By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

We live in a world of acronyms, and any reasonable acronym likely has three or more possible meanings. We see dozens of acronyms every day, and usually just come to ignore them all together. But when it comes to Italian cars, there’s whole world of small manufacturers that lived and died under their respective acronyms. OSI, ATS, OSCA, ASA and Siata are a few Italian manufacturers under acronyms, with most of these firms springing up around the 1960s.

The latter firm, Siata, or Società Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori, got its start back in 1926, and built this wonderful open-cockpit racer through the 1950s. It’s incredibly rare, stylish and was a serious performer in its period, seen as a worthy alternative to the best four-cylinder Ferraris. With most of its restoration completed, this 1955 Siata 300BC Barchetta is sensationally styled, and sure to be a valuable classic in the coming years.

Siata built most of its cars on modified Fiat mechanicals, and they were so good at it, that they became to de facto race tuner for Fiat for years. Following the Amica and Daina models, Siata unveiled the 300BC Barchetta, also called the 750 Spider, aimed predominantly at the road/race spyder market in the U.S. Around 50 examples were built starting in 1951 with bodywork by Bertone and Motto. For the price, the 300BC was seen as a popular alternative to the four-cylinder Ferraris of the day, and many liken its appearance to early Ferrari barchettas.

This 300BC listed on eBay has undergone a partial restoration, and is offered with a choice of engines. The Crosley 750cc engine currently installed, as well as the Fiat 1,100cc engine, were both installed in the 300BC in period. The 1,100cc Fiat engine was known to supply nearly as much power as four-cylinder Ferraris of the day.

The seller notes that all metal work has been completed on the Siata and it has the correct Borrani wire wheels and Marchal headlights. With period racing history and an elemental appearance, the Siata is a beautiful sight, even without paint. The seller states that the car can be sold as is, or finished in the buyer’s choice of paint colors.

If the little 300BC were mine, I’d keep it exactly as is in raw metal, and add the racing numbers on the side, as they were in the seller’s photos.

The seller is asking a healthy $172,000 for the car here on eBay. According to Hagerty’s price guide, that’s too much, as the average #4 condition 300BC is worth just $136,000 — and in its condition, this car isn’t quite a #4. But 300BCs have sold strong in recent years, like this example hammered away by RM Sotheby’s for $258,500.

For its stunning looks and race-bred history, we’d say the Siata is a solid buy for around $150,000 to $160,000, and has great future value on the auction block, and at historic events like the Mille Miglia as well.