1962 Autobianchi Bianchina Panoramica
Chassis no. 120B*078104
Engine no. 120 000 087604
Originally a bicycle manufacturer and arguably best-known as a maker of fine racing motorcycles, Edoardo Bianchi built his first automobile in the early 1900s. 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 under FIAT auspices, Autobianchi's debut model being the Bianchina, based on FIAT's new 500. Positioned up-market from the FIAT, the Bianchina debuted as the Transformable coupe, with full-length folding sunroof, and showed clear signs of American influence, its size excepted, exemplified by two-tone paintwork, whitewall tires and plentiful chrome. In 1960 the newly introduced and more powerful FIAT 500D engine became standard equipment on the Bianchina range which was augmented by two new models: a Cabriolet and the Panoramica estate car that used the FIAT Giardiniera's space-saving horizontally-opposed engine. A fourth version, the Quattroposti saloon, arrived the following year.
Sold new in Europe, this charming miniature estate car was restored in Italy roughly a decade ago and today presents beautifully in lime green with tan upholstery. The odometer reading of just over 85,000kms (roughly 52,000 miles) is reported to be the actual mileage by the vendor. The Bianchina wears new tires and is fitted with a stereo system including external amplifier. The four-speed manual transmission makes for an enjoyable driving experience, neck-snapping acceleration not included. Offered with books and service manual, and recently serviced, this is the perfect Pebble Beach estate car.