1000 Finarte / Classic Cars

Brescia, Monday 13 May 2019


1938 Pini Giannini Fiat 500 A (Carrozzeria Autodromo)

Chassis no. 039443, engine no. G1-015

  • Unique example.· Handicrafted Sports.
  • Rare and precious Giannini G-1 engine.
  • Powerful, strong engine, with a third main bearing
  • Complete restoration, ready for events or re-enactment competitions.

Certifications and Statements

Registration and Italian license plates in order and update

EligibilityMille Miglia. Eligible. 
Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
Targa Florio. Eligible.
Goodwood Revival. Eligible
Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.Circuito di Pescara. Eligible.
Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
California Mille: Eligible.
Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.


€ 245.000 - 260.000

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The model

The origins of the car are quite curious, in 1930 Benito Mussolini spoke to Giovanni Agnelli, who was a state senator, about the pressing need for a low-cost vehicle for the masses. It would be a good “propaganda”, following the German example of Adolf Hitler, where Ferdinand Porsche had been suddenly called on to build the Volkswagen, “the car for the people”. As the car should cost less than Lit. 5000, the task was arduous. FIAT chief designer Antonio Fessia turned the task over to a young engineer he believed to be the right man for the job: Dante Giacosa. He scaled down the previous Balilla project simplifying everything; the body lines were inspired by the FIAT 1500 with a smooth bonnet, good for airflow and visibility. The aeronautical experience of Giacosa inspired the lightened double rail chassis with the engine (a 569cc, four-cylinder side-valve) cantilever mounted to improve space inside. Even before going into production, everyone named the car the “Topolino”, in part for its size and part from its mouse-alike front, resembling the Walt Disney’s popular character Mickey Mouse known as Topolino in Italy. However, the official name was the FIAT 500, complying with the fascist state rules. The car was presented on June 10, 1936, at Villa Torlonia, with a price of Lit. 8.900, higher than the original goal of Lit. 5.000 and very high for a typical worker, but the car sold anyway, evolving over the years. In 1938 the first technical change: the “quarter” rear leaf springs (the so-called “balestrino” or “balestra corta”) became standard half leaf springs to improve its carrying capacity. The FIAT 500up to 1948 are now retrospectively called “500A”. The Topolino was often modified, both mildly and very radically, for races. Workshops, body shops, small factories and artisans built their own “ultimate” versions. Some just cut off the roof, others built barchetta roadsters on a tubular chassis, while the engine grew up to the 750 cc category limit, to the possible power. At the Mille Miglia, for example, 95% of the 750 cc Sports cars were registered as Fiat, although the Turin-based company never built roadsters, barchette or racing coupés.

The car 

One of these Topolino-based sports cars was the Pini Giannini Fiat 500 A. The vehicle is well known for many years among sports car collectors. It was built in 1949 on the basis of Fiat 500 1938 chassis no. 039443, a so-called "balestra corta" (short leaf) or, retrospectively, type 500 A, with a “barchetta” coachwork, in a unique and handcrafted specimen. The car is the artisan creation of two enthusiasts and young mechanics, the Pini brothers from Forlì. According to handwritten testimony of Pina Pini, the last survivor and sister of the two, still living and custodian of many memories in this regard, the Pini brothers worked in their workshop with the means at their disposal, but did not proceed "by trial and error" as often happened in these situations, instead adopting a very structured design approach, driven by mechanical and aerodynamic solutions. Every detail has been designed to run and be reliable. The car was equipped with the famous Giannini G1 engine, a major development on the Fiat Topolino engine. It is a 715 cc single shaft (in this case) with a third main bearing, delivering about 45 hp. The G1 750 is the basis of the successful partnership that gave birth to Giaur. A reference for many manufacturers and drivers, the engine has contributed to the legend of the 750 sports and, now, it is almost impossible to find. The engine is also equipped with a Siata OHV head and presumably has additional power. The bodywork, referring to the badges on the car, may have been made in collaboration with the Autodromo body, of Modena that, in the period, exceptionally devoted itself to bodywork some sports cars. The car, just built, had a brief sporting career in important competitions such as the Circuito di Modena, the Circuito di Forlì, the "Colline Romagnole/Trofeo Arcangeli". The current CZ9183 plates date from 1953. In Catanzaro, the car spent many years as a car for personal use, and a photo immortalised the owner Imperio Prunesti aboard the vehicle, painted in a yellow-red livery and written to celebrate the promotion of the city's soccer team. Sitting next to him, the daughter who sold the car to the last owner. He subjected the Pini Giannini Fiat 500 A to a complete and philological restoration of the bodywork and mechanical parts and is immaculate and in a perfect state of use, practically new, being unused, except for brief maintenance movements, after restoration. Regularly registered, it has the original booklet and targa oro ASI. State of the ArtCompletely and meticulously restored. Ready to be raced.

State of the Art: Completely and meticulously restored. Ready to be raced.


  • Dante Giacosa, I miei 40 anni di progettazione alla Fiat, Centro Storico Fiat, Torino 2014.
  • Guido Tirone, la Fiat 500 Topolino, Polo Books, 2009.-Andrea Curami
  • Pietro Vergnano, La “Sport” e i suoi artigiani, Giorgio Nada Editore, Milano 2001.



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