Fiat 56 50HP 7-Passenger Touring

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56 50HP 7-Passenger Touring





It is not widely known that FIAT, like Rolls-Royce, opened a factory in the United States in the early years of the 20th Century. When FIAT decided to produce automobiles in Poughkeepsie, New York, the decision was certainly prompted by the idea of greater profits, since there was a stiff tariff on imported cars. The new U.S. company held the rights to FIAT's manufacturing designs and the parent firm received a royalty on every car built in the U.S. The New York plant opened in 1910, and its first products were a couple of four-cylinder designs. In 1912, a new six-cylinder, 45-horsepower, 8.6-liter engine of mono-block construction with integral water-jacketed intake and exhaust manifolds was introduced on the Model 56. This big under-square six utilized a cooling fan mounted to its flywheel, and belly pans below the engine and transmission ensured proper airflow.

This was a large, expensive prestige automobile built exclusively for American customers. Initially, it was available only as a seven-passenger Touring car on a 135-inch wheelbase. For the next three years, a much broader selection of body styles, both open and closed, was available. 1916 would be the final year for the Model 56, with the choice of body styles reduced to five. In 1917, FIAT reduced its production in Poughkeepsie to only four-cylinder cars, and the American factory closed in 1918.

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