Autobianchi was an Italian automobile manufacturer, created jointly by Bianchi, Pirelli and Fiat in 1955. Autobianchi produced only a handful of models during its lifetime, which were almost exclusively small cars, with the biggest being the short-lived Autobianchi A111, a small family car. Autobianchis were priced higher than Fiat models of similar size and the brand was used by Fiat to test new and innovative concepts which later found their way into mainstream Fiat vehicles; these concepts included fibreglass bodies and front-wheel drive.The most famous Autobianchi models include the A112 released in 1969, a small hatchback very popular in Italy for racing, and which ceased production in 1986; as well as the Y10, which was the first car to use Fiats new FIRE (Fully Integrated Robotised Engine). The Primula was the car with which Fiat introduced the particular front-wheel drive arrangement of engine, transmission and differential (final drive) that has become prevalent in its cars today. This car competed with the Innocenti-built Mini, which was the inspiration for the drivetrain layout.The first car to be produced by the new company was the Bianchina, whose name was a tribute to Edoardo Bianchis first 1899 car. The Bianchina was based on Fiat 500 mechanicals – with its two-cylinder, air cooled engine mounted in the rear – but featured a completely new stylish body designed by Luigi Rapi, who was in charge of Fiats special body unit and helped to set up production in Desio. With many premium design and equipment features, the Bianchina emerged as an upscale minicar, slotting above the Fiat 500 in the market. Marketed as a ;second vehicle in the household;, and a luxurious ;recreational vehicle;, also being targeted at affluent middle-class women, it mirrored the increasing affluence in Italian society.The first Bianchina rolled from the production lines in Desio on September 11, 1957 and had the unusual body style of a two-door landaulet, called ;Trasformabile;. It remained the sole body style until 1960, when a two-door ;Cabriolet; was introduced, followed by a three-door estate version, the ;Panoramica; and a two-door saloon, the ;Berlina;. Finally, two van versions were launched: one resembling a two-seater version of the Panoramica, and another, with a raised and expanded cargo section.
- AUTO BIANCHI
- 110 DBA
- Orlando Auto Museum
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