1939 FIAT 1500 B Cabriolet BALBO

Lot 21
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Estimation :
60000 - 100000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 71 160EUR
1939 FIAT 1500 B Cabriolet BALBO
No reserve Rare Balbo bodywork Presumably unique 6-cylinder engine Italian registration title Chassis n° 33045 Presented at the Milan International Motor Show on the 9th of November 1935, the Fiat 1500 was noticed for its resolutely innovative line. This new model of the brand is a top-of-the-range model. Better still, it met specifications that took into account aerodynamic considerations that would influence the design of the car itself. A forerunner in this field, Fiat already has a full-scale measurement tunnel. The 1500 was the first model to be designed according to an innovative concept at the time: aerodynamics. Developed in a wind tunnel, the 1500’s bodywork was astonishing for its steeply sloping front grille, designed to reduce aerodynamic drag. This did not prevent it from being replaced by a more conventional vertical grille in 1940, no doubt due to fashion criteria at the time. The bodywork of the 1500 features a ladder-type chassis with independent front suspension, a first for a Fiat model. Its engine is a 1493cc 6-cylinder engine with overhead valves developing 45 hp, transmitted to the rear wheels by a four-speed gearbox, allowing a maximum speed of around 113 km/h. This engine block will remain for a long time among the smallest 6-cylinder engines in the world. Alongside the standard sedan, Fiat completed its range by developing the convertible version. A total of 25,650 units of the 1500 were produced. As was customary at the time, the 1500 was also offered in a chassis-only version for independent bodybuilders. In 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, Fiat presented a second, barely altered version of its first model: the 1500 B. This version, of which 9,906 were produced, saw the power of its brakes increase. This was followed by the 1500 C in 1940, with a reworked line and a larger grille. Then the 1500 D, in 1948, with the engine power increased to 47 hp, a new steering and new front suspensions. The Fiat 1500B from the Anna Lisa collection left the workshops of Carrozzeria Italiana di Torino, otherwise known as Balbo, in August 1939, just a few weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War. This famous coachbuilder was created by Alfonso Balbo in 1914, quickly becoming known for his hard tops, which skillfully transformed torpedos into interior bodies. The Fiat that illustrates these pages is characteristic of the Balbo productions of the 1940s, with very American lines, thanks to a very pronounced grille, hyper-stylized fenders and the adoption of spats at the rear. The car had only a handful of owners before being restored at great expense in the early 1990s. Today, it has a superb patina and seems to need a little work before taking its future owner for a ride through the Alpine passes, in the direction of the most prized elegance competitions.
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