Fiat 1100/103 TV - Sport coupé body by Allemano - manufactured in 1954
Mass produced Fiat models always have been popular donors for often unique bodywork designs made the many traditional Italian coach builders. Some of these designs were more successful than others; most were displayed at car shows to attract attention and customers and were sold afterwards, others were commissioned by customers and few lead to a limited series production. Especially in the 1950s and 1960s this resulted in a wide and varied range of Fiat-based specials by many small companies, most of which have been almost forgotten today. Yet this diversity makes this era in Italian car history interesting and important.
The car shown here is an appealing example from this era. Its elegant, modern lines were drawn by the very creative Giovanni Michelotti, who is probably best known for his BMW, Daf and Triumph factory body designs, and built by the small but well-known coach builder Allemano from Turin. This sport coupé is based on the underpinnings of the first series Fiat 1100 Turismo Veloce (TV), a dynamic version of the regular 1100 sedan introduced in 1953. It features many competition elements like lightweight alloy doors and bonnet, finned drum brakes front and rear with ventilation openings in the rear fenders, air intake in the bonnet and outlets in the front fenders, torsion bars front and rear, lightweight drilled front lower triangles and a sport exhaust. It's propelled by a standard Fiat 1089 cc 4-cylinder engine, in the TV version fitted with a large double-barrel Weber carburettor and good for 50 hp @ 5400 rpm; a considerable improvement from the original 36 hp @ 4400 rpm of the base 1100 model.
Allemano has produced 3 different versions of bodywork on the 1100 TV chassis and each car showed different interior and exterior details, which made each car unique. How many were produced is unclear, but it's certain that they are extremely rare. This one is still in original, unrestored condition and shows a high standard of workmanship. At the time it could be considered as a limited-budget Ferrari and these days it's a fine car for those who like the exotic.
More info and pictures of this car can be found at the VSOC site. For information on the incredibly productive Giovanni Michelotti you can turn to the site of the Registro Storico Michelotti.
© André Ritzinger, Amsterdam, Holland