1952 Fiat 8V Supersonic
Fiat designed the 8V Supersonic to challenge their Italian rivals in racing’s 2.0-liter GT class. True to its intentions, this diamond in the rough made its mark on racing history, but went mostly unnoticed by the car-buying public. The 8V or “Otto Vu” was so named to avoid any conflict with Ford, who Fiat incorrectly presumed to have a copyright on the term “V8.” The minute 70-degree V8 under the hood breathed through dual Weber carburetors and was comprised of two four-cylinder blocks mounted on a common crankcase. The roughly 110-horsepower made by the 8V Supersonic’s engine proved to be a strong match for the V12s of Ferrari, Maserati’s straight 6, and Lancia’s V6. Contributing largely to the 8Vs success on track was a tube frame chassis with independent suspension all around. In Supersonic guise – a “jet-age” body designed by Ghia for the American market – the 8V is a standout. Only eight models were produced, making this driving experience a speedy rarity.