Fiat 1500 Cabriolet by Ghia

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1500 Cabriolet by Ghia





The Fiat 1500 was a car produced by the Fiat from 1935 to 1950. The car was introduced in Salone dell'Automobile di Milan in 1935. It was one of the first cars tested in a wind tunnel, following the Chrysler Airflow produced one year earlier. The styling was by the emerging designer, Giacosa, who achieved an aerodynamic efficiency unequalled before it in a touring car, and (contrary to the failure of the "lumpen" Airflow) disproved the thesis aerodynamic cars would not sell. Developed in a wind tunnel, the 1500's striking-looking body featured a raked back radiator grille intended to reduce aerodynamic drag, though this would be replaced by a more conventional, upright grille in 1940, no doubt at the dictates of fashion. Beneath the skin there was a tubular backbone chassis boasting independent front suspension, the latter making its first appearance on a FIAT car. The 1500's engine was a 1,493cc overhead-valve six that shared its 65x75mm bore/stroke dimensions with the contemporary four-cylinder Tipo 508 and produced a maximum of 45bhp, which was transmitted to the rear wheels via a four-speed gearbox. Top speed was in the region of 70mph.

FIAT offered open models as well as the standard saloon, and the 1500 chassis was popular with independent coachbuilders, that offered here featuring convertible coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia of Turin. Carrozzeria Ghia had been founded by Giacinto Ghia in 1919, soon establishing a reputation not just for luxury coachwork but also for bodying competition cars. Despite its founder's death in 1944 and wartime damage to the factory, Ghia resumed its place at the forefront of Italian coachbuilding after WW2, providing the training ground for many of Italy's rising-star designers: Michelotti, Boano, Frua and Savonuzzi all making a contribution to its continuing success.

The second series 1500B, with better brakes, was introduced in 1939, and in 1940, the 1500C, with a redesigned front end.

In 1949, the 1500E appeared, having some exterior changes and the external spare wheel moved inside the car.

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