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FIAT 804, 805 and 806


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#1 tonicco

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Posted 01 March 2003 - 11:16

Cimarrosti says that all the cars were destroyed. But why?
I know that when Agnelli took over FIAT he decided, in January or February 1928, to destroy the cars, their engines and even the blue prints, but again, dear lord - why ?

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#2 fines

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Posted 01 March 2003 - 12:57

806 was developed in secrecy by the Racing Department, without knowledge of the board. When they found out, they were a tad angry... IIRC, Fiat had withdrawn from Racing due to pressure from the... Unions?

#3 tonicco

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Posted 01 March 2003 - 14:40

Originally posted by fines
806 was developed in secrecy by the Racing Department, without knowledge of the board.


You mean Fornaca wasn't aware of the project? But he was the one who approved it, or am I wrong?? It wasn't until Fornaca's death, in the beggining of '28, and the subsequent arise of Agnelli, that the decision to destroy the cars was taken...

#4 917

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Posted 01 March 2003 - 18:19

Wolfgang Schmarbeck wrote in his Fiat book 1982 (translation by me):

When Bordino died in a practice accident - by the way in a Bugatti - Agnelli ordered to destroy all Fiat racing cars in the factory.

In the German original he writes "als" (when) and not "weil" (because). I am not sure whether Bordino's death was the reason to destroy the cars. More about the accident in this thread:
http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=40224

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 March 2003 - 22:38

Originally posted by fines
806 was developed in secrecy by the Racing Department, without knowledge of the board. When they found out, they were a tad angry... IIRC, Fiat had withdrawn from Racing due to pressure from the... Unions?


Paraphrased from DCN's "Motor Racing Mavericks":

Agnelli pulled out of racing in a huff after the 1924 French GP where Fiat were soundly beaten by the Alfa P2s, designed by ex-Fiat engineers - he had no intention of providing other companies with even more trained, experienced dedsigners. Cavalli, Zerbi, Sola and Treves nevertheless carried out further work, on what would eventually become the 806. Initially they tried to build a two-stroke six, but it proved unreliable (and explosive!) and they eventually came up with a four-stroke twelve, which was both lighter and more powerful than the Delage straight eight. The completed car proved faster than anything else yet seen, beating Kreis' 1925 lap record at Monza by over 4 seconds, but the alloy engine proved to be something less than reliable and broke. A second was built, with reduced boost and revs, which was still considered capable of beating the Delages and Talbots, providing it survived the distance.

Agnelli intervened at this point (not sure when he found out about it) and insisted the car was entered only in the minor Monza GP, rather than the full Italian GP - and Bordino broke it again in practice! After a superhuman effort by the experimental department (who should have been working on the Schneider Trophy plane) the car made the grid and duly won its only event.

Fornaca died in January 1928 and as Agnelli took firmer control, so came the order to destroy the car. DCN called it "inexplicable" then: have you changed your view Doug?

I'd very much doubt the death of Bordino had any bearing on this.

#6 917

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Posted 01 March 2003 - 23:39

[Pure Speculation mode on]
The Grand Prix formula changed from 1927 ("1.5-liter formula; minimum weight limit now increased to 700 kg - 1543 lb. Two seats remain mandatory but at the same time single-seater cars were allowed provided the seat had a minimum width of 80 cm - 31.5 in and a minimum height of 25 cm - 9.8 in. Superchargers were allowed." - Source: Hans Etzrodt) to 1928 ("Formula Libre; no engine capacity limit; car weights between 550 and 750kg - 1212 and 1653 lb. Minimum race distance 600 km - 372 mi (only used for Italian Grand Pix)." - Source again Hans Etzrodt) - maybe they rated the cars as useless.
[/Pure Speculation mode off]

#7 eldougo

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Posted 02 March 2003 - 10:04

:)
hi chaps .Is ther any photos of these cars fo us to see. thanks eldougo :up:

#8 Michael Oliver

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Posted 02 March 2003 - 22:59

Originally posted by tonicco
Cimarrosti says that all the cars were destroyed. But why?
I know that when Agnelli took over FIAT he decided, in January or February 1928, to destroy the cars, their engines and even the blue prints, but again, dear lord - why ?


Pardon me for jumping in to a subject I know *very* little about but I believe that a replica of one of these cars - the 806 IIRC - is being constructed at present with the blessing of FIAT. I only heard about this because it is a friend of my father who is building the car. If anyone wants me to try and confirm this (you may already know this, if so, please excuse me!) I'd be happy to ask some questions. I remember my father also showed me a rather interesting article about the car written by Cyril Posthumous (spl?). Again, I can't remember where it appeared but I'm sure my father would... :)

Cheers

Michael

#9 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 02 March 2003 - 23:22

Originally posted by Michael Oliver
... I'd be happy to ask some questions. I remember my father also showed me a rather interesting article about the car written by Cyril Posthumous (spl?). Again, I can't remember where it appeared but I'm sure my father would...

Michael - Yes, please try to find out about the Cyril Posthumous story. And please find out as much as possible about why these cars were scrapped and why they are building a new one.

#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 01:08

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Michael - Yes, please try to find out about the Cyril Posthumous story. And please find out as much as possible about why these cars were scrapped and why they are building a new one.


And, if it is the 806, how. I understood all the detail drawings were destroyed along with the car and spare parts.

Here's a picture of the 806 on the grid at Monza. Pietro Bordino is talking to Felice Nazzaro. The cars behind Nazzaro are Roberto Serboli's Chiribiri (14) and Nino Cirio's Bugatti (12).

Posted Image

#11 Michael Oliver

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 17:23

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Michael - Yes, please try to find out about the Cyril Posthumous story. And please find out as much as possible about why these cars were scrapped and why they are building a new one.


I'll get on to it later today (re the Posthumous story).

