My Car Quest

September 21, 2020

Do Eight More Cylinders Really Make A Big Difference In The Value Of A Classic Car?

by Michael Gulett –

These two cars look a lot alike but when you lift the hood one has 4 cylinders and the other has 12 cylinders. And oh yeah, one is a Ferrari and the other is a Fiat-Siata.

From a distance it is hard to tell them apart. The other difference is the price – those additional 8 cylinders in the Ferrari carry a hefty premium.

Take a look at the pre-auction estimates. Both are at the RM auction in Monterey.

1952 Fiat-Siata 1500 Coupe Speciale by Gilco

Fiat-Siata 1500 Coupe Speciale

Fiat-Siata 1500 Coupe Speciale

Estimate is $350,000 – $500,000 – $106,250 per cylinder at the mid-point of the estimate.

RM says,

1,669 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine with two Weber 40DCO3 carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, tubular frame, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic springs, and front and rear hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 95.5 in.

A unique alloy-bodied Italian competition berlinetta
An entrant at the 1954 and 1955 Mille Miglias
Extensive historical documentation
Displayed at the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Fiat-Siata 1500 Coupe Speciale

Fiat-Siata 1500 Coupe Speciale

Fiat-Siata 1500 Coupe Speciale

1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Pinin Farina

Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Pinin Farina

Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Pinin Farina

Estimate is $1,900,000 – $2,400,000 – $179,167 per cylinder at the mid-point of the estimate. The Ferrari cylinders cost 68% more each than the Fiat-Siata cylinders!

There is also a hefty premium for the prancing horse badge but that is not so easy to measure.

RM says,

200 bhp, 2,963 cc 60-degree single overhead-camshaft V-12 engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with double wishbones and double leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic springs and Houdaille shocks, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

The fourth of twenty-one 250 Europas constructed
Interesting early history, including period Italian concours events
Recently completed five-year, concours-level restoration by Ferrari specialists
Featured on the cover of Cavallino issue 198
First in Class at the 2014 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
Unquestionably one of the finest 250 Europas in existence

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 4.41.32 PM

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 4.41.15 PM

Let us know what you think in the Comments – is this Ferrari really worth so much more than the Fiat-Siata?

Sell your classic car on My Car Quest – click here.

Comments

  1. Jeremiah R. says

    The Ferrari is about twice as fast and 5x more rare, not to mention sounds better, is more richly appointed, and doesn’t look quite as “clown car-ish” (the Fiat interior color isn’t doing it any favors). Also, the look of that V12, oh my.

  2. If the Siata Gilco is a “unique” car, why is the “mass-production” 250 Europa 5x more rare????
    I think the value gap is based on the missing hup caps and the homemade horn button of the Siata!

    • Jeremiah R. says

      the 250 Europa is more rare than a Fiat-Siata 1500 coupe of that year, the Gilco Speciale is a unique variant of the 1500, kind of like a Pininfarina rework of any Ferrari (some of those are extremely valuable while others aren’t). It’s a “reimagining” of the 1500 coupe. I guess I was being conservative when I said 5x, the Europa is probably 50x more rare.

  3. Don’t forget the Fiat-Siata was an an entrant at the 1954 and 1955 Mille Miglias!

    It has great racing history although the description doesn’t say if it finished either Mille Miglia.

  4. More people with money collect Ferrari’s. Ferrari’s hold value and sell quicker that say a Siatra or a Cisitalia. Most etceterini’s will always be worth less than Ferrari’s.

    One could also ask why is the Siatra is so expensive when it’s very very similar to the Ford Comete or Facel Simca

  5. Sorry fellas, but I prefer the sleeker appearance of the Fiat. Of course I can’t hear the V12 or feel it’s power….

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