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Atlas fiberglass Cisitalia copies

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#1 dretceterini

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 20:49

This just came to me by e-mail. I think a few here might be interested (permission to post this has been given by the sender of the message)...

Dr. Schaller,
I noticed your comment on the forum, and thought I'd send a quick note regarding the Cisitalia/ Multiplex/ Allied cars. The Tam's site gives a brief mention (largely because of Darren Crispin's effort to restore his grandfather's car). Darren's the heir, and CEO of the Multiplex company which is located in my hometown back in Pennsylvania. Actually, there's a greater history to these cars (or car bodies), which is only about 100 miles from your location in Utah. The story of the Allied was born on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Bill Burke, the father of the belly tank lakester car was also the ad manager for Robert Petersen's Hot Rod Magazine. His boss was becoming pretty successful in the early '50s and had bought an Eceterini: a Cisitalia 202. It needed to be repainted, and so "Pete" took it to the Barris Brothers bodyshop (George and Sam). He went out of town on business. Bill, who'd spied the very aerodynamic Pinin Farina design snuck over, and with George's help, poured plaster of paris all over the aluminum body. A mold was made, and Pete's car was returned (he was not happy to find plaster of paris bits down in the fenders, but Bill didn't lose his job). A tubeframe was made, and a well tuned Flathead owned by Mickey Thompson was installed. It was towed to Bonneville, and in 1953, about 100 miles from you, it set a record at a little over 167 mph. The outcome of that was that Burke and Thompson decided to build these bodies for sale. Roughly 50 were produced, including the one sold to Darren's grandfather (which actually was shown at the New York Automobile Show), then the company was sold. Bill Burke is still alive (I spoke to him at Speed Week just a month or so back), but of course Mickey Thompson is not. There are about 8 or so remaining bodies (mostly on cars), and I have one. Mine was purchased by a different motorsports person: Jud Phillips. His intent was to power one of these with a supercharged Offenhauser 220. I'm currently restoring that car.

Bill Fester
Houston, Texas


#2 Gerr

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 22:52

Same tale is in "The Rodder's Journal" number 30, plus a nice photo from the AHRF. The caption however, has some minor contradictions, saying the engine was "an Ardun-equipped Mercury built by Don Clarl and Clem Tebow of C&T Automotive" and "it set the Closed Sports Car record at an average of 149.87 mph. The car's qualifying speed was 167.91 mph.".

AHRF/Bill Burke