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Lot n° 24

1926 FIAT 501 Coupé Transforma...

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Important motorcar in European automotive history First Fiat of the post- World War I period Very interesting bodywork British registration title Customs cleared Chassis n° 1258462 The Fiat 501 has a particular importance in European automotive history. In the aftermath of the First World War, for all European nations, it was time for reconstruction. In a difficult economic context, the post-war period is delicate and industries are experiencing enormous difficulties in resuming a stable level of production, compatible with their potential. Taking advantage of the situation, American manufacturer Ford tried to conquer European markets with its Model T, an invasion to which European manufacturers had to respond to. The first to react was Fiat with its 501, launched in 1919. It was a smalldisplacement car, featuring a 1460cc, developing 23 hp at 2,600 rpm. Designed by Carlo Cavalli, the 501 is robust, spacious, efficient and - above all - affordable and fuelefficient, an advantage of the upmost importance. This model will be a great success and will compete favorably with the Ford T and Citroën Type A, models designed and manufactured to be very cheap, while the other French productions, Peugeot and Renault struggle, similar to the British car industry. The Fiat 501 was produced in 45,000 units until 1926. It will also be available in many versions and will de facto define the niche of the brand: the people’s car. The Italian manufacturer also took the opportunity to adopt a new name for its cars, which would henceforth bear the number 5, of which the 501 would be the first representative. In 1921, the 501S (Sport) and the 501SS (Spider Sport) will appear. A competition version, which will be called 802, will also see the light of day. With the 1486cc engine increased to 55 hp, it will win the Targa Florio in 1922. It will be followed in 1923 with the 501C (colonial) intended for the armies of the king of Italy in the colonies in Africa. It will be then seconded from 1923 by the 502. Then, both will be replaced in 1926 by the 503. Later will follow the 505, 507, 508, 509, 512 and other 520. The car in the Anna Lisa collection belongs to the last series of 501 produced in the Fiat factories. The car was probably shipped as a chassis to England where it received a very interesting body, corresponding to a convertible Coupé Docteur. Thanks to a clever system of retractable windows and pillars, this delightful Fiat can be transformed in a few maneuvers into a nice convertible, typical of the mid-1920s. The engine is not blocked, and all the fittings (of English origin) are present. This is a Fiat 501 not to be missed by anyone looking for an authentic, and particularly original pre-war car with its convertible body.

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