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Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Spring 2020
						Bandini Siluro17

Devin-Bodied ’51 Bandini Siluro

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

What makes an Etceterini an Etceterini? It’s a fair question and one without a complete definition, but in general, we’re talking about race cars of roughly 750, 1,100 and 1,500 cc displacements made in Italy from the late 1930s to the early ’50s. Etceterinis are usually small in size with a high degree of craftsmanship in their construction. Sometimes quite attractive, Etceterinis vary a large amount, even within the same model, but almost all Etceterinis are relatively obscure to this day. This Devin-bodied Bandini Etceterini sports car on eBay is a little different than your average Etceterini survivor car, but it’s truly a veteran racer with well documented and fascinating history.

Born in 1951 as a Bandini 750 Sports Siluro (sports torpedo), the Siluro was designed specifically for the 750 cc Crosley engine that had proved itself in everything from boats and aircraft, as well as industrial applications and automobiles. After tuning the 750 cc Crosley engines, Bandini set them in a steel chassis of elliptical sections with independent front suspension and leaf-spring rear suspension. Aluminum coachwork was completed by Rocco Motto’s outfit with simple, low-drag styling, and skinny wire wheels came courtesy of Borrani.

The 750 cc Siluro was successful in hill climbs, road courses and auto-cross type events throughout Italy and the U.S. Early cars such as this 1951 model sported cycle-type fenders front and rear. A dedicated racer, this car was put on the track right out of the gate in 1952 where it was a force to be reckoned with in the SCCA’s small displacement classes. The owner has listed a pretty comprehensive account of the car’s competition history, which I’ll attach below.

By 1957 though, it would have been hard to call this car anything other than an old race car, and presumably, one with plenty of battle scars. So the owner decided to replace the aluminum body with the smallest fiberglass body that Bill Devin’s firm sold. A good deal of the original chassis was also modified at this time, and the owner states that the following parts are still original to the car: lower frame, front and rear suspension, steering wheel and horn assembly, steering column, aluminum seats, Borrani 15 X 2.75 64-spoke wire wheels, front and rear brake drums, Bandini-modified Fiat 500 transmission, Fiat 500 rear end and drive shaft, fuel filler cap, Bandini emblem and rear script, nose, grill and the tail.

Original Etceterinis are becoming more popular, leaving us to wonder what will become of this car. It’s likely worth more to your average collector as a 750 Siluro restored with the leftover parts from the original body, but it seems to us like you’d be throwing away this car’s uniquely American history.

See the Devin-bodied Bandini here on eBay.

History:

The car's verified history is as follows: This is one of the first 4 Siluro (torpedo) cycle fender bodied Bandinis by Rocco Motto. The first owner Chuck Hassan raced her at Vero Beach in March 1952 and won the index in the 6 hour. Next up was 1952 Sebring where it was leading its class after 4 hours when the transmission let go so a DNF. More races followed and after 6 total races it ended up 24th in the 1952 SCCA national overall point standings. In 1953 it was sold to James Riley who painted it green and raced 3 times. Mr. Riley advertised it for sale in the July 31,1953 SCCA Sports Car Magazine for $2995. Subsequently it was sold to Sandy MacArthur who raced the car 16 times (at least) and finished 7th in the Nation in the Hmod class in 1954. His exploits in it are well recorded and the most notable perhaps was at 1955 Sebring where the Mercury Outboard factory fitted it with one of their sports car racing engines, sadly it was a DNF that day. MacArthur raced it till the end of the 1955 season and then sold it to his friend and mechanic Clair Reuter. The car was pictured in the following magazines: Auto Speed And Sport June 1952, Auto Sport Revue June 1952, Road And Track November 1952, Auto Speed And Sport November 1952, Car Life June 1955, Sports Cars Illustrated July 1955, SCCA Sports Car Magazine Sandy MacArthur article Jan/Feb 1956. Clair Reuter raced the car once in 1956 and then decided to replace the old green aluminum body with a new smallest sized Devin Fiberglass Monza body, styled after a Scaglietti bodied Ermini, at the end of 1957. In 1959 Reuter's friend Earl Carlson towed it using his Bosley GT MK 1 (currently housed in the Petersen Museum) to the drivers school and race at Meadowdale Illinois which is the last known race it took part in. Reuter then set up it up for street use with turn signals etc. and used it as a nice day driver up till the mid 1960's, then parked it in his dry garage. About 6 months after purchasing the car we found some of the original body parts including the nose (with 89 painted on it), the tail and a hood. Around this same time we discovered a letter Sandy MacArthur wrote to Jack Reuter in the 1980's which described the entire history of the car.

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Etceterini Italian