1953 Siata 208 CS Balbo to star at Hampton Court

17th June 2024
Russell Campbell

A 1953 Siata 208 CS Balbo, one of seven remaining examples, will star at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace from the 30th August to 1st September. 


The car that Steve McQueen christened his 'little Ferrari' is powered by a Fiat 8V eight-cylinder engine covered by an aluminium body designed by Italian style house Carrozzeria Balbo. The one-owner car was initially imported to the US by famous dealer Tony Pompeo. It competed on circuit from 1953-1959 in events such as the Floyd Bennett Grand Prize Cup and the Keene Mountain Hill Climb before being sold by its original owner.

The car was bought by its current keeper, Dr. Julius Eisenstark, from a garage in Queens, New York, in 1959. Since then, the Siata has undergone numerous modifications, transitioning from a bare-bones race car to a civilised everyday GT. Involved in an accident in 2017, the car was restored by Automotive Restorations Inc. of Stratford, Connecticut, a restoration that was awarded Best in Class win at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. 


Since then, the car has starred everywhere, from the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance to Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" with Steve Martin. 

The Siata is one of 70 rare and spectacular cars on show at Hampton Court Palace, which promises to celebrate automotive history featuring live discussions and special displays. Tickets are on sale priced from £45.

Images courtesy of Concours of Elegance

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