1957 Fiat-Stanguellini 1200 Spider America by Bertone
Sold For $275,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
- Unique one-off coachwork designed by the influential Franco Scaglione
- Presented at the 1957 Turin Auto Salon and the 1960 Buenos Aires Auto Salon
- Breathtakingly restored under its current 23-year ownership
- Documented with period magazine coverage, restoration photos, and Nuccio Bertone’s personal registry
- Exhibited at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
59 bhp, 1,221 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine with two Weber carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with half-0...elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 92 in.
In one of the niche’s great barn-find stories, this unique one-off Bertone show car was lost to time after having been well documented during a period exhibition run. Since being re-discovered and exhaustively restored by its current 23-year caretaker, this important Fiat-Stanguellini has more recently enjoyed attention at some of the world’s most prestigious events.
As documented by a detailed report, including a copy of handwritten notes by Nuccio Bertone himself, in 1957 the designer acquired a Fiat 1100 TV (Touring Veloce) that was factory-uprated to 1200 specifications and then modified by Stanguellini for greater chassis performance. Under commission number 8900, the car was labeled as prototipo 8901 and clothed in completely unique bodywork styled by the renowned Bertone designer Franco Scaglione.
Pronounced rear tailfins echoed elements of Scaglione’s celebrated Alfa Romeo BAT cars, while the Fiat’s overall shape presaged the Sprint Speciale prototype he would soon design for Milan. Large door scallops and a wraparound one-piece windscreen aesthetically evoked an aggressive competition profile.
The one-off Bertone prototype was dubbed the Spider America and presented by the coachbuilder at the Turin Auto Salon in late October 1957. As period photographs confirm, the car was next seen at the Concorso d’Eleganza Cortina d’Ampezzo held at the Hotel Miramonti-Majestic in July 1958. The Fiat-Stangellini was later shipped to Argentina, where it was exhibited in December 1960 at the Salon del Automovile in Buenos Aires, and from there it is believed the car was sold into Argentine ownership.
Subsequently forgotten over the ensuing decades, the Spider America was discovered in 1994 by the consignor in an intact state, though in need of substantial refurbishment. After undergoing a thorough restoration to concours standards, the consignor amassed considerable documentation on the rare car, including Bertone production records, original period magazine coverage, and a copy of the program for the 1960 Buenos Aires Auto Salon. The beautifully restored car was accepted and presented at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2004, and it was there that the handwritten Nuccio Bertone record was given to the consignor by Lili Bertone. In 2015, the unique prototype was also presented at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and Motor Trend magazine cited it as one of the 20 greatest cars in the show.
Restored to breathtaking condition, this one-off Spider America would make a desirable acquisition for any design enthusiast. It posits a fascinating variation on the stylings of the influential Franco Scaglione, offering an ideal showpiece or candidate for further display at premium concours d’elegance. It is unquestionably a quintessential example of the finest in post-war rolling art.
Please note that this car recently received a special award from Wayne Carini at this year's Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance.