1954 Fiat-Stanguellini Berlinetta
Coachwork by Bertone
Chassis no. 103TV*071366*
Engine no. 103.000*073540*
1,089cc OHV Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Single Weber 40DCO3 Carburetor
Approximately 60bhp at 5,500rpm
4-Speed Column-Shifted Manual Transmission
Independent front suspension with rear live axle and strut dampened semi-elliptical leaf springs
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
*One-off coachwork with roots to the Alfa Romeo B.A.T. series
*1954 Paris and New York Auto Show feature
*Three owners from new
*Recent concours restoration
*Shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
The Fiat 1100, Stanguellini, and Bertone
With the introduction of Fiat's nuova 1100 model in 1953, Italian tuners quickly realized its tuning potential and thus was born a cottage industry of light-weight racers using the 1100s robust mechanicals as their base. An entire generation of Italian etceterini can trace its existence to this model.
1954 saw the introduction of a high performance TV (Turismo Veloce) version, offering about 50bhp when base models had only 36. These models proved very popular for long-distance road races; 1956 saw over 100 of this model entered in the Mille Miglia, alongside an untold number of Fiat-based specials.
The 1100 also offered a platform for more luxurious and exclusive GT cars with unique coachwork applied by Italy's finest carrozzerie and tuned for additional performance.
Stanguellini, best known for its Fiat-based front-engined Formula Junior single-seaters, had its roots in pre-war European racing and became closely associated with the Fiat brand, thanks to constant modification and tuning on Fiat engines. While most efforts focused on competition applications, a limited number of road cars also bore the Stanguellini badge.
Nuccio Bertone's rise to the forefront of the Bertone organization was cemented in 1954 with the introduction of his sensational Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint at that year's Turin Motor Show. Bertone's association with that marque had attracted international attention with the first of the aerodynamically styled, visually sensational Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica (BAT) show cars, the Alfa Romeo BAT 5, introduced in 1953. This series would see a further two cars, the BAT 7 and BAT 9, introduced in 1954 and 1955, respectively.
An observant connoisseur may well assume that the car offered here shared space in Bertone's workshops with one or more of these seminal Bertone BAT designs.
The Motorcar Offered
Clothed in coachwork penned by Franco Scaglione and constructed by Bertone, it is little wonder that this unique coupe carries many hallmarks to the famous Alfa Romeo B.A.T. Series that were styled and built by the same team of Scaglione and Bertone. The neat, little tail fins, headlights frenched into the grill, fastback styling and split rear window are all common themes between this car and the B.A.T.s.
A one-off prototype reportedly built for the 1954 Paris and New York Auto Show, beneath the sexy hand-formed and gas welded aluminum coachwork was a Stanguellini-tuned Fiat 1100TV-based engine and a chassis and suspension layout that was also tuned by Stanguellini. It is reported that the car was purchased off the New York Auto Show floor by legendary American sportsman and racer Briggs Cunningham as a gift for his wife Laura.
Mrs. Cunningham kept the car only briefly before selling it to Indianapolis 500 driver Luciano Toninoan Italian who had settled in New Jerseyin 1955. Tonino had acquired the car as a wedding gift for his little brother Alcientecertainly a better present than a new blender or waffle iron! Alciente must have thought so, as he kept the car for over half a century. In September 2006, the Fiat moved onto the vendor, its third owner, in complete and unrestored condition. Shortly after acquisition a four-year, Concours quality, ground-up restoration was begun by Joe Ventura Restorations in San Diego, California with engine and transmission work completed by Jere Brown.
The completed car, finished in pale yellow over grey cloth and tobacco piping, debuted at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and returned to the Monterey Peninsula the next year for the Concorso Italiano where it won both Best in Class and Best in Show.
Presenting beautifully today, with jewel-like details throughout, the Stanguellini coupe is as clean underneath as it is on top, having been very well kept since the completion of its restoration.
With race-proven heritage, stylistic roots that trace to some of the most stunning and beautiful cars ever built, and a restoration that has produced invitations to the most sought after eventsand with the potential for welcome entry to many desirable tour eventsthis sporty Fiat-Stanguellini is a concoction of Italy's finest automotive ingredients, circa 1954.
- Please note that this vehicle is titled with chassis number 071366 and its title is in transit