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Cisitalia 202

Cisitalia 202 1940s Italian classic car

Surely, no car has ever qualified as Art, more than the Cisitalia 202! Indeed, MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art, in New York - has had it on display, since 1951. Proof positive of the 202's credentials, in the art department. Designed by Pininfarina, innovative styling was a given. Features were 'integrated', as never before. Mudguard and headlights, for example, bled seamlessly into the front wings. Bodywork lines flowed with a new and striking simplicity. In a few strokes of the Pininfarina pen, automotive design moved on.

Of course, the best design is fully-functional. The 202 had a solid round-tube frame - the better to support its aerodynamic bodywork. The car cut through the air like a scalpel. It was good for 105mph ... 120, in competition mode! And all from just 50bhp - courtesy of a tuned in-line four Fiat 1100 motor. Its 4-speed transmission eased the 202 effortlessly up to such speeds.

Naturally, Pininfarina fingers finessed the fine details. Flip-out door handles were a trademark flourish. The 202's interior was a paragon of minimalism ... and safety! No redundant instrumentation here to distract the eyes from the road ahead! When the 202 was released, Cisitalia had only been around for two years. The company was founded in 1946 - by Piero Dusio - a racing driver, and businessman. His firm's first offering was a single-seater racer. Built by Fiat engineers Giacosa and Savonuzzi, it would subsequently serve as a finely-wrought template for Pininfarina designs. Sadly, though, just a year after the 202's release, Cisitalia was already in trouble. Dusio hankered after a GP car - to be designed by Porsche. Sadly, that did not sit well with his fledgling firm's finances! In lifespan terms, then, Cisitalia was a mere flash in the pan. The 202, though, burned brightly. A mechanical masterpiece, it lit up the world of automotive design!


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