More Driving Pleasure

Last week, Longtime Reader and Car Fiend MadJack posted a link in the Comments to this post, pointing to some older cars once on sale at Hymans.

At the bottom of that page were a few other mouthwatering samples, but the one that grabbed my attention immediately was this gorgeous creature:

1953 Siata 208 CS Coupe

Yes, that’s the extraordinary Fiat 2-liter V8, then and now one of the most efficient and racy engines ever made, and offered in several of Fiat’s own 8V models.

A comment made by the Siata’s current owner said everything you need to know about this Anna Magnani of sports cars:

“It doesn’t like to be driven slowly or conservatively. It needs to be driven with somewhat of an aggressive attitude. Once you get moving, you can’t sit back and relax when you drive the car.”

If you want to know what kind of man I am, then understand that this encapsulates everything I love about driving:  involvement, mastery, aggression and a hint of danger.  (This also applies to sex, but we can talk about that some other time.)

If I just wanted to go somewhere in comfort, I’d rent some ugly thing with cruise control and stay on the interstate.

Not I.  Twisty country roads through areas of scenic beauty… I think you know where I’m going with this one…

…with Anna Magnani in the passenger seat, urging me to go faster, faster.


  1. To each his own.

    I keep getting Siata confused with the Spanish Auto maker SEAT. I don’t find that body work particularly stylish, the instrumentation is weird even for Smiths. and a tiny 2 liter V8 has to be a very busy and fussy little engine.

    ….. and the link took me to the Ruger Roadster with a monster 427 attempting to put power thru skinny tires on wire wheels. Probably great fun until it kills you.

    … and Magnani? No thankyou…..Thoose are seriously crazy eyes.

    The road choices OTOH look great, even if they are 1,000 miles apart from each other

    1. You say “1,000 miles apart” like it’s problematic, but that’s the whole point of the exercise.

  2. Beautiful car.

    I like the way the gauges are sized and laid out, especially the sense of symmetry that got the speedometer turning clockwise and the tachometer turning anti-clockwise.

    I’ve never seen a tach set up that way before,

    1. If you were behind the wheel, you will find that in the “operating zone”, both the tach and speedo needles will be in the lower quadrants and not obscured by your hands in the normal 10 & 2 positions.

      1. I prefer my instruments all rotating the same direction and all pointing up to show optimal operating range. That way I know at a glance when everything is OK and a bad reading shows up instantly without knowing the detail. Any gage not straight up needs further attention.

        Having a Tach that points down and turns the “wrong” way is just too Italian for my tastes.

  3. “It doesn’t like to be driven slowly or conservatively. It needs to be driven with somewhat of an aggressive attitude. ”

    I need to feel some G force on a turn. Nothing bothers me than following someone in an performance car that might as well be driving a Yugo. Miss you don’t need that Lotus, you’d be more at home in a K car.

  4. I think, like many things Italian, this car is just to look at and admire the shape and flowing lines.
    Otherwise totally impractical, and probably always in need of “something more”.

    Like Italian women.

    But Anna M not for me — been ridden hard and put away messy. Quite the opposite of the Siata!

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