18 January 2013
1959 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile Series II
To be auctioned on Friday, January 18, 2013
Sold for $44,000
- Chassis no. 025184
• A rare Series II Italian microcar only produced from 1959 to 1961
• Upscale version of the more common Fiat 500
• Comprehensive restoration to show quality
In the 1920s, Edvardo Bianchi was third behind only Fiat and Lancia in Italian car production. In 1955, following a business alliance with Fiat and Pirelli, the company name was changed to Autobianchi. The first vehicle produced under this new venture was the Bianchina. While based on the Fiat, it offered luxury features not found on the standard 500. The first body style to roll off the assembly line was the ‘transformabile,’ or semi-convertible. Ultimately, only 10,000 of these examples were produced.
Bursting with an abundance of sporting character, the Bianchina offered sturdy Fiat 500 mechanical components with luxurious levels of trim for the era. The understated yet captivating Bianchina was further enhanced by a series of mechanical upgrades, including a lowered suspension, which contributed to the sportier ride. The Bianchina was quite a capable performer, with a top speed of 60 mph and an estimated range of nearly 300 miles. Fuel economy reportedly approached an impressive 50 mpg. With its limited-production cachet, the Bianchina was quickly regarded by enthusiasts as the rich man’s Fiat.
This is an excellent example of one of the world's most attractive microcars. A complete, high-quality, photo-documented restoration was undertaken to bring this Bianchina to show standards. During the restoration, this car was brought down to a bare tub, media blasted with aluminum oxide, and all of the internal floors and doors were treated with POR15 products before the final body and paint work. The exterior is finished in a brilliant red with cream accents and is sporting a new, black fold down top. The inside of this lovely little car is tastefully trimmed in tan and cream. Any experienced buyer will notice the level of restoration this Bianchina has received, down to the new or fully rebuilt mechanicals; attention to detail is what makes this car truly a one-of-a-kind.
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