|Cisitalia 202 SC Vignale Cabriolet|
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In October 1944, wealthy industrialist Turinese Piero Dusio formed Consorzio Industriale Sportivo Italia or Cisitalia as it is best known. Before the Second World War he was one of Italy's leading amateur racers, campaigning his Alfa Romeos, Maseratis and Fiats in both road races and hill climbs. His interest in sports did not stop with motorsports, he was also the president of Juventus football club.
One of Dusio's foremost employees was Carlo Abarth, who made quite a name for himself constructing side cars and racing motorcycles in the 1930s. One of Abarth's most important assets was his connection with the Porsche family and the written authorization given to him to represent the family's interest in Italy. He joined Cisitalia after the first car was already designed and constructed, but he helped a great deal in the development of the Cisitalia vehicles, before starting up his own company.
Dusio's dream was to start a one make racing series in which the drivers' talents would be the decisive factor. To keep things affordable he based his single seater to be used for this series on Fiat's newly launched 500B Topolino. Many of the Fiat's mechanical parts, including the suspension and engine were used for the D46. The single seater was named after the first letter of Dusio's last name and debut year of 1946. To the delight of the crowd, Dusio drove it to a debut victory in the Brezzi Cup in Turin.
A year later, the two seater 202 CMM coupe was launched, followed shortly by the 202 SMM roadster. It was similar in design to the D46, with the exception of the four-speed gearbox replacing the three-speed preselector box used in the D46. Nothing about the 202's design was particularly advanced, but it proved a competitive and above all, reliable package. Five weeks after 202 SMM's debut, Tazio Nuvolari finished second in the first post-War Mille Miglia behind the winning 8C 2900 Alfa Romeo. Ever since that class win, the body type is known as the 'Nuvolari Spyder.'
In the following years the 202 remained a successful racer, but competition from other Italian manufacturers grew stronger every year. The end of the 202 production in 1952 also meant the end of the company's glory years. Abarth had long left the company and was winning races with his own products. Dusio sold the company and left for his native Argentinia.
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