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Unicorn Siata coming to Hampton Court

This striking 1953 Siata 208 CS Balbo is one of only nine built of which seven survive and is rarely seen in public. That is set to change from 30 August to 1 September when the Italian exotic appears at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court. 

Siata was a car accessory company (Società Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori) founded in Turin in 1926 by Giorgio Ambrosini. It started building its own cars after WW2, specialising in cute low-powered sports cars using Fiat engines. It stepped up to 1.4-1.8 litres with the Daina before taking the leap to V8 power with the 208S in the mid-50s.

The company then took a sharp left turn with the Enrico Fumia designed Siata Spring. Despite beind based on extensive market research and powered by a Fiat 850cc engine, the Noddyesque car was a flop and Siata was defunct by 1970.

1953 Siata 208 CS Balbo to appear at the Concours of Elegance 2024

This car comes from a far more glamorous era. Chassis CS 071 is powered by Fiat’s Otto Vu motor, wears a Carrozzeria Balbo-styled aluminium coupé body and has been in one family ownership since 1959, having had a long and varied history in the USA.

Well-known dealer Tony Pompeo brought it into the States new and it was competed widely in events across the North East from 1953. After its competition career was over it was spotted in a Queens, New York car lot by Dr Julius Eisenstark in 1959. 

1953 Siata 208 CS Balbo to appear at the Concours of Elegance 2024

Dr Eisenstark bought it and turned it into a daily driver, but in 2017 it was involved in an accident that prompted its full restoration by Automotive Restorations Inc. of Stratford, Connecticut.

The resulting car was good enough to take a class win at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 2018, as well as appearing on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Martin. 

Find out more information and get tickets to the Concours of Elegance here.

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