1938 Fiat 508 C (Fiat)
Chassis no. 508C204046
- Eligible for the Mille Miglia and the main re-enactment events
- As a prewar car, it has the advantage of having a front position in the starting grid
- Exciting cost for a pre-war car, excellent for long duration race
The Fiat 508 C was introduced in 1937, powered by a 1.089 cc 4-cylinder engine instead of the previous 1 litre unit of the Balilla. Several famous motoring figures implemented the project of the original Balilla in those years: Tranquillo Zerbi, Antonio Fessia, Bartolomeo Nebbia and Dante Giacosa who built a car with class performance, but with relatively low costs. The last evolution of this lucky model was the Fiat 508C that Fiat initially tried to nickname Nuova Balilla 1100 (on the advertising posters of the time) but that motorists called only and always "1100". It was in production until 1939, it cost LIT 19.500 and was produced in 57.000 units in the Cabriolet, "Berlina" and "Berlina tetto apribile" (open top) versions. The bodywork differed completely from the previous Balilla cars and took up the rounded shapes masterfully introduced in the Fiat 1500. The engine was the Fiat 108C, a straight 4-cylinder 1089 cm³ OHV (hence the nickname 1100) with a 4-speed gearbox. Unusual for a low priced car of the time was the independent front suspension, with transverse arms, springs and hydraulic shock absorbers. The power has increased by one third, to 32 hp at 4.000 rpm, capable of pushing the car at 95 km/h. At the time, its comfort, handling and performance were stunning, making it "the only people’s car that was also a driver’s car". Indeed, the 508 C was brought to the race, even at the Mille Miglia. Among the famous owners of the 508 C was the soccer player Gigi Meroni. In 1938, the Fiat 508 L (Lungo) was built with an elongated wheelbase, capable of seating six people, mainly widespread in Taxi version. In 1939, the car underwent a facelift of the front and became the so-called Fiat 1100 “Musone”.
The Fiat 508 C, chassis no. 508C204046, presents a not so recent restoration but complete and in generally good aesthetic conditions. The mechanics need to be thoroughly restored. It also presents a well-preserved black body paint, two-tone black/cream steel rims with original wheel cups and a beige interior. It is an excellent opportunity to buy a pre-war car at a very reasonable cost and to enter the world of the Mille Miglia. The 508 C 1100 is, in fact, eligible, has a medium coefficient (1.50) and, as a prewar car, it has the advantage of having a front position in the starting grid. The type of car also has a perfect balance of comfort-performance-reliability-operating costs for long-term time trials.
State of the Art: Complete. Not recent restoration but in good aesthetic condition. Mechanics to be restored.
- Dante Giacosa, I miei 40 anni di progettazione alla Fiat, Centro Storico Fiat, Torino 2014.
- Alessandro Sannia, Fiat 508 C e 1100, 1936-1953, Il Cammello, Torino 2017.
- Mille Miglia. Eligible.
- Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
- Targa Florio. Eligible.
- Goodwood Revival. Eligible
- Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
- Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
- California Mille: Eligible.
- Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.