In 1885, 20-year-old Eduardo Bianchi set up a bicycle-making business in Milan, and before long 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. Industrialist Ferrucio Quintavalle reorganized in partnership with Pirelli and Fiat in 1955 as Autobianchi, which in 1957 began making the Bianchina, a two seat coupe based on the Fiat 500.
Sold for $31,900 at 2010 Gooding & Company. After spending many years of service, this Autobianchi was put into storage where it would remain for nearly 4 decades. The car was re-discovered when the building where the car was stored, was sold. This 'transformabile' model has a fully retractable sunroof and was treated to a full restoration. Inside, there are black seats piped in red-custom-sewn upholstery and red carpeting. The engine and all mechanical systems have been rebuilt.
In 2010, this car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction in Pebble Beach where it was estimated to sell for $30,000 - $40,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $31,900 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010
In 1885, 20-year-old Eduardo Bianchi set up a bicycle-making business in Milan, and before long was making motorized three-wheelers and before 1900, four-wheelers. In the 1920s, Bianchi was third, behind only Fiat and Lancia, in Italian car production. Industrialist Ferrucio Quintavalle reorganized in partnership with Pirelli and Fiat in 1955 as Autobianchi, which in 1957 began making the Bianchina, a two-seat coupe based on the Fiat Nuova 500. Later, a convertible, or transformable, joined the lineup and horsepower increased from the air-cooled, inline 2-cylinder, from 18 to 21 horsepower.
Sold for $44,000 at 2013 RM Auctions. Edvardo Bianchi was third behind Fiat and Lancia in Italian car production during the 1920s. In 1955, after forming an alliance with Fiat and Pirelli, the company changed its name to Autobianchi. Their first vehicle produced under this name was Bianchina. The design was based on the Fiat and offered many luxury features not found on the standard 500. The first body style was the 'transformabile', or semi-convertible. During the production lifespan, only 10,000 of these examples were produced.
The Bianchina had a top speed of 60 mph and an estimated range of 300 miles. Fuel economy was rather impressive, rated at 50 mpg.
This example has been treated to a high-quality restoration. It is finished in red with cream accents and is wearing a new, black fold down top. The inside is trimmed in tan and cream.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at RM Auction's Scottsdale sale. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $44,000 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2013
Sold for $32,450 at 2013 Russo & Steele. This 1959 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile, Series 2, is an Italian micro car that was produced from 1959 to 1961. During that time, just 10,000 of these semi-convertible 'transformable' models were made. This example has been treated to a complete restoration that was done to show quality. The engine is an original 479cc, 2-cylinder, air-cooled unit offering 17 horsepower. It has a 4-speed manual gearbox, 4-wheel independent suspension and 4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. It is finished in rec with cream accents, and rides on Pirelli tires.
In 2013, this car was offered for sale at the Russo & Steele auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. As bidding came to a close, this vehicle was sold for the sum of $32,450 inclusive of buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2013
Sold for $52,800 at 2016 Bonhams. This Bianchina was given a full comprehensive concours quality restoration. It was taken down to the bare tub and media blasted with oxide in preparation for paint. It was finished in mint green with cream accents.
Since the restoration was completed, the car has traveled a mere 100 miles. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2016
Edoardo Bianchi was a bicycle manufacturer who created the company Bianchi, in 1885. Beginning in 1899, he began experimenting with the automobile. The company's history is also remembered for their motorcycle production, of which many were used successfully in sporting competition.
Prior to World War II, the company produced a variety of models which appealed to a wide range of consumers. By the close of the 1930s, production had shifted towards concentrating on motorcycles and commercial vehicles. The companies factories were destroyed during WWII, and Edoardo Bianchi passed away in 1946 due to a car accident. Ownership of the company went to his son, Giuesppe.
After the war, a new factory was constructed in Desio and production resumed for bicycles, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles. Bianchi later approached Fiat and Pirelli with a proposal to form a new company that would focus on automobile production. An agreement was reached in early 1955 and the Autobianchi Company was formed. A new factory was built to handle the production.
Fiat provided the technical components and knowledge, Pirelli provided the tires, and Bianchi created the bodies and assembled the vehicles. The first product produced under this new venture was the Bianchina which was based on the Fiat 500. It was powered by a air-cooled, two-cylinder engine mounted in the rear of the car. The body was designed by Luigi Rapi. The car was positioned to sell above the Fiat 500 and offered luxury features not found on the 500. The first bodystyle to roll of the assembly line was the 'Trasformabile' and would remain as the only body-style available until 1960, when the Cabriolet was introduced. A three-door estate dubbed the Panoramica and a two-door saloon called the Berlina were introduced later.
In 1960, the newly introduced Fiat 500D became standard equipment on the microcar. An Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet played a staring roll in the original 'Pink Panther' movie, starring Peter Sellers. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
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