Cisitalia 808XF Convertible Prototype 1952

Discussion in 'Cars' started by Tsukishima, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. Tsukishima


    As requested by @JKgo

    [​IMG] Cisitalia 808XF '52 [​IMG]


    Built three years before the unveiling of the Thunderbird, the Vignale-bodied Ford/Cisitalia convertible was the first sports car built by Ford Motor Company. The 808XF was the product of a joint venture between Ford and the Italian firm of Cisitalia.

    Founded in Turin in 1946, Cisitalia was controlled by the wealthy industrialist and sportsman Piero Dusio. The Cisitalia 202 GT of 1946 is well known in the world as a "rolling sculpture". Several variants of the 202 were produced, including the SMM Nuvolari Spider named after a class victory at the 1947 Mille Miglia. Another variation was a mid-engine Grand Prix racer designed by Ferdinand Porsche. This twin-supercharged, flat-twelve racer cost Dusio nearly emptied Dusio's bank account. It was only shown at the 1949 Turin Auto Show and never used in competition.

    Dusio's son, Carlo, saw an opportunity to keep the company afloat by using American components to construct a line of vehicles intended for the North American market. A prototype was shown to Henry Ford II, who endorsed the concept and gave the project to his brother-in-law, Ed Sullivan.

    Cisitalia was to build the cars using Ford chassis and engines with Italian designed bodywork. The intent was to pair the reliability and availability of spare parts with Italian design. Ford was to market the car in the United States, while Cisitalia was to do the same in Europe. While initial projections were for around 500 cars per year, only six were actually produced. Two examples were built by the legendary coachbuilder, Vignale. One was a coupe and the other a convertible.

    By this point in history, Carlo Dusio had lost his vision and Ford was moving in another direction. They were preparing their plants for the two-seater Thunderbird. The Cisitalia 808XF project came to a close.

    Ed Sullivan used the convertible 808XF prototype as his daily-driver for a number of years. The car is powered by a Ford 312 cubic-inch law-enforcement engine that offers 225 horsepower. There is a three-speed automatic gearbox and is left-hand drive.


  2. JKgo


    ...Well, damn. That's one nice car. Thanks, Tsuki.