Fiat “501” chassis
The chassis shown in the Museum is fitted with just the wheels and drivetrain and explains precisely how cars were sold at the time.
Many manufacturers, like Isotta Fraschini, did not even have a bodywork department and the practice of selling motorized frames was a common one at the time, leaving to the customer the choice of the body that suited his needs.
The most demanding customers had their own coachbuilder, who could satisfy all their wishes starting from the frame they bought . It was not unusual for the same chassis to change body several times during its lifetime, by the will of the same owner or the last one that purchased the car. This is another reason why cars from that period, although based the same model, often do not resemble each other.
The 501 chassis was fitted with different kinds of bodyworks (torpedo, roadster, landaulet, saloon, coupé de ville, cabriolet, taxi, sports torpedo) manufactured either by Fiat or private coachbuilders.