1947 Cisitalia D46

Fantasy Junction is offering this 1947 Cisitalia D46 Monoposto racer. The middle of the 20th century had a lot of people comparing cars and airplanes; from Turbine powered cars to Tailfin madness. These frequent comparisons make it easy to dismiss any comparison between the two. This Cisitalia shows that the comparison was apt long before it was cliché. Just look at this thing, It’s a biplane on the ground, screaming through the turns like a barnstormer on display.

The joy of early aerodynamics is that it was largely guesswork or borrowed. Car manufacturers didn’t have wind tunnels, just a gut feeling of what felt right—which was surprisingly accurate. The only other source of aerodynamics cues were from the airplane industry. The Italians in particular excelled at taking their post-WWII airplane technology and adapting it for the ground (Vespa, anyone?).

The Cisitalia, or Consorzio Industriale Sportive Italia, was financed by Footballer turned textile and sporting goods manufacturer, Piero Dusio. Mr. Dusio had a long passion for motorsport, having competed in the Mille Miglia many times (taking a class victory in a Siata 500 in 1937). He also placed 6th in the 1936 Italian Grand Prix.

The D46 has a Fiat heart in the form of a race prepped Fiat 1100cc engine and Fiat suspension. Wrapped in this elegant Dante Giacosa designed body, the D46 was ready to take all comers in the highly competitive Voiturette class. This example is number 20 of approximately 30 D46s built, and among the very few to feature the expanded side fuel tanks shown here in chrome. The car has extensive race history in Europe and Australia before coming to the States for restoration in the 1980s. I love an inventory page that describes the car as “Pebble Beach ready”. With this Cisitalia, I believe it. Oh how I wish I could strap on a leather helmet and some goggles and tear around a wooded country road in this D46.

Dennis David has more information on the Cisitalia D46 on his Grand Prix Pages.

DISCUSS (3 Comments)

  1. Paul Chenard

    It’s great that you’re featuring a D46; I love the classic lines of the little racer.

    As a strange coincidence, in the past couple of months, I’ve been researching it to create an art piece of one being driven by my favorite pre-war racer Nuvolari.


  2. Welcome H.A.M.B. Alliance and Jalopy Journal Readers :: The Chicane

    […] The 1947 Cisitalia D46: Surely any fan of American roadsters can find kinship with Italy’s immediate post-war monoposto racers. […]

  3. Peter Bourne

    I bought a Cisitalia off Bill Pitt of Eltham. He swapped an Alta racing car. I was hoping that the Cisa was the one that I saw at Templestow hill climb as a teenager.( It was the prettiest car I had seen.) I raced the car about five meetings and sold her to Bill Leech for 350 pound to get my far to UK and try to get into racing.
    Cheers Peter

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