1949 Bernardini Fiat 1100 Sport (Fratelli Mariani)
Chassis no. 227288 (formerly 800650) - Engine no. 108L299081
- One-off car, initially rear engined then modified to front engine
- Three podiums at the 1949 & 1950 Coppa della Collina and 1951 Coppa Abetone
- Participated in the 1951 Giro di Sicilia
The model (the original car)
Mario Bernardini, Emilian by birth and Tuscan by adoption, was one of the artisans of this magical period, even though his creations were few.After a respectable career as a driver (among his victories, the 1931 Coppa della Collina pistoiese with a Diatto), Bernardini built his first car in 1949. He dedicated himself to the design of the first Italian Sports with a rear engine and independent rear wheels. It is believed that to register the car Bernardini declared that he started from a Fiat 508 S but in fact he used a more recent Fiat 508 C “Nuova Balilla”. From the chronological excerpt, in fact, the date of the certificate of origin does not start from the 1930s and the car is indicated as reconstructed. The car is officially punched (“punzonata”) with the number 800650. In the construction of the new car, the refined rear axle is that of a Lancia Aprilia. The sheet metal work is entrusted to the nearby Mariani body shop in Pistoia, which was specialized at that time in racing cars. The car ran only one season, gaining an excellent third place overall in the 1949 Coppa della Collina pistoiese.
In 1950 this car/experimental lab was modified, the engine was moved to the front, the steering tube was elongated, the lunettes which made it easier for driver & passenger to enter the car, as well as the pedals and seats were set back. The car now had a different grille, with vertical rather than horizontal strips. Even the opening for the front arms in the torpedo body is different, but the nose maintains the same design, with the air intake and the headlights that resemble the mouth and eyes of a redfish and the air intakes that resemble two gills. The seating is rather tight and the driving position is lying down. The large diameter steering wheel is made of aluminum with a wooden rim and the dashboard has a recess to facilitate the engagement of the first and third. The small fenders are integral with the wheels. The bodywork is always by Carrozzeria Mariani. In this new configuration the car runs the 1950 season and, among others, the Coppa della Collina and the Giro di Sicilia.As often happens with sports cars, the car changes hands and is modified again in the 1950s, particularly regarding its nose. The first license plate is PT9298. On 17 September 1952 the car is sold and receives the plate LI16776, in 1953 changed to PI16360 and then returns to Livorno with the license plate LI23942. In 1960 it receives the license plate of Bologna BO147393. The car remains in Emilia Romagna for many years. In 1993 it was sold to Thurner Reinhard who started the restoration and then sold it in Germany still with its old Italian license plates. The car returns to Italy in 2008, without documents, but still with its original license plates BO147393. An important restoration gives it back its original 1950 nose even if under the metal there are the scars of a car that has been undergone some remarkable technical experiments. On the car is found a second chassis number 227288 relating to plates BO75153, presumably a second punching, which is reported in the new booklet and in the ASI and FIVA certificates. The car takes part in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Mille Miglia re-enactments
State of the Arte: Restored completely
- Mario Bernardini, Un Bolognese alla conquista di Pistoia, Vallero Fagioli, Pistoia 2014
Certifications and Statements
Registration and Italian license plates in order.
- 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.
- Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. Eligible.
- Concorso d’eleganza Villa D’Este. Eligible.