FIAT's smallest-ever car when announced in October 1924 at the Paris Salon, the 509 was in essence a scaled down version of its larger siblings and thus not as small as many rival designs. It was however, exceptionally well specified, having an overhead-camshaft engine, 12-volt electrics and four-wheel brakes, advanced features not usually found on 'economy class' cars of the period. The 990cc four-cylinder engine produced 20bhp and drove via a four-speed gearbox, while the robustly built chassis featured semi-elliptic springing all round and torque tube transmission to the live rear axle. Like Austin and Morris in the UK, FIAT recognised the importance of extending car ownership to the masses; an in-house hire purchase facility was introduced to help encourage sales and within a year the 509 was Italy's best-selling car. A design which presaged the revolutionary 500 Topolino of the 1930s, the 509 was an immense success despite being far from the cheapest in its class, selling 90,000 units before production ceased in 1929.
Right-hand drive, like all FIATs of this period, this 509 torpedo tourer comes with a substantial history file containing invoices totalling in excess of 30,000 spent on rebuilding the engine and other components. A new radiator has been fitted and the brakes have just been relined (they require bedding in). We are advised that the car runs perfectly, the engine showing good oil pressure and devoid of smoke or rattles. The car comes with an original handbook, workshop manual, sales brochures and a quantity of spare parts. The latter includes a complete engine (dismantled); a gearbox; a complete rear axle assembly including brakes; a front axle with brakes; a differential (dismantled); steering column and steering box; rear springs; starter motor and dynamo; and sundry small items. Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned invoices and a V5 registration document. A rare opportunity to acquire a desirable open four-seater example of one of FIAT's landmark models.