Art Appreciation: Cisitalia 202 Spider Nuvolari

Nuvolari and Hellé Nice at the 1935 GP de Pau

A Visit to the Mario Righini Collection

Ex-Nuvolari Alfa 8C 2300

Sports Car Digest visited the incomparable Mario Righini Collection outside Modena. It’s an astounding assortment of significant sportscars; including this Ex-Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 in which he won the 1933 Targa Florio and Monza GPs.

Head over to Sports Car Digest for the complete gallery.

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.