Siata 208 (1952 – 1954) Review

Siata 208 (1952 – 1954) At A Glance


+Steve McQueen had one, a beautiful car based on the amazing Fiat 8V

-Rare and desirable, and hugely expensive when they come up for sale

The Siata 208S is based on perhaps the most collectable Fiat ever – the 8V – and for that reason is one of the more interesting sports cars of its era. Siata had actually been involved in the development of the 8V from the outset, as it had built the running prototype for Fiat. Styled by Vignale bodyshell and featuring pop-up headlights, it was officially available as either a coupé (initially built by Stabilimenti Farina, then Carozzeria Balbo) or an as a convertible – although there were numerous other special and one-off derivatives built. The car had all-round independent suspension mounted on a tubular chassis to which was added a steel body.

When Fiat stopped production of the 8V, only 114 cars had been built, but 200 examples of the double-overhead camshaft 16-valve engine had been produced – the remained of which were then sold to Siata. With so few engines available production of the 208S was necessarily limited, but that didn't stop Siata offering other variants, such as the long-wheelbase 208SC. Engine spec wasn’t fixed though – and it was developed during the production run. An eight-port cylinder head to make it more efficient was introduced – although only about eight of these were built.