Zanussi “1100 Sport”, 1952, Italy
Fioravante Zanussi (born in Pasiano di Pordenone in 1894, died in Treviso in 1960) was an amateur racing driver. He also prepared and manufactured racing cars, this latter activity on a small scale. In his workshop in Treviso, opened in 1919, he prepared hundreds of cars for local gentlemen drivers. To date, however, there are only seven cars known to have been produced by Zanussi, the first being a Fiat 508 C 1100, built just before the Second World War.
In December 1951, Zanussi purchased a 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Compressore. This car’s documents were used for the Zanussi 1100 Sport, and the changes made to the car were recorded in them in October 1952.
This work resulted in a completely new car, a one-off built around a rectangular steel chassis, designed by Zanussi, tapered at the front, and with a flat floor.
The Zanussi 1100 Sport was originally equipped with the Alfa Romeo 6C engine (minus the fifth and sixth cylinders), which Zanussi himself had boldly modified in a 4-cylinders unit, lowering its displacement to 1168 cc.
However, by the end of 1960, when the car was sold by Zanussi’s heirs, the engine had already been replaced with a 1086 cc Fiat Tipo 1100 B unit, probably due to reliability issues.
This change was officially recorded in the summer of 1961, when the “Alfa Romeo Tipo Zanussi” was issued with a new vehicle registration document and assigned new license plates.
The barchetta-type aluminum bodywork was the work of Treviso-based coachbuilders Carrozzeria Fratelli Vendrame, which dressed all of Zanussi’s cars.
This car is a wonderful example of the so-called racing specials built in Italy in the 1950s, usually on a Fiat base, often with an economic support from Fiat. This solution allowed numerous local “tuners” to enter races in spite of having limited financial resources.
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