1931 Fiat 514
Year of manufacture1931
Offered with a 2020 Mille Miglia participation ticket
1931 FIAT Tipo 514 CA 'Coppa del Alpi' Competition Roadster
Chassis no. 224393
Engine no. 125071
Although FIAT would turn its back on motor racing in the early 1930s, concentrating instead on the expansion of its road car range, in the late 1920s the Milanese manufacturer was still in the business of producing sporting cars for sale to its more enthusiastic customers. Its most successful design of the decade had been the Tipo 509, a model that dominated the Italian small-car market.
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.
The 509's Tipo 514 replacement, introduced in 1929, used a simpler and more powerful 1.5-litre sidevalve engine. Mechanically, the 514 was entirely conventional by the standards of the day, just like its 509 predecessor, boasting semi-elliptic springing all round, a four-speed gearbox, and four-wheel mechanical brakes, the adoption of hydraulic brakes part way through production being the most important technological development.
Alongside the standard model FIAT introduced a trio of sporting roadsters: the 514 S, 514 MM and 514 CA, 'MM' signifying Mille Miglia and 'CA' Coppa del Alpi (Alpine Cup). The 514 S and 514 CA used the standard-length (2,555mm) wheelbase chassis while the MM used the longer (2,770mm) frame shared with the 514 van, which enabled the fitting of more generously proportioned coachwork. All used engines tuned for greater horsepower, the 514 S having a 34.5bhp unit while both the MM and CA came with 37bhp on tap. Top speed of these faster models was in the region of 112km/h. Production of the Tipo 514 ended in 1932 after 36,970 of all types had been built.
This Tipo 514 Coppa del Alpi has been extensively restored, most likely in Italy, and is in generally very good condition and said to drive very well. In recent years this car has been a regular participant in the Mille Miglia Storica, taking part on five consecutive occasions between 2006 and 2010, plus 2014, 2015, and 2017. The '75' competitor number is from the 2017 event, indeed, a desirable early start number in the Mille Miglia. This car also has an entry in the forthcoming 2020 Mille Miglia, offered with the car, enabling the fortunate purchaser to take part in what is one of the most prestigious events on the historic motoring calendar. Indeed, there can be few more affordable ways of participating in the Mille Miglia in an open pre-war sports car. Benefiting from a desirable early start number, the car is listed in the Registro 1000 Miglia, comes with an Italian Carta di Circolazione and all the necessary Mille Miglia and FIA/ACI paperwork.