Fiat “1100 E Cabriolet”, Castagna, 1950.
The car shown in the museum is a one-off creation by one of the most well known coachbuilders, the Carrozzeria Castagna of Milan that during the years between the two World Wars became famous all over the world thanks to their elegant designs on prestigious chassis, like the body fitted to the Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8AS shown in the museum.
This cabriolet is called “Vistotal” for its particular windscreen fitted without side supports, as patented in 1936 by French coachbuilder Labourdette with the name “Vutotal”: it allows a total visibility of the road in front of the driver.
This spider is one of the last creation of Castagna and stands out for the attention to detail. The transparent steering wheel is on the same wavelength as the windscreen, a work of art only fitted to luxury cars.
At the end of World War II, Fiat restarted the production of the 508 C Nuova Balilla 1100, now more simply called 1100 B; in 1949 they modified some exterior features and fitted a rear boot lid: the new model was called 1100 E (and L for the long wheelbase version, Italian taxi drivers’ favourite car).
The E was the last 1100 model with separate chassis (the 1100/103 presented in 1953 would have been a more modern monocoque), the E was dressed by many Italian coachbuilders in different versions (sedan, cabriolet, roadster, station wagon and utility van too)
Reed the article of Carrozzieri Italiani
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