Fiat 8V (1952 – 1955) Review

Fiat 8V (1952 – 1955) At A Glance


+Amazing styling and engineering, like no other Fiat before or since, and the only V8 powered car by the company

-Spectacular prices, and very difficult to get hold of

When Fiat first decided to push upmarket and build a flagship V8, the industry was caught by surprised. That turned to disappointment when it became the prototype ended up being slow and cumbersome – and the project was ultimately cancelled as a result. This left Fiat with a 2.0-litre V8 engine but no car to put it in, and the solution was to put it in a sports car – and so the 8V, or Otto Vu, arrived at the Geneva Motor Show in 1952.

The car looked fantastic, and Fiat design boss Dante Giacosa designed all the beautiful Pininfarina-inspired lines in-house. Siata was contracted to build the cars, and the bodies were built at Lingotto by Fiat's own experimental workshop. Underneath that beautiful body was standard 1100 independent suspension that gave it unusually crisp handling. Even so, coachbuilders like Vignale, Bertone, Ghia and Pininfarina produced bodies for many of the 8V chassis. However, it’s Fiat's effort remains the most memorable. It was aerodynamically efficient as a result of using Turin Polytechnic wind tunnel, and this helped Fiat's chief test driver, Carlo Salomano, record a top speed of over 193km/h (120mph).