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Ah yes, I forgot to mention that the car on eBay has the wrong (or no) headlamp rims. The car in the 1994 Mille Miglia photo has the correct headlight rims. Also you can see how most (if not all) of the Gran Sports were originally painted in two-tone paint jobs. I think they look better with the two-tone paint.

Peter Zobian
 

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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
 

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This is another Daina with bodywork of uncertain origin, (was?) owned by a UK-based collector of Nik's aquaintance ;). It used to live only about 10 miles from me, in storage under a dust sheet. I've sat in it but no more than that. Certainly, my impression of the restoration was that it was near-perfect. This car was also featured in Auto Italia magazine several years ago, much better photos and more detailed information can be found there, if anyone has a copy.

Alex.
 

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Siata Gran Sport - early vs. late

Some earlier Gran Sport cars did not have the same headlight trim detail as the MM2004 car (Nik's photo) referred to by Peter. My father had SL*0211 and I've worked on other Stabilimenti Farina cars that had a different style of headlamp ring that seemed more hand-formed (not stamped and then hand-fitted) than was done later. This is another example of why it can be very important to a car's true provenance to learn from other similar cars but not necessarily take every "lesson" too literally.
 

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In 1962 or thereabouts, I bought my first Siata Gran Sport in Lansing, Michigan (USA) and it had a Volvo motor. In fact, I bought it at a Volvo Garage. The garage owners name was Bruce. I don't remember his last name but he later raced AC Cobra cars and was fairly famous - at least in the midwest (I think he helped close down the races at Put-In-Bay, Ohio). I can not remember the chassis number of the Siata. It was yellow.

Peter Zobian
 

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I would say that you are way low. A concours restoration of an all original Siata Daina Gran Sport should bring around twice that $80K figure, or perhaps even more.
Peter,

You may say that, but neither the auction records nor any of the price guides agree with you. They all point to a number somewhere between $80K - $90K for a #1 car. That's not to say that a particular buyer in a particular sale won't decide to pay more than 'market price', but the market isn't even remotely close to what you suggest. But they're very pretty cars, and this one certainly deserves to do reasonably well--replacement engine or not.
 

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Siata Daina berlinetta ... ref "Alex"

Alex,

This is SL*0201*S. There are certainly some mysteries. I saw the car many years ago in the UK, in the garage of one "Alex" ... but a different "Alex" to the one here on the AlfaBB. It was partially disassembled for some work and I got to look it over pretty well, photograph it and take some notes. As an anomaly in the series, it probably has few lessons for the rest of the production. Some of the answers we seek about it will probably come only from finding specific information about the actual car. Information that eludes us thus far. It came from someone named "Mannheimer" in Switzerland, was auctioned 1994 to the UK. Before Switzerland, it reportedly came from the USA.

Who made the body? In some ways, this car looks as if it could have been done by Vignale except that some of the constructional details (bonnet framework, etc.) really do not look to be typical of Vignale's work of the day. It is even possible that the body was done outside of Italy.

Vignale did do at least one body on a Daina chassis. It appears on their ledger with the date 21 August 1953 but unfortunately does not list any chassis number or customer data.

Unique (so far) is the "Tipo" designation on the ID plate which says "Tipo 0201". Perhaps someone slipped up and put the engine number in the "Tipo" box on the ID plate, but I rather doubt it. Siata was a bit fanciful in their use of varying "Tipo" designations in the Siata 208 series so perhaps this is another similar example?

I would expect this *0201* chassis number to have been issued in 1951 or perhaps even earlier, albeit perhaps initially without the "S" suffix? If this car was bodied this way as late as 1953, and if it was not a show chassis that simply sat around for a time, then it probably had an earlier history with an earlier body as well. But ... there is that "S" suffix to the chassis number! This might indicate the "Sport" configuration which seems to mean 1500cc, even if that is not absolutely certain. The 1500cc variation may postdate 1951? I'll have to do some checking through the files as it has been quite some time since I made an attempt to figure something out about this car. I've been hoping that one day a revelation would come in the form of a flash ... or a phone call ... or a letter ... or an email. I've not been waiting for "divine inspiration" on this as I have some much more important questions for that moment!

More to follow.

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
 

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Values?

No, I am not going to venture an opinion. However, the Gran Sport SL*0264*B sold early 2004 at one of the Scottsdale/Phoenix auctions (I think) for well over $100k ... fitted with a Chevy. have a note of the amount and the date somewhere. I'm not sure that anyone else knows it, but this is an important car historically, at least from a racing standpoint. My father acquired the original engine from SL*0264*B in a Simca 8 Sport coupe that I still have. The Simca is sort of a "poor man's Cisitalia" (Facel body patterned after Stabilimenti Farina) and is kind of "cool" in that it has a Palm Springs participant plaque on the dash. Unfortunately, the Siata engine disappeared out of my father's garage perhaps five years ago? I wonder where it is now?

