Fiat 600 Rendez Vous

1959 Fiat 600 Rendez Vous by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 13, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Fiat 600 was introduced in 1955 and would remain in production until 1969. It was the basis for Fiat’s 500 and was available as a two-door fastback and a mini-MPV called the Multipla. They built over 2.5 million of them. But this example is no ordinary, somewhat-dumpy Fiat 600.

The famed Italian coachbuilder Vignale decided that they wanted to take this near-microcar and make it look like a fancy, two-door coupe. Its classy looks make it look a lot bigger than it is, and it isn’t made clear if this car has a 633cc inline-four or the 767cc version. In either case, the engine is mounted out back.

Fewer than 20 of these “Rendez Vous” cars are thought to have been produced, and this one was restored less than 300 miles ago. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold.

Fiat 1100 Charmant Coupe

1954 Fiat 1100/103 TV Charmant Coupe by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 21, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

The Fiat 1100 was a small family car built between 1953 and 1969. At the 1953 Paris Motor Show, they introduced the TV, or Turismo Veloce, variant (and for some reason, Bonhams insists on spelling it out, even though it was called the TV. I guess it sounds sexier spelled out like it’s some rare sports car… which it isn’t).

The TV did receive an upgraded engine: a sporty 1.1-liter inline-four good for 57 horsepower. There were also styling tweaks that were done in-house. This car, however, is one of 12 bodied by Vignale as a “Charmant Coupe.” Styling was actually penned by Michelotti.

The standard 1100, or even the TV, did not have fastback styling, Borrani wire wheels, or an Abarth intake manifold. This one was stored for a long time and supposedly has very few miles on it. No estimate is available yet, but you can read more about it here. Check out more from Bonhams here.

Update: Sold $190,400.

Steyr-Fiat

1964 Steyr-Fiat 1100 D

Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | August 29, 2020

Photo – Dorotheum

This is a shameless weird-marque grab. I love that the alphabetical list on this site is an amazing collection of different marques, and Steyr-Fiat is a rare one. There isn’t much special about this car other than who made it, and the fact that I turned down featuring a 120-year-old Peugeot to squeeze this in makes me a little naseous.

The Fiat 1100 was a small sedan produced between 1953 and 1969 across a few different models. The base 1100 gave way to the 1100 D in 1962. It was powered by a 50 horsepower, 1.2-liter inline-four.

Steyr, of Austria, produced the 1100 under license, along with some other Fiats. In some cases, they fitted their own engines instead of Fiat’s, along with other mechanical modifications. And they were sold as “Steyr-Fiats” for a period of time (with a unique front badge listing both names). This is the type of car you will only ever find in Central Europe. This one should bring between $7,000-$11,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $8,174.

Vignale Wonderful Coupe

1958 Fiat 1200 Wonderful Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | August 14-15, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Well get to this car’s name in a second, but first: the 1950s were kind of a weird time, as it turns out. American car companies wanted their cars to look Italian, and Italian car companies, apparently, wanted their cars to look American. Look at this car’s styling. It’s like they bolted a Fiat front clip onto a Packard Hawk.

The Fiat 1200 was built in sedan and convertible form between 1957 and 1961. Power is from a 1.2-liter inline-four that made 54 horsepower. This car was styled by Michelotti, and, sure enough, it says “Wonderful” on the fenders. Kind of amusing. The coolest part is that it’s a targa. The roof panel pops off, like so:

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It’s thought that as few as three of these were made. You can read more about this restored example here, and see more from RM Sotheby’s here.

Update: Sold $181,500.

Fiat 8V by Vignale

1954 Fiat 8V Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Can you believe that Fiat didn’t built a V8 until they introduced the 8V in 1952? They didn’t produce any eight-cylinder engines until that time, and the only reason the model is called the “8V” is because they didn’t want to get in a tussle with Ford over the use of “V8.”

Between 1952 and 1954, Fiat produced just 114 examples of its 2.0-liter V8-powered 8V. Power was rated between 104 and 125 horsepower depending on which iteration of the engine the car received, although the catalog is short on that detail.

This is the 80th example produced, and it features dramatic bodywork from Vignale. It was produced as a follow up to a Michelotti-penned show car called the Demon Rouge. 8Vs are never cheap, and short of a Supersonic, this is about the best-looking example I’ve seen. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Fiat 519S Torpedo

1924 Fiat 519S Torpedo Sport Speciale Convertible by Bertone

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | November 23, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Fiat 519 was produced between 1922 and 1927 in a few different forms, including the 519S, which rode on a shortened wheelbase compared to other models. It was offered in different factory body styles, but customers could also have coachbuilt bodies constructed, as is the case with this example.

