• Year of manufacture 
  • Chassis number 
  • Engine number 
  • Lot number 
  • Condition 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 


1947 Cisitalia D46 Monoposto
Chassis no. 0032
Engine no. 383893

Italy's now legendary, pioneering post-war competition car constructor Piero Dusio established his renowned Cisitalia company in Turin in 1946 – very much encouraged and abetted by dynamic racing driver/engineer Piero Taruffi.

Dusio was already a successful industrialist and he hired another exceptionally bright young engineer named Dante Giacosa to design and build for him what would be, in effect, a 'poor man's racing true. It was to be a true centerline single-seat open-wheeled racing car, created around basically Fiat production components to minimise its cost and Dusio conceived running a flotilla of the cars as a kind of 'circus', traveling not only around Italy but also around Europe and the wider world beyond to resume profitable motor racing as quickly as possible in spite of post-war austerity and profound recession.

The little Cisitalia D46 as penned by Giacosa was a revelation – introducing what would become the modern form of multi-tubular 'spaceframe' chassis construction to maximize rigidity while minimizing weight – thereby to obtain the best performance possible from the mildly tuned Fiat 1100cc 4-cylinder engine chose for motive power. The rigid chassis would also offer good standards of road holding and cornering power, and the D46 – from 'Dusio 1946' - proved highly successful and the Cisitalia 'circus' races, in which competition between the top drivers contracted was intensely serious and genuine, proved tremendously popular to a public starved of sporting spectacle and light relief.

The Cisitalia D46 made its debut in Turin in September 1946 with Dusio winning and the great French Champion Louis Chiron third. Later that year Tazio Nuvolari finished second place in a D46 at Mantua. In 1947 Taruffi won 1100cc class Italian Championship in a D46, Felice Bonetto was almost as successful in the cars, and other D46 stars included Achille Varzi and even Britain's George Abecassis. Dusio ran an all-Cisitalia race in Cairo, Egypt, which saw Franco Cortese victorious from Alberto Ascari and Taruffi.

The fleet of D46s continued racing in Italy through 1948 but early in 1949 Dusio's empire collapsed. Carlo Abarth was prominent in keeping some D46s active into 1950, while Frank Kennington brought the first D46 into England, racing it in Goodwood.

According to Adriano Cimarosti, a Cisitalia authority, this is the ex-Grand Prix de Bern car #48, driven by Harry Schell for the Horschell Racing Corporation. In 1950, the car belonged to 'Ecurie de Paris'. Afterwards, it was exported to Australia where several of its owners had already made their names in sport car racing (full ownership history in file).

The car came back to Belgium in the 1960's and had been bought by Paul Swaelens who kept it more than forty years. In 2003, this very nice Cisitalia has been bought by the current vendor and has been fully restored keeping 0032 body panels.

Currently fitted with a prepared Fiat 1100B engine, the car comes with its original engine 0010. Ready to be enjoyed and regularly campaigned at Chimay racetrack (Belgium - 2006), Vigeant racetrack (France – 2008), Grand Prix de Bruxelles and Rochefort (Belgium – 2011 and 2013) and registered by the Cisitalia International club, this is a rare opportunity to acquire a very well documented and authentic 40's monoposto.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department