The sales of these cars are so few and far between, and the nature of each car so different, that I think that anyone who tries to be too precise about a value guesstimate is not being realistic. Value guides are almost always laughably inaccurate for cars that are of truly limited production. This is not a case of "only forty yellow cars were built with a four-speed on a particular Tuesday in May"!
 

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english Daina

This is another Daina with bodywork of uncertain origin, (was?) owned by a UK-based collector of Nik's aquaintance ;). It used to live only about 10 miles from me, in storage under a dust sheet. I've sat in it but no more than that. Certainly, my impression of the restoration was that it was near-perfect. This car was also featured in Auto Italia magazine several years ago, much better photos and more detailed information can be found there, if anyone has a copy.



Alex.
Yes The owner doesnt really know who did the body on this siata but thinks it is a Balbo.. Very strange anyway.. is that Mercedes 180 tail lights?? :) It doesny really LOOK like an Italian body does it..
 

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Siata Gran Sport - Volvo

Peter

How many Gran Sports have you had?

I have a note that you owned SL*0244*B as of around 1968. The engine, originally SL*0244*B, is not known for that car. It went, perhaps through Rick Cole, to Paul Sackron, was fitted with Fiat 124 engine, and then went through some other hands before going to Germany and then more recently France.

I have an idea that SL*0217 was yellow when it turned up in the 1970's but will have to check that. It also received a Fiat 124 for a while.

Do you remember when and where you sold the Volvo-engined car? Do you remember which engine (B16 or B18) ... and was it dry-sumped?

All the best.

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
 

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auction

No, I am not going to venture an opinion. However, the Gran Sport SL*0264*B sold early 2004 at one of the Scottsdale/Phoenix auctions (I think) for well over $100k ... fitted with a Chevy. have a note of the amount and the date somewhere. I'm not sure that anyone else knows it, but this is an important car historically, at least from a racing standpoint. My father acquired the original engine from SL*0264*B in a Simca 8 Sport coupe that I still have. The Simca is sort of a "poor man's Cisitalia" (Facel body patterned after Stabilimenti Farina) and is kind of "cool" in that it has a Palm Springs participant plaque on the dash. Unfortunately, the Siata engine disappeared out of my father's garage perhaps five years ago? I wonder where it is now?

The sales of these cars are so few and far between, and the nature of each car so different, that I think that anyone who tries to be too precise about a value guesstimate is not being realistic. Value guides are almost always laughably inaccurate for cars that are of truly limited production. This is not a case of "only forty yellow cars were built with a four-speed on a particular Tuesday in May"!
I checked the auction price

These are detatils from Barratt jackson 2004 auction

Sale Details SOLD at $135,000
SCM Price Guide Valuation:

Auction Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale, AZ January 22, 2004
Lot# 735
Vehicle Information
Chassis # SL 0264B Engine #
Engine Type V8 Transmission 4 Spd Manual
Displacement 327-ci Horsepower
Induction Drive LHD
Odometer 0 km Condition 2
Features
Wheels Chrome Wires Seats Bucket
Exterior Burgundy
n/a top Interior black leather
 

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Value guides are almost always laughably inaccurate for cars that are of truly limited production. This is not a case of "only forty yellow cars were built with a four-speed on a particular Tuesday in May"!
I certainly wouldn't take issue with that. Etceterini never get enough respect, and it's tough to extrapolate from a very few public sales.
 

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Again another great threat in the greatest section of this Board (Alfa guys are missing out) :)

John, when you got a minute, there is a Simca 9 Sport on eBay (See another threat in this section) and I welcome comments on those cars.

I checked the SMC database on values. While John is right on with guides for cars like this, the results over the last couple of years show a nice trend:
  • 1952 Gran Sport - Sold 1/04: $135k
  • 1951 Gran Sport - Sold 5/02: $77k
  • 1952 Gran Sport - Not Sold 8/00: $40k
  • 1952 Gran Sport - Sold 8/99: $34.5k
Mike
 

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Daniel Cytrynowicz had a Diana spider with a Fiat 124 pushrod motor he sold and now has another spider which he is restoring correctly. Sorry, but don't have the S/Ns handy...
 

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I checked the SMC database on values. While John is right on with guides for cars like this, the results over the last couple of years show a nice trend:
  • 1952 Gran Sport - Sold 1/04: $135k
  • 1951 Gran Sport - Sold 5/02: $77k
  • 1952 Gran Sport - Not Sold 8/00: $40k
  • 1952 Gran Sport - Sold 8/99: $34.5k
I really don't want to get hung up on value, but "trends" consisting of 4 auction sales over 5 years, the last of which was 4 years ago may not be any more reliable than those price guides. Were those 4 cars in the same condition? (The $135K car was #2. If the $77K car was also #2, that's a very different trend than if the $77K car was #3.)
 

