Evaluation: Originally sold in California with the Fiat tipo 103 Otto vu engine, but the first owner swapped in a Chevrolet V8. Refurbished in the 1980s then fully restored in the 1990s with a correct Fiat 8V engine. Restored again in 2012, with class awards at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, and Villa d’Este. One of 33 Motto-bodied cars (two prototypes were designed by Bertone). Beautiful car with or without those awards. Wear on the wood steering wheel is the only real flaw.
Bottom Line: Built by Società Italiana Auto Trasformazione Accessori (SIATA), the 208S looks like an AC Cobra or Ferrari Barchetta that shrank in the wash, but this aluminum-bodied Michelotti-designed roadster was the company’s best model and its four-wheel independent suspension was advanced when even most sports cars had a live rear. It also combined a torquey V8 in a small roadster package years before Shelby did so with the Cobra, albeit in a much smaller package.
Steve McQueen had a 208S, and others had much success in small displacement sports car racing, so the Siata is much more highly regarded in the classic car world than its size or production numbers might suggest. This one sold for $1,655,000 at Quail Lodge in 2018 but is in no worse shape today. As such a rare, attractive and universally respected little car that’s eligible for just about any event the new owner would wish to take it to, it could have brought a little more without being too expensive.