Fiat 1500 Coupé Pininfarina - 1966— An elegant coupé aimed at reviving Fiat's sporting past —
- Model A rare car with only 2,200 coupés and cabriolets produced,
- Condition A car with a nice patina
- Design An elegant bodywork signed by Pininfarina
- Style Some styling features reminiscent to the Peugeot 404 Coupé and Ferrari 250GTE; both designed by Pininfarina,
- Performance A sporting vocation with real interior comfort.
The Fiat 1500 Coupé is a very elegant car with lines designed by Pininfarina. Although it intended to compete with the productions of its Milanese rival, Alfa Romeo, it remained more bourgeois than the Biscione’s Bertone coupes. This rare car is the perfect embodiment of the Italian style of the 1960s.
A sporty Fiat coupe designed by Pininfarina
The Fiat 1500 saloon succeeded to the 1200 Granluce in autumn 1961. The Turin-based manufacturer, whose image was then mostly associated with mass-produced cars, wanted to renew with its former glory associated with racing successes in Mille Miglia. Hence, Fiat decided it needed to launch of a sportier coupe.
The target is clear: Affordable British sports cars, notably those sold by MG and Triumph, but also the cars produced by its Milanese rival, Alfa Romeo.
It is in this context that Fiat started a partnership with its Turin neighbour, the very prestigious Pininfarina coachbuilder. Fiat wanted to start such collaboration with two versions of its 1500 car, a cabriolet and a coupé. This was actually quite a common practice at the time.
The result is very elegant thanks to a well-balanced bodywork, framed by round headlights at the front and vertical lights at the rear end. These stylistic features are reminiscent of the Peugeot 404 Coupé and the Ferrari 250 GTE, two cars also designed by Pininfarina and praised for their very successful lines.
Other Fiat 1500 Coupes were produced, including 850 fastback cars designed by Ghia.
Until the end of 1964, both convertible and coupé versions were equipped with the in-house four-cylinder engine with 67 hp and a four-speed manual gearbox. In 1965, they inherited the technical developments of the 1500 C Sedan and Familiare with an engine power increased to 75 hp and a 5–speed gearbox.
The top speed was increased from 160 to 165 km/h with a 0 to 100km/h timing of 15.1 seconds.
Finally, in addition to the standard versions with a single 1,500-cm3 camshaft, so-called ‘S’ sports versions were launched. They benefited from the collaboration with the very sporty O.S.C.A. brand created by the Maserati brothers. The engines were more advanced and were equipped with a 1,500-cm3 twin-shaft engine with 80 hp, later upgraded to a 1,600-cm3 engine with 90 hp.
Production of the 1500 cabriolet and coupé was discontinued at the end of 1967 after 2,200 units had been assembled, making it a relatively rare car.
The Fiat 1500 Pininfarina was also distinguished by its refinement: seats could in leather on request from 1963, and the elegant dashboard was equipped with a complete instrument panel.
Finally, the 1965 and 1966 vintages were distinguished by a round badge surrounded by laurels, in homage to the brand’s glorious past in competition. It replaces the trapezoidal badge used until then.
The Fiat 1500 Coupé from the collection ANNA LISA
The Pininfarina 1500 Coupé in the collection is a rare and not so well known car, compared to its Italian rivals, the Bertone Alfa Romeo coupes, and the British roadsters or coupes by Triumph and MG.
It is very likely that this very elegant coupe was on the road until the early 1990s.
This car has a nice patina and needs to be restarted, which should be quite easy. The other option would of course be to fully restore the car to concourse condition. A few rust spots, typical of Fiat cars from those years, need to be treated, as well as some tears on the seats.