In the tumultuous year of 1938, the world's stages were awash with events that would define the course of history; Superman appears in comics for the first time, Teflon is discovered by accident, American singer Bill Withers is born, Italy wins the third FIFA World Cup,... A list too long to mention.
While political tensions built up and dark clouds of uncertainty gathered, there were also bright spots of innovation and style that attracted attention. From the midst of these turbulent times, may we introduce to you two remarkable automotive creations from 1938: a unique Fiat Siata 500 Record and a Riley Tourist Trophy Sprite Special. Both 85 years old and with racing DNA. Now exhibited in our Experience Room in Knokke-Heist.
1938 Riley Tourist Trophy Sprite Special
This Riley TT Sprite Special is an absolute stunner of a race car with irresistible looks and tremendous panache while driving. It is very well built and strictly respects the specifications of the very successful Riley race cars of the era. The 1500cc Sprite 4-cylinder engine is very well balanced and tuned. The Wilson preselect gearbox makes shifting very easy. The large Jaeger and Riley instruments in the beautiful aluminum brushed dash are correct and all work properly.
1938 Siata 500 Record
A truly unique Italian small barchetta with great ambitions to break speed records in the 500CC class. The only one in the world! Built using an intelligently upgraded Topolino chassis and a Fiat Topolino engine block reduced to 480cc and fitted with a compressor and Siata high-performance cylinder head. The aerodynamic body was custom built by Carrozzeria Motto of Turin.
With this Siata 500 Record it was Afredo Bosi's intention to make an attack on the world speed record in the 500CC class, but due to turbulent times and the emerging war he never got the chance to have his attempt officially recorded. An attempt was made after the war in 1946, but in vain. The technology was already outdated and not modern enough. The car was modified for other racing purposes and still had a successful racing career.
We cordially invite you to our Experience Room in Knokke where you will get to see this wonderful duo in the coming weeks.