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Vignale Fiat 8V Coupe Michelotti 1955 #106*000066
Vignale Fiat 8V Coupe Michelotti 1955 #106*000066
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One of ten 8V chassis delivered to Vignale, this example was fitted with the high performance Tipo 104*002 engine that featured a pair of dual barrel Weber carburettors. It was acquired new by Italian privateer racer Mario Bonacina, who was a member of the Scuderia Mendina. He commissioned Vignale to fit the car with a Giovanni Michelotti Coupe body in time for the 1955 Mille Miglia. Accordingly, this one-off design was dubbed the Tipo Mille Miglia 55 by Michelotti. 

Shortly after the car was completed, it was shown at the Turin Motor Show but just for the opening day as it was off to Brescia for the Mille Miglia start. Bonacina started at 4:31 am but sadly retired with a mechanical failure. In 1956, chassis 000066 was sold to a Milan-based businessman and by 1958 made its way to the United States.

California based Shelly Pfeiffer would own the car through to 1981. During this period, the engine failed and was replaced by a much easier to maintain four-cylinder Chevrolet engine. In 1981, the ex-Mille Miglia 8V was acquired by Pfeiffer's friend Daniel Simpson. He tracked down the original engine but the owner was reluctant to sell it as it powered his Zagato bodied 8V. After 13 years, Simpson did manage persuade the owner to sell the engine and it could be installed once again in the Vignale Coupe. In the early 2010s, the car was acquired by Belgian 8V enthusiast Jan de Reu, who had it comprehensively restored by Dutch specialists Strada e Corsa. It has since been shown in events on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2018 it won "Best of show" at the Concours d'Elegance Paleis Het Loo, the Netherlands.



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