Vehicle Description

1953 Nardi Danese. Frua bodied.

Vehicle Specifications

Enrico Nardi 

Mr Nardi would become famous for his steering wheels and speed equipment, but before the war Mr Nardi worked for Lancia as an engineer and race car driver. He competed in Mille Miglia from 1935-1938 in Fiat and Lancia’s finishing every time. In 1940 he was once again in the Mille Miglia this time behind the wheel of  Ferrari’s 815 (Auto Avio Costruzioni 815). He was a very talented and well respected individual in the automotive world.

After the War Nardi began manufacturing his own sports cars. The first being constructed in 1947 using a frame of his own design, rear suspension similar to a Bugatti. Fiat Toppilino front suspension and a BMW motorcycle engine. A beefier version of this chassis was also available with Alfa 6C2500 engine. Both versions were quick, nimble and very competitive.

By 1951 Mr Nardi had concluded that the BMW engine could not be developed any further so he started looking for an alternative. He was enamored with Panhard’s two cylinder, horizontally opposed, engine, similar to the BMW. He built two cars using his standard chassis and Panhard engines. Both were clothed in attractive Frua barchetta coachwork. This body style was named the “Nardyna”. 

The car on offer. 

In the fall of 1952 Stanley H “Wacky” Arnolt ordered two Crosley engined Nardi’s. Nardi asked Frua to body the car. The first car was chassis 953-1, the car for sale here. It was finished and shipped to Arnolt just in time for the New York Motor show. Mr Arnolt’s Nardi Frua was very well received and was awarded first prize as the best designed car at the event. The gold-plated trophy was sent to Nardi in Italy. The Nardi Frua was shipped back to Arnolt Headquarters in Warsaw Indiana. In the summer of 1953 Arnolt raced it in 3 or 4 races. Placing 2nd and 3rd in class and DNF in two races. All were local Club events.

In the early 1960’s the car turns up in several racing publications for sale and is listed in one hill climb during that period. It appears that the car sat from the early 60’s into the 1990s.

The Nardi Frua today. 

Two crosley engine, Frua bodied, Nardi’s were built. This is the only one left that has it’s original chassis and body. She had a light restoration in the 1990’s and has been sitting ever since. The body has had the rear tail lights removed (they are with the car) and the vent above the grill has also been removed (we have it) but the ND badge is missing. The engine has it’s Nardi manifold but is missing the weber carburetors. Otherwise the engine is complete. The car comes with four borrani wheels.

Once restored this car will be welcomed at major concours events worldwide and is certain to garner great interest. A rare opportunity.

Please call or email with questions or to discuss the car further.

The 1953 New York Auto Show Nardi Danese Spyder by Frua.

A very exciting car.  In need of a light restoration.


Once restored this car will be an easy entry to any major Concours or motoring event. Villa d’Este in Italy and  possibly the Mille Miglia, Pebble Beach California, Salon Privé at Blenheim Palace in England.

Distinctive, unique and rare.  Only two were made.


Chassis number 953-1

This car has it’s original body and original chassis.

Photo above shows the two small tail fins with tail lights on top. An important feature.

You will notice that the special tail lights have been removed. We have them and they come with the car.  See photo below.

  The two special tail lights, plus the vent that was above the grill.

Perfect at any angle.

Full aluminium body

Please call or email with any questions.

Daniel: Tel USA 203-470-5298

The car has its original steering wheel, Frua horn button and original gauges.

Please note that the seats are not original nor correct.
Correct seats will need to be made.
They appear to be the same as Siata 300BC seats, which I can help with.

Same with the Dash board. It needs to be reconfigured.   The car comes with it’s original gauges, knobs and switches.  See photos below.

Please call or email with any questions.

Daniel: Tel USA 203-470-5298


Full photos of the undercarriage can be seen at the following:

Even the gas cap is a piece of jewelry!

Original gauges.

Original buttons and knobs for the dash board.

Crosley engine fitted with Nardi intake manifold. The twin Webers are missing, but can be found.  The engine is fitted with other period speed equipment.

Mallory distributor.  A nice period piece.

Please call or email with any questions.

Daniel: Tel USA 203-470-5298

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