Unique 1954 Fiat 8V Ghia entered in Arizona Concours

The final 1954 Fiat 8V designed by Ghia received a unique body style | RM Auctions
The final 1954 Fiat 8V designed by Ghia received a unique body style | RM Auctions

The Cars of Carrozzeria Ghia, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the renowned Italian design house, is one of the featured classes for the second annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance on January 11, 2015.

Within that class will be a unique and spectacular example of the coachbuilder’s artistry. The car is not only an exotic 1954 Fiat 8V, but one with an elegant coupé body that is unlike any other. This was the final example that Ghia created using the jewel-like 2-liter Fiat 8V engine, and the only car that Ghia did not body in the more-familiar Supersonic form.

The narrow Fiat V8 engine displaces just 2 liters | RM Auctions
The Fiat V8 displaces just 2 liters | RM Auctions

Other Italian design houses, such as Vignale, Pinin Farina and Zagato, also built special creations around the Fiat 8V, but this particular Ghia coupe is well-known for its splendid styling.

The Arizona Concours, held on the landscaped inner lawns of the historic Arizona Biltmore Resort, presents a rare opportunity to see the one-of-a-kind Fiat 8V by Ghia displayed in such a grand setting.

The Fiat Ghia is owned by Andy Manganaro of Xenia, Ohio, who says that since purchasing the unique car in 2013, he has “already driven it extensively and shown it to good success… My principal intent is to drive the car in long-distance rallies, to present it for the enjoyment of others, and to preserve it for posterity.”

According to Manganaro, the Fiat 8V underwent a total restoration that took 15 years to complete, culminating in this stunning piece of automotive artwork.

The 8V, or Otto Vù, engine was designed in aluminum alloy by Fiat engineer Dante Giacosa with a 70-degree V configuration to provide more power from a compact, lightweight package. The engine was so-named because U.S. automaker Ford held the copyright for the term V8 at that time.

Total restoration took 15 years to complete | RM Auctions
Total restoration took 15 years to complete | RM Auctions

Providing 110 horsepower in standard trim, the Fiat 8V engine was competitive in racing applications, providing the Italian automaker with many successes in the 2-liter class. The engine was originally intended for general production by Fiat, but never went beyond competition use and specialty cars.

The Arizona Concours d’Elegance, a premier event that serves as the start of the famous Classic Car Week in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, benefits Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of the national organization that grants wishes for children facing life-threatening medical conditions.

For more information about the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, including entry information and ticket sales, see www.arizonaconcours.com.