Leading up the Fiat 1100/103 TV of 1954, both Bertone and Stanguellini presented their idea of a modern Fiat. As early as 1950 they presented an 1100 and in 1953 the car was redesigned by Franco Scaglione into this attractive Berlinetta.
Both Bertone and Stanguellini were striving to make the most from Fiat components. Their 1950 Berlinetta was drastically different in appearance from our feature car, but similar in conception. Several of these early versions were outfitted for racing in events such as the Rolli-Cannara in Toscana and we wouldn’t be surprised if a few showed up at the Mille Miglia.
At Bertone, Franco Scaglione was producing some of the most daring designs including the Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnicas (BAT) series on the Alfa Romeo 1900 platform. In many ways the Scaglione 1100 Berlinetta was a production version of these designs and it incorporated some of their specific traits. A split rear window, sleek fastback profile, fully integrated grill with headlights and fins on the rear fenders were all signature cues from this series.
For the Berlinetta, Bertone utilized the bottom section of the Fiat 508C unitary steel monocoque and refashioned the Franco Scaglione body on top of it. The doors, hood and truck were all fabricated from aluminum. Any cars produced after 1954 were based on the 1100/103 platform.
Stanguellini was no stranger to Fiat performance. As early as 1939 they were making custom automobiles around Fiat components sometimes called Etceterini. Almost every component was upgraded for these conversions. Interested in offering the best test-drive available,
Stanguellini modified the 1100 Berlinetta engine internals, brakes and gearset. With a Weber carburettor, special intake manifold and high-compression cylinder head nearly 70 bhp was possible.
At the time, specialist builders like Stanguellini and Abarth were focused on creating a race-car pedigree and as a consequence upgrading the odd road car at the request of a customer. The 1953 1100 Berlinetta was a bold attempt to bring more orders to Stanguellini, but only four cars were produced. Later Stanguellini became well known for their twin-cam engine of 1956 and Formula Junior cars.
Our feature car, chassis 5709, was shown at the 1954 New York auto show and subsequently purchased by the Tonino family who kept it for nearly 50 years. Afterward, it was restored by Joe Ventura Restorations to debut at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.