1933 FIAT 508 Balilla

Lot 15
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Estimation :
1500 - 2500 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 4 193EUR
1933 FIAT 508 Balilla

No reserve

Iconic Italian people’s car

Interesting restoration project

Mille Miglia eligible

Italian registration title

Chassis n° 108 - 071175

« Generous, fast, disciplined, tireless, daring, the Fiat 508 is the car for everyone. With its low purchase price and low maintenance costs, it represents a considerable progress. Small but comfortable, it is perfectly accomplished and as modern as a big car. This is, at last, the car for the people, Fiat’s gift to Italians!” It was in these terms that the Italian manufacturer presented the 508 at the Milan Motor Show on the 17th of April 1932. Aesthetically very similar to its predecessor, the 514, it is much more compact with a 30 cm shorter wheelbase. Its 995cc cast iron in-line 4-cylinder engine with side valves develops 20 bhp at 3,400 rpm, giving a top speed of 80 km/h. Its gearbox has three non-synchronized gears, its suspension uses rigid axles and longitudinal leaf springs, its shock absorbers are hydraulic (instead of friction) and the brakes are hydraulically operated (Lockheed system). The Fiat 508, nicknamed «Balilla», refers to Giovanni Battista Perasso who, in 1746 in Genoa, threw a rock at an Austrian officer to rebel against the Austrian invasion of the region. Like the Ford T, the 508 popularized the automobile. A second series (4 doors and 4-speed gearbox) followed in 1934. The 508 will also be declined in several versions: Torpedo, Coupe, Spider, Military, Sport and even Mille Miglia. Its production between 1932 and 1937 reached 170,176 units, a real achievement for the time. The car that illustrates these pages is of Italian origin, and emblematic of this successful period. Complete with all its lights and accessories, it presents an interesting basis for restoration.

ANNA-LISA Collection

Art of wheels

The result of the imagination and talent of the greatest engineers, designers and captains of industry, the motorcar is one of the most beautiful inventions of the 20th century. Among this rich and multi-faceted pantheon, how to choose? Such is the delicate roadmap of the collector. Patiently, with the liking of his discoveries, blows of heart and meetings, he will refine his choices and direct them until he constitutes HIS collection. This is what particularly moved Patrick Duvarry and his wife Anne Lise when they discovered in the dark a collection of cars that had not been seen for decades. They had the feeling of touching with their finger the work composed by a collector. How could they not be right? At a time when the Morozov collection is a triumph at the Fondation Vuitton, the mission of the collector is finally being understood at its true value. This reflection has been at the heart of our vocation for years at Aguttes. For, beyond his essential role of preserving works of art, the collector reveals, by bringing them together, an important part of them and establishes a new and secret dialogue between them. Gertrude Stein was probably the only one to perceive what could unite her paintings of Renoir and the work of the young Picasso, pre-Cubist. How can one not be seduced by the approach taken by Patrick Duvarry with the ANNA-LISA Art On Wheels collection? Because, beyond the safeguarding of this collection of forgotten cars, he has no end of desire to promote this rolling heritage. This is why the sale of 33 cars never before unveiled is a historic moment for the ANNA-LISA collection. This collection is rare because it is what the Anglo-Saxons call a «time capsule». Indeed, far from being barn finds, most of these cars were restored at great expense in the early 90’s before being put to rest in ideal conditions. What an honor it is for the future owners to continue this work, to be the very first to sit in brand new interiors, to give voice to mechanics that have been dormant for decades, or to drive the first kilometers of the few cars that have recently been put back on the road. The ANNA-LISA Collection hides behind its strong Italian character a heterogeneity that is delightful for any car enthusiast. Some of the cars are rare, others are unknown, others are stars. This set of 33 cars gathers an unpublished areopagus of cars from the frail 1914 Le Zèbre to the 1990 Alfa Romeo SZ nicknamed «Il Mostro». Between these two extremes, there are 31 other cars which are as many testimonies of the incredible creativity of the 20th century. All of them deserve to be seen, some for what they show, their lines, others for what they hide, their technological innovations and finally others for what they symbolize, the democratization of the use of the car in particular. These are the ingredients of the ANNA-LISA Collection...

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