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Automobiles
1949 Fiat Topolino PHOTOGRAPHY BY Bill Pack
Estimate: $45,000 - $55,000 USD
SOLD: $38,500 USD
  • 1949
  • Fiat
  • Topolino
  • 136124
  • Beige
  • Brown
  • Desirable Model B
  • Expertly Restored
  • Historic Documentation
  • 2 Family Ownership History
  • Original Tools & Books

Amazing Little Mouse

This wonderful little Topolino has been in the care of only two families for it's entire life. It's had a comprehensive European restoration and is the rare Model B variant, which was only built for one year. It has a larger more powerful engine than the early cars, but still shares that classic Topolino body style.

This Cars Past

Fiat 500 number 136124 was shipped new to Barcelona Spain in 1949. It was purchased by the current owners’ grandfather from the original owner in Barcelona circa 1980. Since that time, it's been kept in a climate controlled garage and has been used regularly, but sparingly, having only been driven approximately 6,000 kilometers. It was gifted to the current owner from his grandfather some time ago and kept in the Barcelona garage, only to be imported to the USA and reunited with it's owner in Miami in 2016, where it has been kept since.

This car includes: Original matching numbers engine as evidenced by the identity tag in the engine bay, original owners manual, original tool kit and a large number of receipts and records from it's restoration.

History of the Model

The Fiat 500, commonly known as “Topolino”, is an Italian city car manufactured by Fiat from 1936 to 1955. “Topolino” translates as “little mouse” in Italian. The Topolino was one of the smallest cars in the world at the time of its production. Launched in 1937, by Dante Giacosa, three models were produced until 1955, all with only minor mechanical and cosmetic changes. It was equipped with a 569 cc four-cylinder, side-valve, water-cooled engine mounted in front of the front axle. The radiator was located behind the engine, which made possible a lowered aerodynamic nose profile at a time when competitors had a flat, early vertical grill. The shape of the car's front allowed exceptional forward visibility. With an engine producing 13 bhp, its top speed was circa 53 mph, and it could achieve approximately 39.2 mpg. This would be increased to 16 hp with the introduction of the Model B. Model A was produced from 1937 to 1948, while B was produced in 1948 and 1949. Model A was offered as a 2-door saloon, 2-door convertible saloon (saloon with folding roof) and a 2-door van, while Model B offered these same body styles and also introduced a 3-door estate. Model C was introduced in 1949 with a restyled body and the same engine as Model B, and was offered in 2-door saloon, 2-door convertible saloon, 3-door estate and 2-door van. Model C was launched in 1949 and although it varied dramatically in style, it still utilized the same 16hp engine as model B. It was produced until 1955.

Restoration History

Comprehensively restored in Spain from 1977 to 1980 as documented by the many receipts coming with the purchase. The car has little but regular use since restoration and has been well cared for within it's single family ownership for the past 37 years. The current cosmetic and mechanical conditions should both be considered excellent.

Market Trend

It's difficult to find auction results for Topolinos of this quality and scarcity. The last Model B which sold publicly traded hands at our very own Aspen Auction in 2016 and that brought in a “well bought” $40k. This car is in a similarly excellent condition and there is significant value to add when considering it's two family ownership, original books, original tools and the restoration documentation. The $45,000 low estimate is lower than what sellers of lesser cars are asking on the internet. Given their worldwide appeal and heart-string-tugging appearance, Topolinos are unlikely to depreciate in value anytime soon.

Summary

These were inexpensive mass-produced cars for the people in their day and as such, few have survived in this sort of condition and with known history from new (that's nearly 7- years. This is also the very desirable Model B with a 16 hp engine and strikingly good looks. Top all of that with original books and tools and we challenge you to find one better.

Email us if you have any specific questions about this automobile