1957 FIAT 1200TV Sportsman's Roadster  Chassis no. 1036 115003704

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Lot 216
1957 FIAT 1200TV Sportsman's Roadster
Chassis no. 1036 115003704

Sold for US$ 39,780 inc. premium
1957 FIAT 1200TV Sportsman's Roadster
Chassis no. 1036 115003704
FIAT S.p.A. has one of the more interesting and complex histories of any automotive manufacturer. Since its founding in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, the Italian company has produced an amazing array of vehicles. Their cars have ranged from a magnificent 152-inch wheelbase, V12 luxury car produced in the 1920s to the tiny 72.4-inch wheelbase, two-cylinder 500 of the 1950s. The automakers storied past also includes many acclaimed racing and sports models.

Massive imported FIAT town cars and landaulets were seen on the streets of New York in some number during the first decade of the 20th century. From 1910 to 1918, large FIATs were actually assembled in small numbers at a Poughkeepsie plant. Importations continued until 1921.

A new generation of Americans became aware of FIAT when the company showed its little 500 Topolino coupe, equipped with a large sliding fabric sunroof, at the New York auto show in October 1937. Only a few Topolinos would actually be sold in America before WWII interrupted, but the spunky little FIAT made an indelible impression nonetheless.

In the years immediately following the Second World War, FIAT became one of the largest industrial firms on the planet. However, it would not formally return to the U.S. market until 1957, when importation of a full range of FIAT models commenced.

Topping the 1957 FIAT line was the 1100TV roadster, priced at $2498. Available in Europe since 1955, this small but exquisitely styled two-seater convertible was inspired by ‘boulevard sports cars’ like the 1953 Corvette and Nash-Healey. Contemporary styling touches included the wrap-around windscreen, Cadillac-style vertical rear-quarter embellishments and bright full wheel covers.

Starting in November 1957, a 1200TV version became available. It had a larger, 1221cc, four and was referred to as the "Sportsman's Roadster." Only a few 1100TV and 1200TV roadsters were imported into the U.S. during 1957 and 1958. A new FIAT roadster would replace the series in 1959.

The 1200TV was powered by a specially tuned engine first developed for FIAT’s popular and spirited TV (Turismo Veloce) sedans. Developing 55 hp, it gave the 92-inch wheelbase junior sports tourer a top speed near 90 mph. A 4-speed manual transmission was standard.

This Californian registered 1200TV is titled as a 1957 model and bears chassis number 1036 115003704. The vendor indicates it was sold new in the United States and reports a complete restoration was done in 2003. The work is partially documented with receipts.

A wonderful expression of 1950s automotive design trends, with plenty of spicy Italian style thrown in, the rarely seen FIAT 1200TV roadster is likely to be a crowd magnet at any showing of vintage vehicles.

Saleroom notices

  • The chassis number should read 103G 115003704
1957 FIAT 1200TV Sportsman's Roadster  Chassis no. 1036 115003704
1957 FIAT 1200TV Sportsman's Roadster  Chassis no. 1036 115003704
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