Exquisite Italian Spider, matching numbers, early race history and just out of long term ownership
1954 SIATA 300BC
s/n ST441BC, Engine no. *ST441*
Yellow with Black Interior
SIATA is one of the most celebrated Italian car companies of the 1950’s. Known for their superbly crafted vehicles, the first production SIATA appeared in 1948 with subsequent advances appearing quickly as racing technology advanced during one of the most exciting periods of motorsports development. Founded by Giorgio Ambrosini initially to build performance parts for Fiat applications, SIATA quickly established their capabilities as car builders offering the iconic 208S and SC as well as the delightful and agile 300BC, many of which became formidable competitors at international racing venues. Not only were the 208S and 300BC capable road cars, their stunning hand-formed aluminum coachbuilt bodies, crafted by the finest artisans of the period, are today regarded among the most beautiful sports cars of the 1950’s. SIATAs were frequently seen in competition both in Europe and the US boasting many victories at the hands of well-known drivers. Initially offered with a Crosley derived drivetrain, later series cars adopted the Fiat 1100 drivetrain. Due to their handmade nature and specialized construction, drivetrain variations were often facilitated to please individual customers.
Of the approximately 50 300BCs known to have been produced, the body design was penned by Bertone and are believed to number between ST401BC-ST435BC. These versions were also constructed by Bertone. The balance of 300BC production, ST436BC - ST450BC, were constructed by Motto. The later Motto series Fiat-powered cars were crafted with exterior variations including a higher profile full windscreen, outside door handles, and side curtains. With alloy Italian coachwork, Borrani wire wheels, and distinct competition charm it’s easy to see how these beautifully constructed cars have become sought after especially considering their wonderful design and elegant simplicity.
This late series Siata 300BC is one of the last convertible Motto variants produced. Configured at the Motto factory with engine number ST441, the hand-formed aluminum body shell and tube chassis was assembled with the original Fiat 1100 engine stamped ST441, matching the chassis. Although the first two years of history have not been documented, according to marque expert John DeBoer and listed in his authoritative “The Italian Car Registry”, the first record of ownership is noted in 1956 when this car was owned by Dr. Henry M. Tardif of Springfield, OH. Tardif competed in a series of races including events at Elkhart Lake, Road America, and Watkins Glen to name a few. During these races, photos were taken documenting the condition of the car, the roll bar, and various details of each race, which have offered impressive visual records of this car in competition. The car remained in the US, changing ownership in 1974 and 1975, when it was sold to Dr. Marc Perlman. Perlman retained the car from 1975-1979, racing it at the 1976 Molson GP. In 1979 Perlman offered the car for sale in Hemmings Motor News, November 1979. The current owner purchased the car from Perlman embarking on a continuous 43 years of ownership, vintage racing, and showing at numerous events. During these years, the current owner raced the car in a wide range of vintage races as evidenced by the highly decorated roll bar showing consistent event participation stickers at west coast racing events.
In 1992/1993 the long-term owner engaged Ernie Mendicki to refinish the car including body work and paint, finishing it in yellow with #37 as part of the racing livery. In 2004, the engine was rebuilt using Arias pistons, aluminum flywheel, and the lower end prepared by Bill Morton. Speed Craft performed the machine work including resized rods and line bore. At this same time, the gearbox was also rebuilt, and the gas tank sealed. Expert mechanic Jarl DeBoer performed an MG-based rear end exchange which has performed very well over the years (original parts have been retained). Numerous spares accompany the car as well as an extra “long tail shaft” more modern Fiat gearbox with similar internals. The car was last raced at the Wine Country event in 2010.
Today this Siata 300BC presents a unique opportunity for an enthusiast to acquire a very well-sorted, rare, and delightful car with known period racing history and long-term ownership. Offering open, coachbuilt design and traditional Italian alloy construction, there are very few cars that can offer so much in a compact and enjoyable package. The car has been previously restored and the owner’s verbal history indicates it has always been mechanically well-prepared, as evidenced by the consistent racing cosmetics inside and out. The paint and overall finish are very handsome throughout with typical areas showing modest use. The vivid yellow paint exhibits uniformed coverage and high gloss, and the smooth bodywork is reflective of accurate contours as originally constructed. The openings fit nicely including the doors, trunk, and hood, which retain correct factory fasteners including the later series exterior chrome door handles found only on the Motto bodied cars. The emblems and lighting are all in very good condition lightly decorating the clean and pure lines of the originally penned Bertone bodywork. Best of all, the beautiful Borrani wire wheels are in excellent condition, adding the right touch of sporting excellence to the short wheelbase competition body lines.
The interior of the car features an array of period instrumentation across the body-colored dashboard fronted by a four spoke wood rimmed steering wheel. The matching seats are comfortably padded with a properly anchored safety harness for the driver and a lap belt for the passenger. The roll bar installed in the car is adorned with numerous participation stickers for vintage racing events. Of importance to historic races and documentation of this car, the formerly installed roll bar (included with the spares), has been identified to match the historic racing photos of this car in period, copies of which are included with the car and can be viewed in the gallery. Some items of note include Siata “S” foot pedals, black carpeting for the interior, black vinyl door pulls, finished interior door panels, and the correct full-height windscreen found only on the later series cars. The overall interior is nicely presented with the earlier restored finishes exhibiting evidence of joyful use.
Underneath the removable hood one immediately appreciates the ease and simplicity of service and performance with all mechanical systems readily at hand. The matching numbers engine uses components consistent with period construction and proper finishes in keeping with cars built in the Italian traditions of the time. The car starts easily, runs and drives smoothly, and has appropriately spaced gears for spirited driving. Suitable for road use, the car can be seen while driving in the video prepared here. The Fiat 1100 engine has good oil pressure and makes progressive power, while the gearbox shifts quite easily through all gears. The mechanical components are currently in operable condition including the brakes, allowing for pleasant road driving and general use. Should the next owner wish to participate in vintage racing, we recommend they engage a professional racing shop to review the car completely in preparation for competition events.
The car comes with the following spares
-twin carburetor and intake manifold
-spare engine (with intake and exhaust system)
-partial spare engine (head and block)
-spare engine block
-spare Borrani wheel and tire
-four spare tires (loose unmounted)
-set of convertible top bows
-roll bar (pictured in the earlier racing photos)
-the original type differential and gear cluster
-rear end parts
-Fiat 100 gearbox
Also included are boxes of spare parts including a spare brake master cylinder, generator, pistons, various hoses, clutch and gearbox parts, spare crankshaft, a set of headlights and trim rings, and numerous copies of Fiat 1100 reference guides and copies of period literature.
Beautiful Italian coachwork originally attributed to Bertone with the later series cars constructed by Motto, this Siata 300BC combines the wonderfully executed beauty of this era unique to Italian automotive history. This SIATA is not only capable of delighting even the most discerning car enthusiasts at any major concours, tour, or specialty event, it is sure to be an ongoing treasure to any collector who enjoys the rare combination of Italian competition excellence and design rarity in their stable.
Much information courtesy of John de Boer – The Italian Car Registry (an historical study begun 1980) firstname.lastname@example.org
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608