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1949 Fiat 1100 S

Chassis no. 500065
Engine no. 500215
Coachbuilder Carrozzerie Speciali Fiat
Produced in 1949 with the standard Carrozzerie Speciali Fiat body, it was chosen, a little later, to carry a body by Fabio Luigi Rapi, pre series for the Fiat 8V. Kept in the famous collection of Mario Righini, it was a protagonist in 1980s re-enactments with Flaminio Valseriati.

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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.

Chassis no. 500065 was produced in 1949 with the standard Carrozzerie Speciali Fiat body and engine no. 500331. A picture of the car portrays it with this shape at the Coppa Intereuropa in 1950. This car was chosen, a little later, to carry a body of the forthcoming Fiat 8V. Between 1950 and 1952 it was dressed with a steel body by Fabio Luigi Rapi, pre series for the Fiat 8V that will be produced from 1952 to 55. According to researches, this body is a prototype or the pre series body No. 002 or 005 of total 36 steel bodies produced. Chassis no. 500065 has long been kept in the famous collection of Mario Righini, then has gained a second youth in 1980s when it became a protagonist in re-enactment events for classic cars, driven by the famous Flaminio Valseriati. The car has recently been part of other important collections and, mechanically overhauled in 2009, it is in perfectly restored condition.