Lot 376 - 1933 Fiat 508 Balilla Coupé
|Estimate||£5,000 - £8,000|
|Result||Sold - £5,600|
Based on the highly successful 508 Balilla saloon - the first Fiat of the inter-war years to be named as well as numbered - the 508S Balilla Sport competition version was inspired by an original design by Carrozzeria Ghia. Fiat purchased the rights and manufactured two versions; the Coppa d'Oro (Gold Cup) and lightweight Mille Miglia, named after successes gained in these demanding long distance events. Clothed in stylish open two-seater bodywork with finned tail, the original Balilla was powered by a tuned version of the saloon's 995cc four-cylinder side valve engine. The latter drove the rear wheels via a three-speed gearbox and was installed in a cruciform braced chassis equipped with Lockheed hydraulic brakes and wire wheels. Introduced in 1934, the second series improved on this successful formula, adopting a four-speed synchromesh gearbox and an overhead-valve engine producing 46bhp. Despite its age, the Balilla Sport was still winning races in the immediately post-war years, adding to a formidable reputation built on numerous victories in classic events in the pre-World War 2 era, including the Mille Miglia, Monte Carlo Rally, Targa Florio, Spa Francorchamps 24-Hour, Ulster TT and Le Mans.
This unusual Fiat 508 coupe was purchased by the vendor about twelve years ago from a private UK collection and has been maintained ever since with additional specialist care undertaken by M. G. Reeders of Wiltshire. It is unknown when this car was made into a coupe but it would make an ideal project for a rebuild into a Fiat 508 Balilla Sport Mille Miglia replica. Finished in maroon with grey interior, this lovely little car is supplied with a V5C registration document and an MoT test certificate. This is a very pretty pre-war Fiat which represents an affordable entry into modern-day rallies and events such as the Mille Miglia or the Classic Le Mans.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.