One of the smallest and most stylish cabriolets ever built could be yours for less than the price of a Fiat 500
If you’re looking for an Italian classic car you can be forgiven for thinking most might be out of reach, certainly the high profile cars from Ferrari and Lamborghini fetch top money, those from other marques such as Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Maserati can also seriously stretch the purse strings but there is one little Italian Classic coming up for sale later this month with esteem auction house RM Sotheby’s that could not only be within budget but is very desirable.
Based on the humble Fiat 500, Autobianchi’s Bianchina Cabriolet was a charming and elegant cabriolet, destined for a demanding audience. Introduced in 1960, it quickly earned the affections of celebrities spending their summer in the Cote d’Azur, including Brigitte Bardot, HSH Prince Rainier III, and Burt Richmond. Thanks to the 21 bhp Fiat 500 Sport engine, this Bianchina had a brisk acceleration and could reach 105 km / h top speed.
Originally a bicycle manufacturer and arguably best known as a maker of fine racing motorcycles, Edoardo Bianchi built his first automobile in the early 1900s. A wide variety of models was manufactured over the next 30 years, though by 1940 the firm was concentrating on motorcycles and commercial vehicles.
Car manufacture resumed in 1957 under FIAT auspices, Autobianchi’s debut model being the Bianchina, based on FIAT’s new 500. Positioned up-market from the FIAT, the Bianchina debuted as the Transformabile coupé, with full-length folding sunroof. The Bianchina showed clear signs of American influence, its size excepted, exemplified by two-tone paintwork, whitewall tyres and plentiful chrome. In 1960 the newly introduced and more powerful FIAT 500D engine became standard equipment on the Bianchina range, which was augmented by two new models: a Cabriolet and the Panoramica estate car. A fourth version, the Quattroposti saloon, arrived the following year.
Arguably much more elegant than Ghia’s ‘Jolly’ derivatives of the Fiat 500 and 600, this charming and rare Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet ‘Eden-Roc’ offered here is a third series ‘Eden Roc’ Cabriolet. Beautifully restored and highly correct, its red-overblack color scheme is the perfect complement to the car’s playful personality. Previous Portuguese registration document on file shows that the car has been in Portugal since at least 1997. Both fun and practical to use regularly in warmer climates, this Bianchina Cabriolet is still a tasteful choice for any car enthusiast today.
- One of the smallest and most distinctive convertible ever
- Lovely red and black color combination
So still fancy an Italian Classic but think a nice one might be out of reach? This particular Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet ‘Eden-Roc’ is expected to fetch between € 15,000 – € 25,000, when it goes under the hammer on the 20 – 21 September 2019 as part of The Saragga Collection in Monteira, Portugal. Might be just the time to add a little convertible to your garage…