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Car on sale

Siata Sport Motto 1.5


Year 1953

24.000 km

1480 cc

MM Eligible

Price: POA

Car in excellent condition, approved by ASI, FIVA with numerous participations in the reenactment of the Historic 1000 Miglia. The SIATA Daina we are proposing is chassis no. SL0185, produced as a unique piece. The car was created during the early months of 1952 as a special order from the Commercial Director of SIATA, Engineer Luigi Segre. Luigi Segre, in agreement with SIATA management, deemed it appropriate for SIATA to have an official presence at the 1952 Mille Miglia, with an additional car apart from the two already registered Daina GS models, to confirm the competitive capabilities of the new Daina Gran Sport model and to showcase the versatility of the chassis that could also serve as a base for special sports bodies. Therefore, the car was personally commissioned to the coachbuilder Rocco Motto of Turin to create an aluminum-bodied automobile to participate in the Mille Miglia. Motto crafted an aluminum “barchetta” body: thus, the SL0185 was born, well-proportioned, with balanced form, and notably lightweight.

However, Luigi Segre was about to move to Ghia, and relations within SIATA became tense. The SL0185 was completed and delivered to Segre, who, upon resigning, left it to SIATA. The planned participation in the Mille Miglia disappeared, and the life of SL0185 took another turn. 1952 marked SIATA’s first foray into the United States. There, Ambrosini, SIATA’s general manager, met Tony Pompeo, an importer of Italian cars, and they defined a series of commercial agreements. The SL0185 was shipped to the United States. It’s not known who raced the car, but it had an intense racing life, evident from the numerous racing “scars” it bore when rediscovered. When found, the car was thoroughly studied and identified as chassis no. SL0185, later recognized by Fiva and ASI authorities. Bridgehampton, Thompson, and Cumberland are just a few of the circuits where the car raced until 1964 when an accident damaged its front, leading to the decision to retire the SL0185.

A sports car dealer, during a visit to the Zobian collection, saw the SL0185 in a neglected state. They proposed a trade for a Cisitalia 202 Pinin Farina. The exchange took place, but the SL0185 remained in California for a long time. Another treasure hunter took some photos of the SL0185 and sent them in 2000 to Gilberto Focardi, an Italian collector. This way, the SL0185 returned to Italy, and its restoration began. The SL0185 underwent its final and most significant restoration, completely refurbished in all its parts. The fact that it had never been disassembled before made it easily identifiable. The restoration team meticulously analyzed every single element and component of the car to determine the restoration philosophy. The SL0185 can be defined as a “high collection” car, with significant technical and historical value, handcrafted as a unique piece by the renowned builder Rocco Motto. While preserving its originality, materials, colors, and paint type identical to the car’s original period were used. Similar attention was given to the mechanical parts.

The power unit equipping the Gran Sport SL0185 is one of those specifically prepared by SIATA from the 1,393 cc engine, precisely aimed at being more competitive in the 1.5-liter Sports car category, which, especially in the United States, included extremely high-performing cars like the O.S.C.A. from the Maserati Brothers, the Maserati 150S, Porsche 356, and 550. The bore was increased to 82 mm, stroke to 70 mm, resulting in a total displacement of 1,480 cc, providing around 80 HP at 5,800 rpm, thanks also to a compression ratio of 8.2:1. Even the special intake manifold with two Zenith carburetors was crafted by SIATA, drawing from their experience in the specific sector of race car preparations.

A modified engine, like the one mounted on the SL0185, was installed on the 1500 Gran Sport, which amazed with its performance at the 1952 12 Hours of Sebring with Irish-Fergus, securing third place overall and first in class, surpassing much more powerful cars.

Now, this car is ready to be entered into the most prestigious competitions and events for historic automobiles.

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