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1952 Siata Daina Gran Sport Type B Barchetta For Sale by Auction

Ultra-rare Italian sports car

Matching numbers

Known ownership history

Two-volume, leather-bound history file

Founded in 1926 in Turin, Italy by Giorgio Ambrosini, SIATA (Societa Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori) began life as a tuning firm specialising in the modification of FIATs. When the company, now renamed SIATA Auto Spa, eventually introduced its first production car in 1949, FIAT components, in this case sourced from the Topolino, were the logical choice for the new Amica cabriolet. During the 1950s and on into the '60s a variety of US engines including Crosley, Ford and Chrysler V8s was adopted in addition to FIAT's home-grown motors.

SIATA's Daina model of the early 1950s was based on the FIAT 1400 and built in both open barchetta and coup forms, most of the former being bodied by Stabilimenti Farina and the latter by Bertone. Later cars were designated 'SL' (Scatolato Lamiera

literally: sheet metal box). The Daina used the FIAT 1400 overhead-valve engine, modified by SIATA with a special cylinder head, pistons and twin-carburettor inlet manifold. A 1, 500cc unit was available as an option. SIATA was active in racing from its earliest days, and a Daina barchetta driven by Dick Irish and Bob Fergus won its class in the inaugural Sebring 12 Hours race of 1952, finishing 3rd overall ahead of many larger-engined cars. Lightweight, agile and technologically straightforward, these charming little

sports cars from Turin proved extremely popular among the gentleman racers of the post-WW2 period, especially in the USA.

The car offered here, chassis number 'SL 0245 B', was delivered new through Fergus Motors in New York City in 1952 carrying a beautifully minimalist body handcrafted in aluminium by Stabilimenti Farina of Turin. Although the original owner's identity is not known, by 1958 the car was owned by Bernard Ryan, a resident of New Jersey, who kept it

for some 25 years before passing it to Stanley Weiss, also of New York.

In 1984 Weiss commissioned a major restoration costing close to US$40, 000. It was at this time that the car was refinished in the elegant silver and red colour combination in which it presents today. Mechanical and bodywork restoration was undertaken by Works Automotive Ltd of Port Jefferson, New York with over 600 man-hours involved, while Showtime Auto Restoration Inc of Setauket, New York carried out the meticulous preparation and repaint. George Whitman fitted a new interior. Sadly, Stanley Weiss died in 1999 and 'SL 0245 B' was offered for sale by his estate at the Pebble Beach auction where it sold for $34, 500.

In June 2002 the SIATA was bought by Willem Van Huystee of Pennsylvania, USA. Huystee immediately entered the car in the 2002 Meadowbrook Concours d'Elegance where it won both the 'Best Race Car', and 'The Way It Was' awards. Later in September of the same year Huystee and 'SL 0245 B' entered the Radnor Hunt Concours d'Elegance where it again won, on this occasion bagging the 'Radnor Hunt Chairman's Trophy'. In 2003 the car was displayed at the New York Auto Show before participating in the Mille Miglia and Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Over the next couple of years Huystee entered 'SL 0245 B' in various other concours before selling the car in February 2007, at which point the mileage was noted as 40, 729.

The SIATA's next custodians were Brian and Susan Currie of California, throughout whose ownership it was entered in numerous concours and participated at several California Mille events while being maintained to the highest level. In the summer of 2010 the body was prepared and repainted by Velasquez Auto Body in Palm Desert, California. All the aforementioned maintenance and restoration work is well documented in the beautiful accompanying Schedoni leather-bound history file, which Girardo & Co researched and compiled when they offered the car for sale back in 2017.

The current Italian owner acquired 'SL 0245 B' from Girardo & Co in 2017 and registered it in the UK as 'UXS 140'. With a view to using and enjoying the car, he spent in excess of 23, 000 with a marque specialist in Italy for comprehensively servicing and preparing the SIATA for long-distance road touring. He also acquired a spare, period-correct 1, 900cc corsa engine in order to preserve the precious original unit, whose number matches that of the chassis. The fruits of said labour were well and truly enjoyed on both the 2018 and 2019 editions of the world-famous Mille Miglia Storica. As evidenced by the photographs, the car presents in exceptional condition, both outside and in.

Choosing a perfect car for the Mille Miglia is a tricky choice but the SIATA nails the brief. Rarity is, of course, of paramount importance. Do you really want to be driving 'another Gullwing' or be the last in a long line of Jaguar XK120s, for example? Comfort is another important consideration; the driving days on the rally are long and often begin at the crack of dawn. This Daina Gran Sport strikes the perfect balance, while the fact that it is open-topped means you can properly make the most of the balmy Italian sunshine. There can be few better cars in which to enjoy the most beautiful race in the world. Enticingly, this Daina Gran Sport is also eligible for many other prestigious motoring events including the Targa Florio and Colorado Grand.


Daina Gran Sport Type B Barchetta is a seldom-seen car, and even rarer retaining its original engine as in this case. As graceful as Sophia Loren and as rare as hens' teeth, this fully matching-numbers Daina Gran Sport is a postwar sports car ideal for the most discerning collectors looking for a worthy and alternative jewel with which to stand out on the world-famous Mille Miglia.

Please note that if this vehicle remains within Belgium the reduced rate of Import VAT at 6% will be charged on the hammer price. Please note that if you purchase as an EU Company, the VAT amount will be calculated based on your registered country's rate. Import rates to other EU Countries may vary and an administration fee will be charged to prepare the necessary customs clearances with the Bonhams Customs Agents. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department or our recommended shippers.

NOTICE COLLECTIONS, TRANSPORT AND STORAGE Purchases will only be released when cleared funds are received.

All vehicles must be collected from the Bonhams|Cars Marquee by 12noon on Monday 9 October 2023. Customers must notify BY EMAIL ONLY to Suzanne Kress , using the button below, no later than 8pm on the day of the Sale.
Please note that if Suzanne Kress hasn't received your notification on Sunday evening, all vehicles will be automatically removed to a temporary storage facility by the logistics company EXCLUTRANS BV on Monday 9 October at your expense and risk.

€185 + VAT per motor car/ motorcycle

First 14 days
€25 + VAT per motor car/ motorcycle per day
Payment of the uplift & storage charges and transport must be arranged with EXCLUTRANS BV. Collection is strictly by appointment only and at least 24-hours notice must be given.

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Lots 103, 104, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 119, 124, 134, 145, 150, 151, 155, 169, 185, 186
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