The car in question. It is a SIATA DAINA Grandsport 1500, one of only 2 (!) built with an aluminium body. It has a 1500cc FIAT engine that has been upgraded with twin SU carbs to give about 90bhp in a 750kg car.
It ran the original Mille Miglia in 1952 and finished fifth in class. The car is often displayed at the Mille Miglia Museum collection.
I have been extremely fortunate that a friend contacted me when the car was offered to him for hire. Chances like this you don't get often.
I drove the car in November and it runs as sweet as a nut. Truly amazing little engine. And it is fantastic fun to drive: I'm looking forward to the driving itself even more than the event as such. It's going to be great fun on the passes to San Marino, across the Appenines and the Futa and Raticosa passes. Also great about this car is that the start number shouldn't be too high, I'm expecting to be in the first half of the field and that makes a big difference: if your starting number is close to the end, the crowds have disappeared and you're likely to finish at 3 in the morning every night.
Had a hectic but nice weekend. 3,000kms in the 550, quite a bit of which was over 200km/h. All this driving in 1 weekend was to get to a test drive the SIATA in Modena. Here's a little clip of it.
It's a great car to drive, very much alive and entertaining making a racket that you can't believe. It doesn't have much power but everything is relative of course, for those days it was quite quick. This was not very long after the war, remember. This car drove in the Mille Miglia only 5 years after Ferrari was founded and even Ferraris had only 160 bhp back then.
We had a great time driving the hills behind Maranello following our translator (normal job racing instructor).
It was a great taster for the MM, and we're looking forward to the real thing!