Saturday, 5 February 2011

Piccoli Ferrari - Siata 208S

Today's photograph by Carlyle Blackwell comes from Ed Arnaudin's collection and I'd like to thank his son Steve for sending it to me.

Siata 208S, Blackwell Archive

Photo Carlyle Blackwell, Publised Courtesy Blackwell Archive, for sales enquiry's please e-mail and your contact details will be forwarded to the Blackwell Archive.

Just 35 Siata 208S's were manufactured in Italy from 1953 to 1955. Of those 25 were imported into the USA by Ernie Mcafee.

The cars were fitted with a 105 hp FIAT 70 degree V8 2 litre / 122 cui '8V' engine which allegedly was so named because FIAT erroneously believed Ford owned the V8 trade mark.

The 208S is known to have been driven to victories by among others Bob Kuhn, Dick Hayward and Douglas Diffenderfer who was winning races as late as 1960.

Probably the most famous owner of a 208S was Steve McQueen who apparently replaced the badges on his car with Ferrari badges and called it 'Little Ferrari'.

It should be noted that Ernie Mcafee and Jack McAfee, who appeared on this blog a couple of weeks ago, were not related, though the younger Jack did work for Ernie and on one occasion raced with Ernie sharing a Parravano Ferrari in the 1952 Panamericana.

They often raced against each other right up until Ernie's last race at Pebble Beech on April 22nd 1956 in which he was killed when his car hit a tree. A crash incidentally that heralded the end of Pebble Beech as a venue for racing and led to the development of racing at Laguna Seca in 1957.

Hope you have enjoyed todays piccoli edition of getting a lil' psycho on tyres and that you'll join me again tomorrow. Don't forget to come back now !

28 07 12 PS My thanks to Pamela Blackwell who has kindly retrospectively given me permission to post the photo's her father took.


  1. Art, the composition of this photo is amazing. Vista in the background, iconic tree, red car & red clothing coordination-in fact her her blouse blends into the same colored sky.
    I am embarrassed to say that the other icon (pointy bra) is so distracting to my eye!
    Steve McQueen was *the* man! And this car is highly iconic itself.
    Wonderful post-

  2. Thanks Peg, I was wondering if the highly talented Carlyle Blackwell had managed pull in Madona's Mom into the shoot :-) But I agree this is an all round amazing period photograph, thanks to the Arnaudin's for sharing it with us.

  3. Siatas are such pretty little cars.

    That's too sexy. It must be a Ferrari/Cobra bastard son. I'll pick that kid in a knife fight any day of the week.

  5. That's a bit rich comin' from a kid who's Dad nearly kicked him all the way to England for speeding JC, are you sure you don't want to come round to mine for beans on toast instead ?

  6. "Driving down Sunset Strip after midnight, “A Ford convertible came roaring up and forced [the Siata] to the kerb. Out popped McQueen. ‘There was no “Hello!” or “May I?”…he just walked up and said he wanted to drive the Siata.’ Sand moved to the passenger seat…McQueen got in and went tearing off, heading up Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive… ‘Steve drove the Siata flat-out,’ Sand continued. ‘I was glued to the seat and didn’t even have the time to be frightened.’ At the end, ‘Steve pulled in behind his car. He hadn’t uttered a word but got out of the Siata and returned to his own vehicle.’”

    The Steve McQueen car is for sale:

  7. Great research skills JC when are you starting your blog ?

  8. When did google/paste become a skill?