Cars from 1920 to 1950 - The golden age of the car
Fiat 508 S
Body style: roadster
The firm Fabricca Italiana Automobili Torino (better known as FIAT) had already existed for 43 years, when the Balilla came out in 1932. The Turin-based company wanted to produce an affordable car for all. This model was the result, and is as well-known in Italy as the Ford Model T is in the USA. The version on display here is the 508 S, the sportscar design, created by Ghia. The coachbuilder gave a touch of class to this fairly modest car, with a fiery red body.
Success was readily forthcoming, both on the road and the racetrack. The little red speedster was soon to become a genuine contender with English sportscar makes such as MG or Singer. Its little four-cylinder engine was full of life, pumping out 36 horsepower, and it won a number of victories in its category, most notably the 1934 Tour of Italy. The name “Coppa d’Oro” was given in honour of this success.
The 508 S was also built under licence in France and Germany. However, despite widespread admiration, only 2000 units were ever produced, probably due to the Great Depression.