Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789
Lot 42
1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody
€ 15,000 - 25,000
US$ 18,000 - 29,000
To be sold without reserve

Lot Details
Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789 Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner,1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody   Chassis no. 218789
Ex-Paul Frère, 1960 24-Hours of Le Mans winner
1950 FIAT 500C 'Topolino' Giardiniera Woody
Chassis no. 218789
•Delivered new in Italy
•Three owners from new
•Restored by FIAT during the 1970s
•Registered in Monaco

Footnotes

  • Better equipped than many cars twice its size, the FIAT 500 - nicknamed 'Topolino' (mouse) - brought a degree of refinement hitherto unknown to small cars when launched in 1936. Lockheed hydraulic brakes, independent front suspension, and 12-volt electrics were all features, while an engine mounted ahead of the front axle helped maximise cabin space for the two occupants. The 569cc, four-cylinder, sidevalve motor produced a modest 13bhp, but as the Topolino weighed little more than half a ton it could nevertheless manage a respectable 50mph-plus under favourable conditions. For most buyers though, the frugal (up to 50mpg) fuel consumption would have been the major attraction. Introduced in 1946, the 500B featured a more powerful (16.5bhp) overhead-valve engine that would be carried over to the Topolino's final incarnation, the restyled 500C of 1949, which was the first FIAT model to offer a heating/de-misting system as standard. At the same time as the 500B was introduced, a Giardiniera station wagon (also known as the Belvedere) was added to the range, offering four-seat accommodation as well as increased luggage space. Equipped with the superior overhead-valve engine, these later Topolinos were genuine 60mph (97km/h) cars, though no less economical than their predecessors.

    This Giardiniera with the rare 'woody' body was bought new by Anna-Maria Guaineri, a resident of Brescia and niece of Count Aymo Maggi, a well-known racing driver during the 1920s and co-founder of the famous Mille Miglia. As it happens, the Guaineris were friends of the family of Paul Frère, the famous Belgian racing driver and motoring journalist who had won the 1960 Le Mans 24 Hours Race sharing a Ferrari with fellow Belgian, Olivier Gendebien. Thus Frère was able to buy the Giardiniera after the death of its owner.

    Between 1970 and 1980, the Giardiniera was entirely restored in Turin by the FIAT division responsible for the restoration of its older cars. The cylinders were sleeved, the crankshaft overhauled, the valves replaced, and the entire suspension refurbished. Paul Frère's own description of the car is on file together with period photographs (inspection recommended). The current (third) owner purchased the FIAT from Paul Frère. It is understood that the car has not been driven much since its restoration, probably covering only some 500 kilometres. Presented in full running order, and benefiting from recently renewed brakes, the car is offered with Monaco Carte Grise.
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