As to why they were scrapped, I don't think I can add anything to what has been said already - all that my notes say is as follows:

"1927 1.5 litre 12-cylinder FIAT 806 Grand Prix car, raced once in GP of Europe at Monza 4th Sept 373 miles, won its race and made fastest lap and boss at FIAT appalled that they didn't tell him they were going to race the car. Ordered it to be cut up, spare parts and drawings destroyed. Xxxx [name deleted] has been re-building it for FIAT, now a rolling chassis."

No idea why they would want to build a new one - although I have to be honest I may have got mixed up and it may be for a private client rather than the factory : . I'll try and put a call in to the guy who is doing the work to see what he can (or is allowed to :)) tell me.

Cheers

Michael

#12 Michael Oliver

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 17:27

Originally posted by Vitesse2


And, if it is the 806, how. I understood all the detail drawings were destroyed along with the car and spare parts.

Here's a picture of the 806 on the grid at Monza. Pietro Bordino is talking to Felice Nazzaro. The cars behind Nazzaro are Roberto Serboli's Chiribiri (14) and Nino Cirio's Bugatti (12).

Posted Image


Yes, that's a good point - with difficulty I expect :D

I've known about this for about the past five to seven years, so that gives you an idea how long it has taken - may even be finished by now :eek:

Anyway I'll try and find out what I can.

Cheers

Michael

#13 Michael Oliver

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 14:15

Originally posted by Michael Oliver


I'll get on to it later today (re the Posthumous story).

As to why they were scrapped, I don't think I can add anything to what has been said already - all that my notes say is as follows:

"1927 1.5 litre 12-cylinder FIAT 806 Grand Prix car, raced once in GP of Europe at Monza 4th Sept 373 miles, won its race and made fastest lap and boss at FIAT appalled that they didn't tell him they were going to race the car. Ordered it to be cut up, spare parts and drawings destroyed. Xxxx [name deleted] has been re-building it for FIAT, now a rolling chassis."

No idea why they would want to build a new one - although I have to be honest I may have got mixed up and it may be for a private client rather than the factory : . I'll try and put a call in to the guy who is doing the work to see what he can (or is allowed to :)) tell me.

Cheers

Michael


OK, some news: the Cyril Posthumus article was in Motor, August 1st 1970. I have scans of each of the three pages but they are large (1.07mb each). I am getting the article sent to me (it might be a photocopy, not sure) and will try and scan it in the next few days to produce smaller file sizes. If anybody wants a copy, please email me off-list and I will do my best to send it to you :)

It seems the drawings were not destroyed, as apparently the FIAT archive and museum in Turin has provided drawings for every single component of the chassis and engine, even down to the nuts and bolts... :cool:

More to follow, hopefully.

Cheers

Michael

#14 dmj

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 17:10

Posted Image

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I hope it will work....

#15 tonicco

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 22:45

Originally posted by dmj
I hope it will work....


It doesn't seems to work... :

#16 Roger Clark

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 06:57

It's a shame that all the interest seems to be with the 806, which raced only once and in a minor event, rather than the 804 and 805. They were truly hstoric cars, both in their technical advances and in their achievements.

#17 robert dick

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 13:38

All these Fiats had steel cylinders which did not keep their original shape, getting oval after a few races. In addition the roller bearings of the crankshaft demanded an extremely accurate warm up.The consequence was that these racers could not be sold to private owners.
The pre-WWI cars, which had cast iron cylinders and plain bearings, had all been sold to private owners, proved reliable and, in private hands, added a lot of successes to the Fiat colours.
Especially the 1.5-litre 803 would have been a marvellous car for a private owner,... with cast iron cylinders and plain bearings.
Perhaps the fact that these cars were unsalable is one of the reasons for their scrapping.

The 1914 4.5-litre Mercedes had steels cylinders too, but bullett casing fashion, thus dimensionally more stable, and plain bearings. It proved reliable even in private hands.

#18 dmj

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 21:27

Originally posted by tonicco


It doesn't seems to work... :

Yeah, I see. I+ll try to put these on my Atlas webspace as soon as I manage to do something with it...

Just for information, those were some scans from an article about Fiat in racing, from Ruoteclassiche 12/1995.

#19 D-Type

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 21:41

Originally posted by robert dick
All these Fiats had steel cylinders which did not keep their original shape, getting oval after a few races. In addition the roller bearings of the crankshaft demanded an extremely accurate warm up.The consequence was that these racers could not be sold to private owners.
- - - -


I think this is the answer to why?

Although they were undoubtedly racing enthusiasts, Fiat's objective was to sell cars. Letting potentially unreliable, possibly even dangerous, cars into private hands spells commercial disaster.

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#20 Doug Nye

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 22:20

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Fornaca died in January 1928 and as Agnelli took firmer control, so came the order to destroy the car. DCN called it "inexplicable" then: have you changed your view Doug?


Sorry - only just noticed this. Nope - I still think the word 'inexplicable' is apt, but I was schooled by Cyril Posthumus (my editor on 'Motor Racing' magazine in the mid-'60s) to understand that Agnelli pulled Fiat out of racing primarily because he was outraged at the manner in which Bertarione had gone off to Sunbeam and produced a Fiat in green paint which won in France at Fiat's expensive, and Becchia went to Talbot and performed similarly and above all when Jano and Bazzi went to Alfa Romeo and really kicked the coal bucket all over Fiat's lounge carpet...each of these engineers having been - in Agnelli's view - expensively Fiat trained.

DCN

#21 fines

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 22:28

Originally posted by D-Type
I think this is the answer to why?

Although they were undoubtedly racing enthusiasts, Fiat's objective was to sell cars. Letting potentially unreliable, possibly even dangerous, cars into private hands spells commercial disaster.

But they could have preserved them, surely?