Lot 173

Motor City 2016

1958 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile Series I


$36,300 USD | Sold

United States | Plymouth, Michigan



Chassis No.
110N 013578
Engine No.
110.000 150705
  • Rare Series I Transformabile
  • Upscale version of the more common Fiat 500
  • Comprehensive restoration to show quality
  • An Italian motoring icon

21 hp, 479 cc rear-mounted air-cooled two-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 72.4 in.

In 1885, 20-year-old Eduardo Bianchi set up a bicycle-making business in Milan. Before long, he was making motorized three-wheelers and then, before the turn of the century, four-wheelers. In the 1920s, Bianchi was third behind only Fiat and Lancia in Italian car production.

In 1955, following a business alliance with Fiat and Pirelli, the company name was changed to Autobianchi. The reorganized firm focused its operations on a series of upscale Fiat 500 variants. The first vehicle that was produced under this new venture was the Bianchina. Even though it was based on the Fiat, it offered luxury features that were not found on the standard 500. The first body style to roll off the assembly line was the transformabile, or semi-convertible, which would remain the only body style available until 1960. Ultimately, only 10,000 of these examples were produced.

Bursting with an abundance of sporting character, the Bianchina offered sturdy Fiat 500 mechanical components with luxurious levels of trim for the era. The understated yet captivating Bianchina was further enhanced by a series of mechanical upgrades, including a lowered suspension, which contributed to a sportier ride. The Bianchina was quite a capable performer, with a top speed of 60 mph and an estimated range of nearly 300 miles. Fuel economy reportedly approached an impressive 50 miles per gallon. With its limited-production cachet, the Bianchina was quickly regarded by enthusiasts as the “rich man’s Fiat.”

This sporting little Bianchina has been expertly restored and presents very nicely in red with a contrasting white convertible top. The minimal and tidy interior is finished in matching two-tone vinyl over black carpeting and offers surprisingly ample room for the driver and passenger, and a couple of kids in the back seat. The chrome bumpers and detail trim are in excellent condition, as is the engine bay and front trunk, which features a delightfully small spare wheel and tire.

This is an excellent example of one of the world’s most attractive microcars. Bursting with an abundance of sporting character, it is ready to be enjoyed by its new owners. It would make for a wonderfully fun ride to the local beaches up north, where finding parking would be a breeze.