There are jokes a-plenty about Fiats in America, but it seems every former owner has something like, “Was so much fun to drive … the rare times it was running.” Italian cars don’t always seem to fit in with American driving habits, if not our diverse climate, but there’s still something about the cars that pulls in both enthusiasts and regular folks alike. It is with a nod towards that special kind of brio that our Pick of the Day is a unique 1966 Fiat 1300 S by Vignale. It is for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Italy. (Click the link to view the listing)
This special coupe was based on the Fiat 1300/1500 series that was introduced in 1961. The sedan was Fiat’s bread-and-butter during that era before being replaced by the more familiar (to Americans) 124 and 125. Like all Fiats, there were several body styles available, including a coupe and cabriolet that were designed by Pininfarina. Vignale also produced a coupe that was similar to the Pininfarina version, but of special note was a limited-edition 2+2 by Vignale that is the one you see here. It was available in both 1300 (1,295cc) and 1500 (1,481) versions of the OHV four. These cars also featured engine upgrades by Giannini, which included modifications to the cylinder head, camshaft, and exhaust; this increased horsepower from 60 to approximately 66. Transmission is a four-speed manual with synchromesh on all gears.
In some respects, this 1966 Fiat 1300 S by Vignale looks like a precursor to the Fiat Dino coupe that came out the same year of this vehicle, though this 1300 S had completely pedestrian origins in comparison. This burgundy example, believed to be one of 50 built, features a restored tan leather interior with complementary Nardi wooden three-spoke steering wheel and wood paneling on the dashboard and console. Note the generous rear seat! “Bodywork in very good condition,” says the seller, which says a lot considering Fiat’s reputation for rust in America. “Engine subjected to periodic maintenance and is in good working order,” adds the seller.
So, yes, this unusual, quasi-bespoke 1966 Fiat is overseas, so the seller suggests booking a call via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp or Google Meet for a walk-around. If this Fiat was a size larger and stuffed with Maranello-power, it would be a seven-figure car, but you can have this high-style Italian for $55,000.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.