Siata Daina Gran Sport N. SL0217
The same car was offered on eBay last month and I sent a few corrections to the descriptive text. The text has been improved now but still has a couple of errors, particularly to the expansion of SIATA = Societa Italiana Auto Trasfomazione Accessori. I was out of town for the close last month and failed to pay attention to what the car was bid to. I guess it did not sell or the buyer failed to follow through?
It should be mentioned that this is a car from the early portion of the series and has a distinct difference from the later production that was more plentiful ... which is not to say "common" at all. It is probably a case of "beauty and the eye of the beholder" as to which you might find more appealing. Shortly after SL*0217 was made, there was a design change to move the engine rearward, behind the front cross-member (rather than over it) and this both lowered the center of gravity and moved the engine mass to a better location from a balance standpoint. Externally, the engine move was accompanied by a change in the sheet metal above and behind the grille opening. This car has about 3-4 inches (75-100mm) between the grille opening and the forward edge of the bonnet. The car in Nik's MM2004 photo is from a later part of production as the bonnet opening starts about 10-14 inches (250-350mm) behind the grille. The chassis number is another clue as the later cars have a "B" suffix that this car does not.
The dry-sumped Volvo (B16) engine history (as discoverd 1974) may indicate history traceable back to 1966? A car was offered out of Ohio (Road and Track, September 1966) as "1952 Siata Daina Gran Sport - Volvo". Earlier history may be difficult or easy to find? Or we may find that there was more than one Siata-Volvo. But, we already know that there was more than one!
The Buick-Olds-Pontiac alloy 215 was once a reasonable alternative to heavier V8 engines but I think that there are many better options today. Many of them are simply more modern 4-cylinder engines of almost any maker or type between 1.5 and 2.4 liters. However, only one configuration is truly original and that is the form in which the car is likely to be accepted to most events in the world that are open to such cars. And this is not in that configuration. But, you're not going to get into the London-Brighton in any case! Depends on what you want out of the car. The Alfa is probably fine (improved even) from a driving standpoint, and the rest of the car should be up to the performance potential ... with the oversize tires, but it is really no better than many other alternatives ... if this was not the Alfa BB.
John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry