For years I’ve searched for comparison photos of the 1946 Cisitalia 202 GT Coupe along side of Bill Burke’s 1952 Allied – a copy of Bob Petersen’s 1946 Cisitalia. This year, I hit pay dirt.
First, at the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Darren Crispin, owner of the Allied / Multiplex Swallow coupe was able to hook up with the owner of a Cisitalia 202 Coupe. Thanks to their generosity, they allowed me to shoot photos of their cars together, and these are presented for you at the bottom of this story.
And to whet your appetite further….here’s an article about the 1946 Cisitalia 202GT Coupe that has been on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 1951 – when it was first recognized as one of the eight most beautifully designed cars in the world (8 Automobiles, MOMA, 1951). Specifically, the first sentence of their 1951 exhibition booklet says the following:
“The eight automobiles in this exhibition were chosen primarily for their excellence as works of art…” (Museum of Modern Art, 8 Automobiles Exhibition, 1951) Here is the online article about the car at MOMA:
And here’s the MOMA’s website showing the Cisitalia:
I’ll be writing a short story about the 1951 event at the MOMA in the near future, and will discuss the importance in terms of the design of this car. It remains our good fortune, that Bill Burke chose this car to make a copy of back in 1951, based on its aesthetics and potential to slip thru the air at the dry lakes, quicker than other cars at the time.
For those of you thirsting for more information about how Bill Burke’s choice came to be, I’ve included the September 1952 article that appeared in Auto Speed and Sport. This article was written by Bill Pollack and detailed his experience bringing back Petersen’s Cisitalia from the Northeast to Los Angeles – in preparation for the 1952 Petersen Motorama at the Pan Pacific Auditorium.
Finally…I mentioned I hit “pay dirt” this year, and I meant it. It just so happens that the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles California is currently displaying an Allied fiberglass coupe (94 inch wheelbase) together with Petersen’s original Cisitalia brought to California in 1952. This is part of their “Fantasies in Fiberglass Exhibit” that runs thru early October of this year.
So…have at it gang. Be the first to review the pictures below and begin posting your comments about similarities and differences between both cars. No one has ever made a point by point comparison along these lines, and Rick D’Louhy and I will use your thoughts and ideas around the similarities and differences in our upcoming Forgotten Fiberglass book.
As I say in all the e-mails to you that notify you about new stories on our website…..”Who will be the first to post their thoughts on this story in our Forgotten Fiberglass forums????”
Hope you enjoy the pictures gang…
P.S….the grey car is the Allied Swallow and the red…the Cisitalia
Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures