1947 245 Serenissima - The First Scagliati.
Above: 1947 Scagliati 245 Serenissima n.001 (Courtesy Scagliati Museum)
The very first car that Amadeo Scagliati ever produced, the 245 Serenissima set the tone for what a Scagliati automobile should be - lightweight, luxurious and powerful. Powered by a 2940cc single-overhead cam V12 (the 245 designates the number of cubic centimetres of displacement each cylinder provides), the 245 Serenissima was a breathtaking sight to behold on the streets and backroads of post-war Italy. The car immediately caught the attention of Allied soldiers stationed in Italy, some of whom were able to purchase 245s themselves, while others spotted an opportunity to make money selling the cars elsewhere, both in the rest of Europe and abroad.
The 245 Serenissima was powered by a completely bespoke V12 engine designed by Amadeo Scagliati and his team of engineers. The so-called Scalzano engine first appeared with a brace of six SU-type carburetors in the 245 “Sei”, producing 184 horsepower at 5600 RPM, and revving all the way to 6000 RPM. The all-cast iron engine, with single overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder (a nod to the aircraft engines Scagliati designed before the war), was a compact but heavy motor that offered considerable room for growth in future models, a major factor explaining why the Scalzano engine remained in production for 17 years, until it was replaced by the Mirano V12 in 1964. This motor, combined with the 245’s lightweight, hand-beaten aluminum body, was sufficient to propel the 1195-kilogram car to 100 kilometres per hour in 9.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 211 kilometres per hour, all while enjoying the finest luxury that Venice could offer in the interior.
Within six months of Serenissima n.001 rolling off the production line, Scagliati had sold fifty cars, recuperating most of his investment and providing the impetus for further development of the 245. Production of the 245 proceeded in parallel with 245 Veneto coupe, launched shortly after the Serenissima, (and will be the subject of a later article), with production ceasing in 1950 after a total of 177 Serenissimas rolled out of the workshop.