1937 Fiat 1500 A Berlina
RM | Sotheby's - MONACO 2016 - The Quattroruote Collection
Documents: Bill of Sale
- One of the first commercially successful streamlined automobiles
- A landmark in Italian commercial automotive design
- Beautifully preserved original and unrestored condition
- Part of the Collection since 1960
Memorably described in early advertising as “the car of silence and elegance”, the Fiat 1500 was introduced at the Salone dell’Automobile di Milano in 1935. Mechanically it was interesting, with a monobloc six with a cast-iron block and separate cylinder head, delivering 43 horsepower at 4,400 rpm to a split rear differential, thus reducing operational vibration. It was most notable, however, for its striking and attractive styling, created by Dante Giacosa under Rodolfo Schaffer and in collaboration with the noted Italian designer and motorcycle racer Mario Revelli di Beaumont.
Only a year after Chrysler’s Airflow was met with puzzlement, the 1500 was similarly designed with a wind tunnel, one of the first European automobiles so created. More sensuously curved than the Airflow, it was reminiscent of Touring designs for Alfa Romeo, with low, soft lines distinguished by a sloping tapered nose, a curving beltline moulding, headlamps blended into the front wings, and recessed door handles. The large trunk was accessible from the inside by tilting the rear seat forward, a similarly unusual feature for the period.
The 1500 was produced in four series over 15 years and proved extremely popular. Along with the Cord 810 and Tatra 87, both introduced in the same period, it was one of the first commercially successful streamlined automobiles produced in the world.
The first-series 1500 A offered here was acquired for the Quattroruote Collection in 1960 from Camilla Rosa Mezzena of Torino. It remains in extremely original and overall very well preserved condition, with a leather interior as broken-in and handsomely worn as a favourite jacket, and paintwork that shows attractive patina. The body is overall very solid and the car would require only mechanical recommissioning and detailing to be enjoyable as-is, as one of the most original 1500 As to be found. Mileage recorded is 49,475, which in keeping with the car’s condition, may well be the original figure.
Combining the beauty of Italian coachbuilding with Fiat’s classic engineering, this car merits close attention.
Please note that this lot has been withdrawn from the sale.