1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile Coupé
Chassis no. 110B-025484
Originally a bicycle manufacturer and arguably best known as a maker of fine racing motorcycles, Edoardo Bianchi built his first automobile around 1900.
A wide variety of models was manufactured over the next 30 years, though by 1940 the firm was concentrating on motorcycles and commercial vehicles. Car manufacture resumed in 1957 when Bianchi joined partners FIAT and Pirelli to form Autobianchi. Production commenced at a new purpose-built factory in Desio, Autobianchi's debut model being the FIAT 500-based Bianchina, named after Edoardo Bianchi's first ever automobile.
The Bianchina debuted as the Transformabile coupé, which is the same body style offered here. With a full-length folding sunroof, it showed clear signs of American influence, its size excepted, exemplified by two-tone paintwork, whitewall tires and plentiful chromework. Positioned up-market from the FIAT 500, which had been conceived as basic transportation for the impecunious masses, the Bianchina was marketed as a 'second car' or luxurious 'recreational vehicle'. Appealing strongly to affluent middle class ladies, it reflected Italian society's increasing prosperity. In 1960 the newly introduced and more powerful FIAT 500D engine became standard equipment on the Bianchina range.
The offered example spent much of its life in California before its acquisition by the present vendor in 2006. The two tone red and white paint job gives the little car a touch of elegance while the red and black interior completes the package. Showing beautifully inside and out, and with fuel economy in the 50+ miles per gallon range and top speed claimed by original sales brochures as "over 55 miles per hour", this stylish microcar awaits its next owner to stretch its little legs and show all those folks in Smart Cabrios what a real city car is!