I was recently contacted by Martin Schroeder of Germany who after reading a post that I made to this website on June 14, 2011 wanted to provide me with additional information about the Cisitalia T360 Grand Prix car. As many of you know, in February 1947 Piero Dusio, the owner of the Cisitalia car company wanted to build a Grand Prix car that would be capable of competing in the new Grand Prix formula that would come into effect in 1950. This formula would give the competitors the option of using supercharged engines up to 1,500cc or to use naturally aspired engines with capacities up to 4,500cc.
Cisitalia T360 Grand Prix Car
Dusio approached the Porsche Engineering Company to design this car. Their plan was for a mid-engined race car modeled after the pre-war Auto Union GP car with a supercharged 1,500cc water-cooled twelve-cylinder 180 ° opposed engine and two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank. The pressurized mixture of air and fuel would be fed to the engine through Weber dual-downdraft carburetors. They thought that the engine should make 400 to 450 hp at 10,500 rpm and that the car would achieve a top speed of 300 kph.
The 1,500cc Opposed 12-cylinder 4-Cam Cisitalia Engine
As a special feature, the car was planned to have a selectable front-wheel drive, which was primarily intended for accelerating out of corners, the torque transmitted without slip despite the narrow tires on the road. This drive train would be encased in a magnesium body placed on a tubular frame chassis made of chrome-molybdenum steel. The wheels would be mounted individually to the front of parallel trailing arms like the Auto Union racing car, the back of a parallel resonant axis.
Cutaway Drawing Of the Cisitalia Grand Prix Car
By the end of 1948 Piero Dusio was in financial difficulty. In what I think was a both a testing session and a way to garner interest in the Cisitalia Grand Prix car, Dusio asked Tazio Nuvolari to test the Cisitalia. In many ways this was a good fit. Nuvolari knew Dusio well, as Nuvolari had finished second in the 1947 Mille Miglia in a Cisitalia and also Nuvolari had great success with the pre-war Auto Union cars which had influenced the design of the Cisitalia Grand Prix car. This effort to garner financial support was unsuccessful and Dusio moved to Argentina taking the Cisitalia Grand Prix car with him.
Tazio Nuvolari And The Cistitalia T360 Grand Prix Car
In Argentina, the Cisitalia T360 set the South American speed record over a distance of 1,000 meters at a speed of 233 kph. The car was to be used in competition in 1953, but due to some technical difficulties the car was essentially retired. The car was sold, but now this car is the car that is on display in the Porsche Museum. This is the car that I featured in my post on June 14, 2011 regarding this matter.
A few years ago, a second Cisitalia T360 Grand Prix car was discovered. It seems that the second car may not have been fully completed or at least there were some parts missing from the second car. Also there have been some spare parts found for the Cisitalia Grand Prix. It seems that an attempt will be made to complete the second car and thus get both cars running.
Martin Schroeder has been appointed historian and manager of the project and he would appreciate any pieces of information in the form of photos, documents or other personal information about these cars. Mr. Schroeder can be reached at the following address: www.zwischengas.com
Martin Schroeder With The Cisitalia Project Car
There is a good website that provides good information about this car:
A more complete story about the Cisitalia Grand Prix project that Martin Schroeder is working on is presented in the file below which was prepared by Martin Schroeder:
I wish all the best for those involved in this important project. It would be great to see and hear these cars on a race track!