Fiat had been developing a flagship, V8 powered car in the late 40s, however the sedan proved too heavy and unwieldy, and the Fiat brass was not impressed, which led to interest and investment into dropping off. The fact was, however, that the V8 was built; it existed. It was then decided to put it into a sports car, and see what happened. That car was the 1952 Fiat 8V. The project was spearheaded by Dante Giacosa, the design boss; the bodies were built in Fiat’s experimental coachwork department, and the design fine-tuned in the Turin Polytechnic wind-tunnel. There was a fair bit of borrowing from the Fiat bins part going on, all of it specially adapted to the car, and a local specialist was hired to produce additional mechanical components.
The 8V was powered by a remarkable engine: a 2-liter V8 engine that produced 105 horsepower. It had a top speed of 120 miles per hour, and accelerated to 60 in 13 seconds, absolutely remarkable figures for a car with only 2 liters of engine displacement. In fact, the 8V was one of the fastest 2-liter cars built in the 50s.
All in all, a total of 114 1952 Fiat 8V were built stretching over into 1953. Not all of them, however, had the Fiat body, as every independent design house in Italy wanted the chassis to clad with their own designs.