Conceived as a luxurious version of the Fiat 500, from which the chassis and mechanics were derived, the Bianchina was presented to the public on September 16, 1957 at the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica in Milan. Initially it was proposed in only the 3-volume bodywork, called "Trasformabile", equipped with small rear fins, abundant chrome-plating and a canvas roof that could be opened. The Bianchina was produced by Autobianchi from 1957 to 1969. In the first months, sales were even higher than those of the cheaper, but more spartan "500", despite the large gap in list price: the Bianchina cost LIT 565,000, or 15% more than the price of the Fiat 500. Several factors were favourable; first of all, Italian motorists at the time of the "boom", even if low wages made it hard to make ends meet, none the less they disliked the frugality proposed by FIAT, paying (it was believed) too much for a car "too" Spartan. The French “essential” style (Citroen 2CV and Renault 4) was not much admired, unlike the Teutonic chrome-plating of the Beetle. Bianchina was the first to play the role of a "luxury" utility car, with improved finish, a more refined line, chrome and and even two-tone paint livery. A lesson that would be followed with great success by the future Autobianchi A112 and Y10 and, later, by many cars of the (now) Fiat-Lancia group that relive the spirit. Among the other factors of Bianchina's success, however, we must also remember: the "milanesity" of the vehicle, appreciated by the important pool of Milanese buyers, the aura of nobility derived from the Bianchi brand and, probably, the convenience of the long payment terms proposed by SAVA with instalments over 30 months.Following its success, Autobianchi decided to expand the range and improve its characteristics. In 1959 the power of the 479.5 cc engine grew to 17 hp, while in 1960 the Cabriolet and Panoramica versions were presented. The Cabriolet was a real open car with a canvas roof (while the Transformabile had a large but "simple" openable canvas roof with fixed side pillars) and an engine increased by 499 cc and 21 hp; the doors also changed, now upwind, hinged at the front. The Panoramica, on the other hand, was a “Giardinetta” with a flattened 499 cc engine for 22 hp and an elongated wheelbase, derived from the Fiat 500 Giardiniera. In the same year, the Trasformabile, which adopted the engine capacity increased to 499 cc for 18 hp, was also made available in the Special version with the engine increased to 21 hp. In 1962 the Trasformabile was replaced by the 4-seater Berlina, a more squared version with a rigid metal roof. In the same year all the versions adopted a platform lowered in the passengers' foot area, to improve habitability. In 1965, in addition to a slight restyling that affected all versions, the 4-seater Saloon and Cabriolet variants adopted the F-type engine. The Bianchinas went out of production in 1969.
The 1958 Autobianchi Bianchina, chassis no. 110B*002843 is a version officially called 110 DB, but known as "Trasformabile". The Trasformabile was the first version of Bianchina making its debut in 1957 it was the only one produced in the early years, until the arrival, in 1960, of the Panoramica and Cabriolet. Characterized by the "suicide" rear hinged doors, the Trasformabile was a small three-volume 2-seater with a large canvas roof that also incorporated the rear window (plexiglass). From an aesthetic point of view, this version was recognisable by the rounded rear pillar and the three chrome-plated strips behind the door. It was produced until 1962. The 1958 Autobianchi Bianchina, with chassis no. 110B*002843, is a model of "Trasformabile" Prima Serie A, registered in March 1958, The Prima Serie A is the first to be officially released on the market, from November 1957 after the International Automobile Exhibition in Turin, after the 50 examples of pre-series and was produced only for one year, until autumn 1958. The Bianchina Prima Serie A is equipped with the 15 hp engine (increased from 13 hp). Some details changed with respect to the pre-series and a rear bench with backrest appeared. The combinations of upholstery, in cloth or vinyl leather, increased, while nine body colours were available, all two-tone. The switch levers, lights and flashers pass on the left side of the steering wheel. At the rear, two reflectors are supplied as standard on the inner sides of the lights. The car with the chassis no. 110B*002843, is painted two-tone light blue/ivory. Correct friezes and chrome plating are all present and in excellent condition. The seat upholstery has the peculiar thread (V-shaped on the back of the seats) between blue polka dot fabric and blue vinyl leather. The dashboard features the elements that distinguish the convertible first series: horn button with golden B, speedometer scale up to 100 km/h. The car has been completely restored and is fitted with a Fiat 126 engine and gearbox but, with the car, the correct engine and gearbox are also delivered. The car has documents in order and black Italian original plates (Bergamo).
State of the Art
- Leo Pittoni, Autobianchi Bianchina, Giorgio Nada Ed., Vimodrone MI 2007.
- Sandro Colombo, Dalle auto Bianchi alle Autobianchi, ASI, Italia 2003.
Original registration and plates in order.
- Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
- Targa Florio. Eligible.
- Goodwood Revival. Eligible.
- Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
- Coppa delle Alpi by 1000 Miglia. Eligible.
- Winther Marathon. 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.