shape on Jaguar XK-120–based vehicles as well as Aston Martin.

Whichever wealthy individual snaps up this stunning Ghia-designed slice of mid century modernism when it goes under the gavel at RM Sothebys soon will own a classic piece of forward thinking steelwork.

And the type of car you’re unlikely to see on the streets any time soon.



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