It carries a boattail Torpedo body from Bertone and is powered by a 40 horsepower, 4.8-liter inline-six. Top speed was about 79 mph. This particular car was discovered in a barn in Australia in 2011 and subsequently restored.

Only 2,411 examples of all 519 models were produced. Just 25 of those were of the 519S variety, and this is said to be the only remaining example. It’s a beautiful – and early – example of Bertone coachwork. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Fiat-Daniela

1950 Fiat-Daniela 750 Testa d’Oro

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Small Fiats were the basis for many Italian sports cars after WWII. What quite a few enterprising individuals did was take a Fiat 500, bore it out to 750cc, replace some other internals, and go racing.

Daniela built five or six cars powered by 750cc Fiat engines. This car’s original engine went missing, and it’s now powered by a 105 horsepower, 1.1-liter Fiat inline-four. It hasn’t really been used much since the 1990s and is begging for restoration.

A previous owner had the car from 1958 through 1990, during which time it was raced in Nassau, Watkins Glen, Bridgehampton, and Lime Rock. It’s a pretty cool little thing and should sell for between $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $106,400.

March 2019 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We pick up in March at Mecum’s Phoenix sale. They took to the desert a few months after everyone else and managed to move this 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T/ Hemi Convertible for $1,430,000.

Photo – Mecum

The 1910 Kenmore we featured sold for $23,100, while previously-featured sales consisted of this Delage which also sold for $23,100, the Ford EX concept truck at $99,000, and the #2 overall seller, this Duesenberg Rollston Sedan. No-sales included the Chrysler ST Special and the Apollo 3500 GT. Click here for complete results.

Next up we have a sale from Aguttes in Paris. The Salmson we featured didn’t sell (perhaps it was the scandalous model name), though this swoopy 1935 Fiat 508 CS Balilla Aerodinamica managed to squeeze $225,620 out of someone in the audience. Final results can be found here.

Photo – Aguttes

Onward now to H&H Classics’ sale at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford. The Bristol 406 we featured sold for $44,045, and the 1939 Imperial brought $14,681. The top sale was $579,934 for this barn find-condition 1936 Bentley 4.5-Litre Vanden Plas Tourer. More results are located here.

Photo – H&H Classics

Now we hop back across the channel for Osenat’s March sale, where the top overall sellers were two of our feature cars: the Gardner-Serpollet at $282,946 and the early Delahaye at $175,157. We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1951 Simca 8 Sport that could’ve been yours for $33,684.

The D’Yrsan three-wheeler sold for $58,610. Complete results can be found here.

We wrap up in Ft. Lauderdale with RM Sotheby’s where this 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari sold for $3,080,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Our feature cars all found new homes, with the Stutz Blackhawk leading the way at $55,000. The Lotus Esprit was next, selling for $50,600, and both the Biscuter and Goggomobil microcars sold, at $4,675 and $20,350 respectively.

Feature cars from auctions past included this Packard Clipper station wagon that sold for $56,100 and this Mochet microcar for $7,590. Click here for final results.

Fiat Frua Spider

1946 Fiat 1100C Spider by Frua

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

This car might not look all that radical today, but in 1946 it looked unlike just about anything else in the world. It was the first car styled by Pietro Frua as an independent designer, and the above photo doesn’t do it justice. Rear styling looks like a “modern” take on the boattail cars of the 1930s.

And speaking of the 1930s, this car is based on the Fiat 1100, which was introduced in 1937. Power is from a 1.1-liter straight-four making 52 horsepower. Not exactly otherworldly performance to match the looks.

The car debuted at Villa d’Este in 1947 and took home second place. Ownership history is known from new, and the car still carries its 1950 Italian registration. It was restored in 2016 and should bring between $605,000-$850,000 at auction next month. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $577,000.

Patriarca 750 Berlina

1949 Fiat-Patriarca 750 Berlina Sport by Faina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

With its almost-Porsche-like looks, this Patriarca 750 Berlina is one of many specials built on the backs of small Fiat road cars. Post War Italy didn’t have an economy to support a lot of fancy car sales, so companies like Fiat focused on small, affordable cars for the masses.

But that doesn’t mean Italians still didn’t love motorsport. So people like Rodolfo Patriarca and Carlo Abarth took to modifying these cars for sport. This car was based on a Fiat 500C and has an 81 horsepower, 750cc straight-four tuned for racing by Giannini.

Built by Patriarca for gentleman driver Sesto Leonardi, the competition history for this car includes:

  • 1950 Targa Florio – 3rd in class
  • 1950 Mille Miglia – 1st in class

It continued to race through 1953, with at least one more appearance at the Mille Miglia. It’s wonderfully restored and eligible for many historic events. You can read more here and see more from RM here.

Update: Not sold.