Among the first all-new post-WWII cars in Europe was Ing. Dante Giacosa's Fiat 1100, introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1953. It was a practical, but spirited and good handling car, able to reach 75 mph when Europeans only expected 60 from a car like a Volkswagen in this class.
The Fiat 1100 was to Italian motor heads what the flathead Ford V8 was to Americans. Countless homemade and not-so-homemade specials used Fiat 1100 components, including fairly high-profile sports cars such as the Cisitalia 202. When Formula Junior was conceived in the late '50s, the first and best front-engined Juniors – Stanguellini and Taraschi - were Fiat 1100 based.
Fiat was very aware of the Italian demand for quick cars. For 1954, they introduced the Fiat 1100 TV ('Turismo Veloce' or Fast Touring), differentiated from the base model by trim, paint schemes and horsepower. Whereas the base car had 36 hp, the TV offered 50. The maximum speed increased to 82-83 mph. With a chassi