1932 Fiat Balilla 508 Truck
1934 Fiat Balilla 508 Truck
Now available from a private collection!
Ford had the Model T and England their Austin Seven. In Italy, it was the Fiat Balilla (in Italian means 'plucky little one') that brought the automobile into the reach of the average person. Introduced in 1932 as a replacement for the 514, the Balilla was first available as a two- and four-door sedan as well as an open four-seat tourer and a two-seat roadster. The growing list of bodystyles and the quickness with which they were adapted was made possible thanks to a separate chassis.
Fiat could not afford to build another car like the 514 which had failed in the marketplace, despite owning 90 percent of the Italian market. Fiat engineers made the new car reliable and interesting to drive. The 508 was the progenitor of cars to come. It was small, lightweight and packed with modern engineering. Through 1937, Fiat produced over 110,000 Balillas, which helped revitalize a staggering economy.
The design was even produced under license by NSU in Germany and Simca in France. Another tribute to the vehicles versatility and engineering prowess was a victory in the 1100cc class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937.
This two-door truck example has been given a three-year restoration in Italy which was completed in 2006. It has covered just 200 kms since the completion of the restoration. It is painted in a combination of burgundy and black. Power is from a 995cc side-valve short-stroke four-cylinder engine which offers just over 20 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel hydraulically-operated drum brakes, and a wheelbase that measures 90.5-inches.