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1947 Fiat 1100 S
Why am I an Automotive Masterpiece?
The 1100 S was Fiat’s first post-war sports car, but it had a strong lineage with the pre-war 508C “Nuova Balilla” 1100, appeared in 1937. The car was intended as a Mille Miglia racer for the 1100cc class, the most popular at the time. The 1100 S was based on the light and rigid X-member frame of the 1100 B saloon. It featured a tuned engine and a dramatic streamlined body by Fiat which was loosely based off the pre-war 508 CMM with the peculiar "Gobbone" tail which had proved to be particularly effective for efficiency and helped the car achieve nearly 160 km/h. The two-seater body was produced by Carrozzerie Speciali at Fiat’s own Officine Lingotto under the direction of Giuseppe Cogno. Several of the early cars have a badge with this script on the body. The 1100 cc engine offered significantly more power than its predecessor and produced around 50 bhp. The S-spec engine had different camshafts and valves, a lubrication system with oil cooler, a centrifugal water pump with redesigned radiator and a crankshaft placed on four main bearings. Wind-tunnel testing allowed the 1100 S MM to reach speeds of 150 km/h, and 1100 S MMs gained 5th through 9th overall positions at the 1947 Mille Miglia, followed by a 2nd and 3rd overall in 1948. A number of 401 units of the 1100 S were made, but we suspect this might be an overambitious number that includes several other body styles. The chassis numbers went from 500001 to 500401. Despite the race purpose of the model, many 1100 S were sold to normal customers, convinced by the high speeds (over 150 kph) allowed by the powerful engine.
Just following, the 1949 Fiat 1100 S Berlinetta is the first example of small series Pinin Farina cars built for Fiat. The 1100 S was followed by the 1100 E/S that was the sports version of the 1100 E saloon.
The chassis no. 1100S*500006* is the sixth example of the Fiat 1100 S. It is one of the first examples produced. Fiat in the early months of 1947 built a pre-series of 12 specimens specially prepared for competitions. This pre-series had special features compared to the models that will later be built in series. The chassis numbers were those from no. 500001 to 500012. Our example is the chassis number 500006; engine 500002. The chassis was built in FIAT, while the bodywork was commissioned to the "martelleria" Motto of Turin and made entirely of aluminum (from April 4 to May 5 1947); the painting was carried out at the Elba body shop (from 7 to 31 May 1947). The engine was prepared by the parent company and the 500002 seems to be the first built, as the number 500001 is not built. It is still an experimental engine, as it does not have an oil cooling circuit; an evolution not yet complete of the "old" engine that equipped the 508 C. The car was first sent and invoiced to the Bologna branch on 10 June, was recalled to Turin on 18 June and then finally delivered and re-invoiced in the Padua branch on June 19. The pre-series cars had as their main peculiarity the windshield divided by an aluminum frame, which was later eliminated. There were also small differences in the nose of the car. The 1100S*500006* frame has the peculiarity of not having the “step” above the side whiskers, but rather integrated into the whiskers themselves.
The car, following a thorough and complete restoration, has embarked on a long career in re-enactment races for historic cars.