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Discussion Starter #1
My father has decided to offer his 1948 Siata SC, chassis SC006. It is not cheap! The attached pdf tells all we might need to know but not all we'd like to know about the Siata SC series of 1948 and three cars bodied similarly by Motto in "spider siluro" form.

Described in the entry as a "Fiat", this very special Siata finished second in the Sport 750 category on its first outing, the 1949 Mille Miglia. SC006 participated in six Mille Miglia races from 1949 to 1955, missing only 1953. Also a Targa Florio (1950), and many other racing events including several hill-climb races. It should be eligible for darn near everything aside from the London-Brighton and maybe Le Mans?

This Siata is quite small, so small-ish people will be more comfortable than others. Even so, at five feet, eleven, I have no problem getting in and driving it. Your co-driver/navigator should be a friend as you will be close!

I will share more later about what we can pretend to know about the entire SC series. Mysteries and mere questions remain!

Enjoy!
 

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Hi John,

Some 10 to 15 years ago, a Topolino Siata engine got my attention in Imola where it was offered for sale.
I was looking for parts for my Daina at that time so I was focused on everything with the name Siata. I remember I was considering to buy it but as I couldn’t use it and seen my rather low budget for the entire jumble weekend , I finally did not buy it. I regret it now of course as nowadays, most of such exotic parts have disapeared from the market.
I think it had a downdraft carburettor so I would think the 22DRS.
Now you mention the Weber 28DR.
Am I right that the 28DR was a horizontal carb?
Weber classified that carb with the horizontal carbs and not with the 26DR, 30DR, 32DR and even the 36DR that are downdraft carbs.
Weber mensions somewhere that they provided ( made?) the 28DR especially for the Siata topolino head with its special manifold. Do you know of other applications for that 28DR?
Weber mentioned also another horizontal carb to be used on such Topolino Siata head, the Weber 26 DOV.

Would it be possible to add here some pictures of the engine of the car, including maybe the carb and manifold ?

Thanks btw for sharing with us the fine story of that car.
Rgds from Belgium,

Thierry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Weber 28DR

Thank you Thierry!

These are downdraft ("downdraught") carburetors. No accelerator pump evident. Manual choking seems to be most effective when cold.

Here are a couple of photos taken during a calm moment during the drive home almost six years ago.

All my best!

John
 

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Hi John,

Thank you for the pictures and for the correction on my “English” of course, I know it is not that perfect . I looked for “draught “ in the English – Dutch dictionary and it make sense . In dutch we call it a “valstroomcarburator”, if I would translate this literally, it would be something like 'fallstream carb'.

I asked you for pictures because the old Weber stuff always makes me curious . Not that it makes me an expert in this matter but I just like the story of those early Weber carbs . Especially the mistery of the apparently inconsequent nomenclature that Weber gave at her carbs during that periode and the different metals that Weber used for making all the different types, is what puzzles me.

Btw I bought some 32dr12SP and 32dr16sp carbs on Ebay.com several years ago. Maybe they are the carbs you mentioned in your Weber resumé. They have both the same type of nomenclature but they have some differences in the housing, the length of the base and in the cover, the 32dr16sp being longer and having a siphon filter incorporated in the cover of the carb.
Some of them have received a round label that says: F.T. GRISWOLD MFG CO. Would you know this company by any chance? Could it be that they prepared those Webers for the US market? Above that label they received a big aluminium ring for adapting an air filter I guess ( see second picture). It doesn't look very Italian and I have not seen those rings in the Weber catalogs anywhere.

So the 28DR were downdraught carbs. Were they also used on the lateral valved Topolino engines?
Thanks to your fotos, I now know that there were two carbs on that manifold, something like on the Daina? Was the manifold also in aluminium ?
The first picture, from an early Weber catalog, shows the different Weber carbs made for the Fiat - Topolino.
The '28' I would think refers to the 28DR or was there a 28DOV?
The 26DOV being a horizontal carb, makes me suppose that Siata made at least two different manifolds for the Topo, one for the downdraught carbs, con valvole a testa, and one for the horizontal carb, con valvole laterale. Or is this conclusion to simple?
Maybe you also know whether there were two 26DOV carbs involved or just one?
Did you find out whether the original engine of your car had the 28DR or the 26DOV? ... One or two carbs?
In some 1954 Weber documentation, Weber mentions that they made a special manifold themselves for the 22DRS fitting the Topolino 500A and another manifold for two 22DRS carbs fitting the 500B/C.
Have you ever seen them?
I wonder if those Weber manifolds were both made for only the lateral engines or for both engine types?

Dear John, a lot of questions I know. Thanks for some answers but I would perfectly understand if you have no time for, or interest in, answering them.

Thierry
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Weber

Hello Thierry,

I am also no expert on these matters. It seems there are lessons for us that are not yet learned no matter how much we think we have paid attention!

Thank you for the images and news. I am also fascinated with Weber carburetors and the tremendous variety there were. There are many apparent inconsistencies in their nomenclature? The only official Weber documentation I have seen for the 28DR relates to the Zagato 750MM (Fiat 500 engine, enlarged to something less than 750cc) and only one carburetor was used in that Weber catalogue reference.

