1922 Fiat 501 Roadster
Registration no. XK 7145
Chassis no. 1221053
Engine no. 1120956
Founded in Turin in 1899 by a group of aristocratic motoring enthusiasts, FIAT (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) built its first car in 1900 and by the outbreak of WWI was out-producing all of its British rivals. After a succession of small twins and fours, medium and large-capacity models, including a number of leviathan racers, dominated the FIAT line-up in its early years, but in 1908 the firm introduced the Taxi, a modest, 2.2-litre, four-cylinder model that would point the firm in the direction of its future prosperity. The Taxis successor was the Tipo 1, a 1.8-litre four built between 1910 and 1912, from which FIAT developed the Zero. Influenced by Fords Model T, the Zero was available with tourer coachwork only at first and proved highly successful, though the 2,000-or-so sold between 1912 and 1915 represented a mere drop in the ocean by American standards. The Zeros success influenced FIATs first post-WWI introduction in the small-capacity class - the 501. Like the Zero, the 501 was powered by a four-cylinder sidevalve engine, though of slightly smaller (1,460cc) capacity. It was available in various versions with several types of coachwork and proved an outstanding success with over 45,000 sold between 1919 and 1926.
Its late owners father - Dr William George Barnard - purchased this FIAT 501 in 1952 (for £75) from an unrelated namesake: Sir Henry William Barnard. The car had been recently overhauled (in 1950) and eventually came in to Dr Robin Barnards personal ownership, in 1964. Right-hand drive, of course, it features roadster-plus-dickey coachwork and is finished in maroon/black with dark green interior. The vehicle is offered with sundry invoices dating from the 1950s, old-style buff logbook, current MoT/road find licence, Swansea V5C and a quantity of related FIAT literature including operating instructions, workshop manual and English/Dutch brochures.