Further development of the 125 S began in the year of its debut, 1947. Its displacement was first upped from 1,500 cc to 1,900 cc, and the resulting model was christened the 159 as the cars took their names from their engine’s single cylinder displacement.
As with the 125 S, the first version of the car was known as the 159 S and it made its debut at Pescara in the hands of Franco Cortese who finished second overall. The later 159 C version competed in the last race of the season in Modena but Cortese once again had to retire.
The cars’ technical characteristics remained mostly unchanged with the exception of the overall displacement and, of course, engine power.
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In the 159 S the 1.9 liter V12 engine delivered 125 hp at 7,000 rpm. It retained the hree double-choke Weber 30DCF carburettors of its predecessor. Both cars sported five-speed manual transmissions and retained the Fiat tradition of mounting the engine in-block with the gearbox.
The 159 S made its debut at the Circuito di Pescara with Franco Cortese behin the wheel. But it had no success in front of the Maserati’s 6CS 1500. The car claimed its first victory on October 12 at the Turin Grand Prix.