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Values?

Life and other forms of reality are not well described by statistics that are better left to unimportant and contrived arenas ... like announcing professional sports.

I frequently do not pay attention to prices and perceived values as that is not what these cars are about for me. I might not even be able to tell you easily the identities of each and every car that has been sold at auction for even all four cars listed above by "mbaum". Even so, I have kept a few notes over the past 25 years or so, interspersed with more important historical events. I'm sure others can do better and/or add to this. Here are my observations as to why simple "growth" charts cannot tell us a real story. I cannot place precise dates on many of these events but maybe we can do this collectively. It might be an interesting exercise ... or it might be of no use at all? Limiting the observations to the "Gran Sport" cars:

SL*0208 was sold USA>USA in October of 2007 at a price that was not disclosed to me (or I failed to note it) but was surely less than U.S. $40k. For all I know, it might have been under $30k? It is a serious project that had some work done already but was needing much more ... plus some parts.

SL*0210 sold 1991 within the USA without its original engine, transmission or rear end. Don't know price details.

SL*0211 was purchased by my father in 1977. I do not recall for sure, but the price might have been U.S. $800 or $1100? It was a serious project and had an Alfa Giulietta engine and gearbox fitted in place of the Fiat-Siata 1400. He sold it in 1987 to Italy and I do not know the price even if I could probably find out. It has had at least four owners in Italy since that time.

SL*0216 (Ford V8) was sold less than ten years ago from the USA to Europe and has been offered in Europe during the last few years. More than once if I've heard correctly.

SL*0217 most recently traded (maybe 6-8 years ago?) in "like kind"(?). That is, the Siata was acquired through the trade of a Stanguellini Formula Junior. So, I guess we'd have to figure out what the Stanguellini was worth at the time? It was offered in April, 2008 on eBay and either failed to sell or the supposed buyer failed to pay? But that detail should be part of any "trend" I should think.

SL*0229*B has been sold within the last 20 years. Precisely when, where and how much. Dunno (Don't know). One of the readers of this thread could probably tell us more.

SL*0233*B, arguably the most important Gran Sport from a racing-history sense (third overall at Sebring 1952), has been sold within the last 10 years in the USA. Price and timing details? Dunno.

SL*0236*B, after being sold less than 20 years ago from the USA to Europe, was traded in Europe approximately 10-15 years ago for a Cisitalia 202 Cabriolet. Was it an "even" trade? Dunno.

SL*0238*B sold in the last 15 years from USA to Germany.

SL*0242*B was scrapped 1982 ... evidently it was worth nothing. The "scrapper" still has another Siata. Seems almost like they aren't rare at all!

SL*0244*B sold May, 1991 for U.S. $52,400 plus 10% commission. Back when, although not at a "high", the dollar was worth something! Of course, that sales figure was published and I've known other published figures that lie ... or which do not tell the whole truth, the truth sometimes being established by post-auction negotiations that never become published.

SL*0245*B sold June 2002 (after about two years "for sale") for an undisclosed sum within the USA. It was offered January 2007 at U.S. $135k. Did it sell? Dunno.

SL*0251*B sold less than 20 years ago from USA to Europe. Do we see any kind of "trend" in that?

SL*0252*B sold less than 15 years ago from the USA to Europe. Do we see any kind of "trend" being reinforced in that?

SL*0255*B sold in February of 2008 from USA to Canada for an undisclosed sum.

SL*0256*B was scrapped many years ago ... although a few parts were saved.

SL*0259*B was scrapped many years ago.

SL*0262*B was sold 1987 from the USA to Belgium.

SL*0264*B (Chevrolet engine) was offered 1992 (price was ?????), then again 2000/2001 at U.S. $35k, then November, 2002 to May, 2003 at U.S. $20,000 and it was sold at some point. Then, as I was getting ready to sell my soul to make an offer so that I could reunite chassis and engine, I learned that it was sold again at auction January, 2004 for the already disclosed figure of $135k. Then I had a look for the engine at my father's and ... it was gone! So, I guess I lucked out ... in a way?

SL*0266*B was offered October 1994 in Italy.

SL*0272*B sold circa July 2003 within the USA.

SL*0280*B was purchased January 1982 by my father for $1500 needing restoration which turned out to be quite interesting as it had not only an alloy body, but was the thinnest alloy I've ever seen on any car. The original Fiat-Siata engine block was freeze-crack damaged (not unusual for these engines) and we fitted a different block (SL*0231*B) while maintaining the original alongside. Due to a divorce-motivated property split, it was sold 1988 and I do not recall the price even if I could probably find out. The car was offered several times in the late 1990's and seemed impossible to sell. It seemed to bounce from dealer to dealer for a time. Last note I have is that it was offered by Coys August 2001 at U.S. $65k. Don't know the sales price but it next turned up circa 2003 ... in Germany. A very special car!

