1994 Italian Car Registry
Yes. The 1994 statement about the "Tipo B" designation is inaccurate. But I had no reason to think so in 1994! New information flows all the time and research was done just this year that revealed the "202B" moniker that was given to 129SC. Incidently, the 129SC that is known today has been described as a coupe by Stabilimenti Farina. This does not guarantee that there was not a cabriolet by Vignale with the same basic chassis number, so I have to ask Paolo why he believes that the cabriolet at the 1949 Villa d'Este (with Vignale badge?) might be "129SC"?
The 1994 edition of The Italian Car Registry was a "progress report" on my own study of a large number of Italian cars. This was made quite clear in the many introductory pages that many have ignored. I tended to trust certain sources as having "inside information" that has not always proven to be absolutely correct when looking at individual cars. Some of this is quite understandable. I continue to seek to remove such undocumented claims from my listings when i come across them.
Information had come from Nino Balestra that was seemingly based on factory records and this indicated that the "Tipo B" break-point came between chassis 129 and chassis 130. I have now learned to not trust these kinds of statements precisely (without documentation) even if they sometimes turn out to be generally true. Sometimes actual documentation does not tell the full story of how complex the real world is and was when compared to what was promoted by various builders, not just Cisitalia. I do not know what the "202B" statement was based on originally but it could have been a vague statement made by either Carlo Dusio or even Piero Dusio himself? Sometimes we have only such statements to work with. And we students become "trapped" when we pass those statements on as if they are "fact".
When faced with evidence that contradicts what we've been told even by trusted sources, we should go back and review other things that we have learned from those same "trusted" sources. I now have doubts about a great many things that I had no reason to doubt in 1994. As you know, Sergio, Cisitalia is proving to be a very interesting and convoluted study!
There is some additional inconsistency that comes from some early records. The implication has been that the 202B had power raised to 60HP in the normal versions and 66HP in the "MM" versions and yet factory correspondence (from 1952?) indicates that 130SC had 55HP when delivered. I say again, each car can be a special case and should be considered individually. Which is why I am willing to accept the statement that 113SC is a "Tipo 202B" until we can say otherwise. It is possible that the claim was made casually but it is equally likely that the ID plate says just that. Then we get to hope that the ID plate is still the original!
I suppose it is possible to invent stories that are more convoluted than what we are learning about Cisitalia production and numbering, but what has been learned so far about Cisitalia numbering is already confusing enough! This is why I consider it very important to gather as many details as we can from the cars themselves. Chassis numbers (precisely recording how all characters appear, with letter prefixes, suffixes and any other characters), engine numbers (ditto for numbers that generally appear on both sides of the engine), block casting dates (generally low on the right side of the block ... when they are found) and body numbers (along with configuration) are all important parts of any thorough study. Pinin Farina, Stabilimenti Farina and Vignale each had their own numbering systems and each seems to have applied their system in different ways. There can be clues in this for us.
Less certain as to potential impications will be some accessory numbers, such as the type & serial numbers of each magneto and carburetor. Steering boxes were sometimes different from car to car. Wheel rims can be dated and sizes can vary. It can be that the Borrani markings simply changed. Some cars may have Abarth parts that were numbered ... or not.
Then we get to consider what is known of the history of each individual car, important to the car itself but also to others in a general sense and sometimes in specific ways. Once a car has been identified positively as being the car that did something, we can remove that possibility for all of the other cars that seem to be good candidates for having made the same history.
Personally, I think it is unlikely that any coachbuilder cared even a little bit whether a car was called "202", "202B", "202C" or "202SC". So, I would not go looking for exclusive characteristics in the body features, whether grille bars or bent-windscreens, in order to define this characteristic.
John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
Last edited by iicarJohn; 11-06-2011 at 03:21 PM.