Since the Siata was raced actively from 1949 to 1955, I cannot state that the Weber 28DR carburetors fitted today were in use as of 1949 or the original build date of 1948. It seems likely they were in use as of 1955 and probably earlier.

I have not found any reference to a 28DOV. I have seen Weber documentation that shows the 26DOV as seemingly an aftermarket application for use on Fiat 500A, Fiat 514 and Fiat 515, all cars from prior to WWII.

"Downdraft" is the American English while "Downdraught" is the British English. I was not trying to correct your usage. Each spelling is not exactly consistently applied in the literature we are likely to find?

The 32DR16SP was catalogued for a Plymouth Taxi but the only pair I've seen were on an Abarth manifold that accompanied a unique Abarth car. I have no indication they were original to that car but it is possible?

For the 22 DRS, I have found Weber literature that says they were intended for use on: FIAT 500A/B/C; Ford Eiffel; Moretti Cita, Moretti 600 & Moretti 750 as well as Simca 6. I have seen only a few examples but the serial numbers seem to imply that quite a lot of them were made.

F.T. Griswold (Wayne, Pennsylvania) was an importer of Weber carburetors in the USA during the late 1940's into the 1950's. F.T. Griswold also imported a few Alfa Romeo cars, new and almost new. Maybe more? Frank T. Griswold was the same person who won an important race at Watkins Glen with an Alfa Romeo 8C2900 in 1948. He did a bit of other racing in interesting cars as well and appears many times in my study lists, but was perhaps best known for his 1948 win at Watkins Glen? His son also imported a number of cars to the USA through a business he had in California during the 1960's.

Again … Thank you for sharing!

John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1948 Siata SC 750

Here is a descriptive document describing a bit of what we can pretend to know about the Siata "SC" beginning 1947 and into 1948. Some of these were built by Siata and with Siata parts on Fiat 500 chassis prior to (and overlapping with) the builds of the tubular chassis versions that received "SC" chassis numbering from Siata. Most examples that used Fiat chassis retained their Fiat numbering.

Note that SC006 has its original ID plate but the artwork is long gone. My father has fitted a slightly later version of SIATA ID plate for display, as seen in these photos. If the car were mine, I would re-print the original art onto the original ID plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Aosta - Gran San Bernardo of 28 August 1949

Here is an illustrated study document I have been able to put together after spending two days (almost two weeks ago) at the Revs Institute in Naples, Florida. I took roughly 3000 photos of various pages I saw. I wish I could have done more!

Joel Finn's archives are there and I was pleasantly surprised to find that he'd collected some material from Guy Warburton's archives that add a lot of meaningful background to some photo negatives I purchased in Italy more than 30 years ago. I wish I had more material to study, but there is already a bit too much to prepare and share in one initial effort.

With this posting there are additional images (not in the document) showing:
#16 Stanguellini CS04074, a sport 750 car driven by Giuseppe Musso, a future sweetheart to Maria Teresa de Filippis.

#44 OSCA MT4 (1100) chassis 1103, driven by Paolo Cordero di Montezemolo

#70 N.D. (Nardi) with a Maserati 4CS engine (No. 1524) in a chassis very similar to that of some other cars here (such as the Siata SC006) but scaled up slightly in size. Very cool!

#98 Maserati 1500 of Dioscoride Lanza, winner of the "Corsa Formula 1" category

Many questions remain! Among them:

Do the names "Gastone Puma" and "Ugo Puma" refer to the same person?

Giovanni Minozzi raced quite a bit in prewar times, sometimes in Maserati cars.
What is the basis of the "Maserati 3000" special he raced here and presumably at other events during 1949?

Who is Depoy and which Maserati did he use?

Also: A correction to the document. It was Luigi Musso (not Giuseppe) who became Maria Teresa de Filippis' sweetheart from 1950 to 1953. At least, that is what she told me.
 

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Here is an illustrated study document I have been able to put together after spending two days (almost two weeks ago) at the Revs Institute in Naples, Florida. I took roughly 3000 photos of various pages I saw. I wish I could have done more!
I also wanted to go at the revs sometime, can you tell me more john ?
Do they have more than what they make available today on line ? how is the research process ? is it open access to all ?

Thanks

Fred
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The Revs Institute & research

My visit to the Revs Institute library was very pleasant, thanks to Bryan Gable in this instance.

Prior to my visit, I'd made the necessary appointment to visit the library for two days. My excuse for the cross-country trip was to visit my sister in Jacksonville for her 60th birthday party. I'd arrived in Orlando on a red-eye and drove to Naples, arriving around 10 AM or so. Because the museum is closed Wednesdays, I looked for a separate entrance to the library only to learn that the entry was through the Museum's main entrance door. Despite being closed, there was quite a lot of staff working in various places. I focused my attention on race programs and related materials knowing full well I could not do all that I'd wish to. I'd sent a preliminary listing of my interests a day before my arrival. The initial portion of my list was waiting for me in ten boxes on a cart next to a table when I arrived. It took me the remainder of the day (until 4:30 PM) to go quickly through that material (and some more) while being careful to do no damage to any of it. I took perhaps 1200 to 1500 photos of document pages that day and my back was tired from the non-stop standing and stooping as well as lack of sleep.

