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  Cisitalia D46

  Article Image gallery (18) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1946 - 1948
Numbers built:31
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 06, 2005
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionBefore the Second World War was over, Italian entrepreneur and racing driver Piero Dusio formed Cisitalia. His goal was to get back to racing shortly after the War had finished with a one model single seater series. Although this type of racing is very common today, it was a completely new idea at the time. Using Fiat parts as a base Dante Giacosa designed the very economical racer, which make its successful debut in 1946.

Dubbed D46, the small racer featured a simple, but sturdy space frame chassis. Giacosa had vast knowledge of Fiat bits and pieces, as he had designed the legendary 500 Topolino before the War. The engine and suspension were directly derived from the small Fiat, but extensively modified for their racing purpose. The engine received dry sump lubrication and further tweak considerably increased the power output. Weighing under 400 kg the 60-70 bhp available was more than enough for competitive performance.

Dusio's dream of a one model series came to nothing, but instead his D46s started to dominate the voiturette series. Highly talented drivers like Tazio Nuvolari piloted the D46 to multiple successes against more advanced, but older racing cars. The successes led to a much more ambitious single seater project that would prove too much for the small company. Porsche's Design Studio was commissioned to design and construct a full Grand Prix racer, which had the overly complex, but very interesting Type 360 as a result.

Like so many small companies, Cisitalia went belly up and Dusio fled to Argentina. Carlo Abarth used the remains of the company to kick start his own company, which proved to be even more successful.

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  Article Image gallery (18) Chassis (2) Specifications