FIAT 508 BALILLA (1933) CHASSIS N. 030769, ENGINE: 4 CYLINDER, DISPLACEMENT: 995 CM3, POWER: 20 BHP, BODY: TWO DOOR SALOON, GEARBOX: MANUAL, DRIVE: LHD, THE FIRST INDUSTRIALLY-PRODUCED ITALIAN CAR
The Fiat 508 Balilla is a milestone Italian car, as when new it kickstarted a period of great social changes, and in the ‘60s it did it again, on a smaller scale, starting the old car hobby in this country. “Balilla” was the nickname of a young lad from Genova, who in 1746 started a fight against the Austrian invaders. The 508 was designed by a young engineer, Antonio Fessia, who was to have a long automotive career: in the 1960s he run Lancia and fathered the Flaminia, Flavia and Fulvia models. The Balilla was a well designed but very conventional automobile, which makes sense considering that it was to be produced in high quantity and mostly used by ‘new drivers’. Its main innovation was the possibility of financing its purchase. In its first year, 1932, twelve thousand units were built: a volume never seen before in Italy. This particular 508 has been completely restored around twenty years ago and then perfectly maintained, even if in practice it has never been used. This vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition but for safety reasons, we advise the purchaser to have it checked over and to replace the fluids, filters and perishable elements.