1947 Fiat 1100
Why am I an Automotive Masterpiece?
There are many cars loved for one reason or another. Some recall specific aspects of our history. Few, like the Fiat 1100, tell so many stories of Italy, from the late 30s to the late 60s. The 1100 was born from an offshoot of the Fiat 508C, the Nuova Balilla 1100 and was nicknamed "musone" due to the imposing grille. The Fiat 508 C was first introduced in 1937, powered by a 1,089cc 4-cylinder engine, instead of the previous 1-liter Balilla. Power increased by a third, to 32 hp at 4,000 rpm. At the time, its comfort, handling and performance were prodigious, making it "the only car for the people that was also the car for a driver". Unusual for a low-priced car of the time was the independent front suspension. In 1939 the car underwent a makeover of the nose and became the Fiat 1100, sometimes known “retrospectively” as the 1100 A to distinguish it from the following models. The car had received a taller and more defined grille, which earned it the popular nickname of 1100 "musone": with horizontal chrome bars, the top three extending backwards on window-shaped openings on each side of the engine hood, redesigned. There were six body types available, all derived from the previous model: sedan, convertible sedan, convertible, sports sedan, long wheelbase and taxi. No significant changes were made to the mechanics of the car. After World War II, in 1948, the 1100 received some mechanical and interior updates and was renamed 1100 B. It only lasted a year, until 1949, when the car was reintroduced with a new trunk and a new name, 1100 E.
The 1947 Fiat 1100 (Fiat) sn 1100*293098* was completed in December 1947 and registered exactly one month later, in January 1948, with Milan plates. The car is registered to the "Società di Fatto Luigi Zaini", an important family-run "Factory of Chocolate, Cocoa, Candies, Jams and Similar" founded in Milan in 1913. Once the founder, Luigi, died prematurely, the company was run for a period by his widow, Olga: it was an exceptional fact for the time to see a woman at the helm of a company. In the mid-1950s she handed over the helm to her two sons: Vittorio and Pietro but, before this commitment, the young Pietro would still have the freedom to be a gentleman driver. As could only happen at the time, Pietro entered the most important road race in 1949 with the family car (perhaps purchased for the occasion?): the Mille Miglia. His lifelong friend and companion on a thousand adventures, Pietro Moscatelli, was his co-driver. The black sedan lined up with the racing number 203 painted on the doors at the starting line at 2:03 AM on April 24. It was able to get to the end of the race, covering it with a good pace; in fact, it qualified 120th overall and 37th in class. A more than honorable result for a 1100 cc private touring sedan. At the end of the summer Zaini sold the Fiat 1100 to a new owner, who was in turn followed by a few others until, today, the car is completely restored and returns to the roads of the Mille Miglia, taking part in the re-enactments. On June 13, 2022, Automotive Masterpieces organized a photoshoot of the car in front of the company of the first owner Zaini with his nephew Luigi.