I'd taken notes from the lists of archival materials that are available online in pdf format. For race programs, see:
https://revsinstitute.on.worldcat.org/search?sortKey=LIBRARY&databaseList=638&queryString=racing+program&changedFacet=format&scope=wz:31965&format=Archv&database=all&author=all&year=all&yearFrom=&yearTo=&language=all&topic=all

Please note that it is important to identify the specific archive you wish to study! The archives are maintained individually in boxes, files & envelopes that seem to reflect the sorting of each original archive. There can be duplications within an archive and there can be duplications from one archive to the next. This is not a bad thing, as I have always found that different copies of the same race program can have individual notations made by the person who attended the event with the program in hand. Some programs have the entry list in the bound pages and some have it as a separate leaflet that can be missing. A good portion of the archival material has no actual program or entry list but only the descriptive rules and regulations with entry forms that were sent out to competitors in advance of each event. Some small percentage of those have advertisements that can be seen almost nowhere else. For instance, I have a fair bit of Italian material from 1950 and no personal archive yet for the Susa-Moncenisio hill climb race. Finding the attached rules and regulations booklet at the Revs was very welcome, not only for the entry list and results tucked inside, but also for the info the rules booklet contained. I will share more in another posting but here are two ads I am enjoying, along with the cover.

Although entry lists do not always reflect the actual participants accurately, I find they generally reflect some level of intent. There can be exceptions, however! Some lists are grossly inflated as to expectations. The Mille Miglia of 1947 was particularly noteworthy as tires were made available at a discount for competitors, some of whom showed up only to get their tires and go home … at a time when tires were otherwise difficult to buy. Some races run by the CSCC in southern California when in competition with the SCCA for prestige have entry lists that seem rather inflated. I have two race programs from the CSCC for different events of the 1950's and they appear to have saved some typesetting efforts by using the same entry list for both events, bound into the pages a bit differently accompanied by advertising that varied a bit.

There is an archive from Joel Finn. I'd visited with Joel several years ago and I knew there would be cool stuff to be found there. There is also an amazing (mostly European event) archive from a man named Schroer as well as an archive called "Racing Programs". As a gift, I took a spare program I had from Vero Beach (1951) that I did not find in their lists and expect it will be added at some time.

I will go again! With better preparation and more time, I hope!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Susa - Moncenisio hill climb of 1950

I have no personal photo archive for this event even if I have seen and noted some published images. The Joel Finn Collection at the Revs Institute has a rules packet, the entry list and results from the event, once again from the racing archive of Guy Warburton describing some of his racing efforts in Allard cars.

The entry list and result sheets are important to the historical description of Siata SC006 as the published results I'd seen previously showed the name "Malvetti" finishing 9th in the Sport 750 category where it is clearly "Paesetti" in the entry and results for the event.

In the attached document, images from the entry rules booklet and some images from the 1951 rules booklet as well as an edited version of my incomplete study notes for 1950.
 

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For some more carb info on early Webers, especially the 32DRSP:
Carburetors

Also spent a good amount of time at Revs, a great place. I spent a day and went through all the Mailander photos, bought originally as part of the Ludvigsen Archive. Saw them years back in London originally. Good stuff, especially for Lancia buffs of the 1950s. Most of that has been put on the net, but....
 

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Hi Geoffrey,

thanks for putting the info on the board, now everyone can consult that.

Thierry,



Here just for old times' sake some pictures found in a French magazine ' Science et Vie' that I checked when looking for pictures of the Siata . Sorry John, I only found something on the Cisitalia D46 from Dusio.
These are no very sharp pictures, I presume the magazine is from 1947.
First picture shows a Maserati 1,5 L car with compressor from Sommer in the pits.
The second is from Prins Bira in also a Maserati 1500 with compressor.
The third picture is the 158 'Alfetta', driven by J.-P. Wimille. It is also a 1500 with compressor.

Thierry
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Siata SC - Updated Document

Following a bit of material from Auto Italiana (magazine) of 1 May 1949 …

Here is a new document with some of the same material that was presented at the top of this listing. This document has some additional material (perhaps some different material) but is simplified a bit to show what is known and a bit of the why. It also shows what I know enough to continue to seek for many events. I've not yet come across an image of the car on the Mille Miglia of 1949, its first and perhaps most successful outing. Within the pdf file, there is material showing why we can be certain that Paesetti's "Fiat 500" on the racing event is actually this Siata.

As with my visit to the Revs Institute (and previous visits to the Museo dell'Automobile "Gianni Agnelli" in Torino), there can be pleasant surprises when something completely new turns up. Recent "surprise" news makes me hopeful that there will be more such finds as time goes by. Even so, there is much more material in hand already but it seems rather overwhelming when presented all at once.

Buon divertimento!
 

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