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Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Short-Lived 1950s Fiat 8V


1954 Fiat 8V

The Fiat 8V or “Otto Vu” was produced for just a few years form 1952 to 1954. It made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show with its somewhat backwards moniker the result of Ford’s copyright on the term V8. The 8V didn’t post big sales numbers, but it did do well when it came to racing.

It shared few parts with other Fiats and boasted an engine that was originally intended for a luxury sedan. Developed by Dante Giacosa and stylist Luigi Rapi, the Fiat 8V had a 70 degree V configuration and produced 105 hp paired to a 4-speed gearbox with a top speed of 118 mph.

1954 Fiat 8V Profile

The 8V was a departure from the norm for Fiat and didn’t receive lots of support from upper management. Only 114 were made by the time it ceased production in 1959. That didn’t stop it from racing, however, and it won the Italian 2-liter GT championship every year until 1959.

There were 34 with bodywork produced by the factory, but some were done by coachbuilders. Carozzeria Zagato made 30 “Elaborata Zagato” models while Ghia and Vignale made others. A single fiberglass-bodeied 8V was built and now calls Centro Sorico Fiat its home.

1954 Fiat 8V Rear