1932 Ford "Metal of Honor" Roadster
Then vote for your favorite picture car of all time, right here!
Put your automotive moxie to the test on our games page!
Fiat was founded in Turin, Italy in 1899 by Gianni Agnelli, who ran the company until his death in 1945. By 1910, Fiat was the largest automotive company in Italy, and remains so today. When legendary car designer Dante Giacosa first joined Fiat in 1928, Fiat controlled 87% of the Italian car market and was actually selling vehicles with insurance included in the purchase price. By 1936, just prior to becoming director of engineering, Giacosa began work on what was to become perhaps his most infamous car, the Fiat 500, aka Topolino. [Check out Jay's Topolino!] This two seat miniature was truly the first "people's car," beating the Volkswagen to production by nearly a decade, and it so endeared itself to the public that it earned the moniker "Little Mouse."
Giacosa's next design, the Fiat 508C, was variously known as the Millecento or the Balilla 1100. Introduced in 1936, this "city car" was an expansion on the Topolino, powered by a larger 1089 cc four-cylinder engine, with four-speed rear wheel drive. Its comfort, handling and performance were outstanding and earned it a reputation as a great driving family car.
The 1100 continued to be produced with many updates and variations until it was given a complete redesign by Giacosa in 1953. Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, the Nuova Model 1100-103 was dubbed the Millecento to perpetuate the reputation of the 508C. This compact four-door sedan featured a monocoque construction and was fitted with wishbones and coil springs at the front and live axle and half- elliptic springs at the rear for excellent handling. Its water-cooled, inline, 1089 cc four-cylinder engine produced 36 hp, delivered over 40 mph and could comfortably seat six. Through a series of models, the Millecento was in production through 1970. Incidentally, the 1100D [D stands for Delight] was produced in India from 1964 through 2000, where it ruled the roads as the "Premier Padmini."
Jay's 1959 Millecento is completely original and unrestored, thanks to a wacky guy who bought it the year it was made and decided to store it in his living room starting in 1962. With only 9000 miles on its speedometer, this Millecento looks exactly as it would have in 1959. The only thing missing? White wall tires.
Related: 1937 Fiat Topolino