In a day when most cars were bulky and un-aerodynamic, when headlights were bolted to the body as if a mere afterthought, the 1947 Cisitalia 202 Coupe came like a bolt from the blue. To say that its design was uncommon is very much an understatement; it was designed by none other than Pininfarina (is anyone surprised?), and came as such a watershed in automobile design than the Museum of Modern Arts in New York has kept one since 1951, as a example of ‘sculpture in movement’. The company was founded in 1946 by Piero Dusio, but unfortunately things turned sour as early as 1949, financially speaking, because of ill-conceived racing development plans with Porsche. It didn’t stop the 202 Coupe from being one of the most beautiful cars of its generation, if not the most successful.
The 202 Coupe was powered by a small, 1.1-liter engine, sourced from Fiat, that produced only 50 horsepower. Its acceleration wasn’t that great, but thanks to its very aerodynamic shape, it could achieve the then-impressive speed of 105 miles per hour.
Piero Dusio went to live in Argentina, and its company continued without him, owned by his creditors, and produced cars until 1965, but none had the charm and reputation of the 1947 Cisitalia 202 Coupe.