Sold for $36,300 at 2016 RM Sotheby's : Motor City.
Chassis #: 110N 013578
Engine #: 110.000 150705
Eduardo Bianchi established a bicycle-making business in Milan in 1885. Within a few years, he was making motorized three-wheelers. Before the turn of the century, he was building four-wheelers. By the 1920s, Bianchi was third behind Fiat and Lancia in Italian car production.
The company name was changed to Autobianchi in 1955, following a business alliance with Fiat and Pirelli. The newly re-organized firm focused its operations on a series of upscale Fiat 500 variants. The first vehicle produced under this new venture was the Bianchina. Based on the Fiat, it offered luxury features that superseded the standard offerings of the 500. The first body style was the transformabile, or semi-convertible, and it would remain the only body style available until 1960.
The Bianchina was understated yet refined, with sporting character and sturdy Fiat 500 mechanical components. They had a top speed of 60 mph and an estimated range of nearly 300 miles. Fuel economy approached 50 miles per gallon.
This particular example has been expertly restored and finished in red with a white convertible top. The interior is finished in matching two-tone vinyl over black carpeting.
Power is from a rear-mounted air-cooled two-cylinder engine displacing 479cc and offering 21 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 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 that 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, Giuseppe.
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 an 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 body style 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 was introduced later.
In 1960, the newly introduced Fiat 500D became standard equipment on the microcar. An Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet played a starring roll in the original 'Pink Panther' movie, starring Peter Sellers.By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008