SL*0281*B was sold in the last ten years from the USA ... to Germany.

SL*0307*B was sold circa 2002 in the USA in a deal between two friends and we don't get to know the details unless one or both share them.

SL*0308*B was sold 1997 within Italy.

I have shown you how much I don't know. In my defense, for the purpose of this listing, I have ignored several cars that are with long-time owners. And, I could probably go through my files and fill in a few details.

Any additional information from any of you?

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
 

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How much I don't know ...

I guess I should have said, "I have shown you A LITTLE BIT about how much I don't know."! Aside from the obvious lack of detail about a lot of the sales information, mostly because I never really considered it my business to ask, I'm quite sure that all my notes do not incorporate a lot of information that has simply not come my way ... or that I was too distracted to note at the time. Probably thought I'd remember more?

As far as the trend of cars going to Europe goes, I'm not sure that the "etceterini" are underappreciated here in the USA. I simply think that we Americans are no longer the (almost) sole players on the field with almost no competition. And, despite the rising costs of energy, the prices of many cars have gotten to the point where the shipping costs are a small part of the total equation. Something similar happened in the 1970's when a bunch of Japanese had financial power and bought a bunch of cool cars. Some said we would never see them them again, but many have trickled back into the market as fortunes have changed. Today, many others have awakened to this art form that has lots of side-attractions and simple fun-factor. Those who have paid attention have found that a lot of the unusual cars are in the USA simply because we could afford to have them when the cars were either new or during other tough economic times (when times are often tougher elsewhere) when the cars were used and had to go to pay bills or simply make space.

Sometimes a passion requires certain sacrifices ... if it cannot be indulged without effort.

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
 

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Siata Daina

Peter

How many Gran Sports have you had?

I have a note that you owned SL*0244*B as of around 1968. The engine, originally SL*0244*B, is not known for that car. It went, perhaps through Rick Cole, to Paul Sackron, was fitted with Fiat 124 engine, and then went through some other hands before going to Germany and then more recently France.

I have an idea that SL*0217 was yellow when it turned up in the 1970's but will have to check that. It also received a Fiat 124 for a while.

Do you remember when and where you sold the Volvo-engined car? Do you remember which engine (B16 or B18) ... and was it dry-sumped?

All the best.

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
John,

I apologize, I should know better than making any statement that a Siata (or any limited production Italian car from a small company) has to be a particular way to be correct. I better than most, certainly know that differences can exist from car to car, especially in the "etceterinis" we have loved for so many years.

To answer your question, I have owned 6 or 7 Siata Daina cars. One Daina 1400 berlinetta, one Daina 1800 berlinetta (which I still own), and four or five Gran Sports. These include at least three early chassis cars (one of which was a one-off Motto aluminum bodied spider, and two later chassis Gran Sports. You are correct, I did own SL*0244B*, but I think it was later than 1968 - after I moved to California in 1978.

I sold the yellow Gran Sport with the Volvo motor while I still lived in the East Lansing, Michigan area - sometime in the mid-1960's I think. I can't remember if it was a B16 or B18, and I don't remember it as being dry sumped. I can't remember who I sold it to - I was a college student then and also owned a sports car garage, so a lot of cars came and went.

As for current prices, a dealer in the Netherlands has a Gran Sport now that needs to be restored - the body work appears to be done - and he has it priced at 88,000 Euros - about $137,000 at today's rate of exchange. I think the day of the $80K Siata Daina Gran Sport may be limited. Of course, if one has enough money, one could spend $1.4 million for a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertible. I would not!

I loved my Siata cars, and I'm sorry I never had enough money to keep them all.

All the best,

Peter Zobian
 

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Life and other forms of reality are not well described by statistics that are better left to unimportant and contrived arenas ... like announcing professional sports. ... Here are my observations as to why simple "growth" charts cannot tell us a real story...
Here's another reason why simple growth charts are often less than useful. The eBay car apparently sold for $80,000 (I say 'apparently' as the successful bidder appears to be a total flake, who defaulted on his last couple of transactions). Thus Mike's chart becomes:

1952 Gran Sport - Maybe Sold 5/08: $80k
1952 Gran Sport - Sold 1/04: $135k
1951 Gran Sport - Sold 5/02: $77k
1952 Gran Sport - Not Sold 8/00: $40k
1952 Gran Sport - Sold 8/99: $34.5k

Does anyone really believe that these cars have declined in value over the last 4 years?? Conversely, it's utterly implausible that they have only increased $3k in 6 years.

I suspect the only thing it really demonstrates is that eBay is a lousy place to try to sell cars like this. And that 'growth' charts are rarely that linear.
 
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