Not Driven Since 1966: 1958 Fiat 1100

A couple of years ago we saw an incredible collection of cars in Kansas – the Don Lacer collection seen here on Barn Finds. One of my personal favorites was a 1958 Fiat 1100 Millecento such as this one shown here on eBay in beautiful Spokane, Washington. The seller has a $600 opening bid price listed, let’s check it out.

The Fiat 1100 was made from 1953 until the Fiat 128 was introduced in 1969. They remind me of a late-50s Datsun 210, at least from the front – the Fiat 1100 had a decent-sized trunk. Here’s a YouTube video of another 1100 driving, in case anyone was wondering what it might be like to roll down the road with one of these cars.

You can see that this little Fiat is a project car. It looks pretty straight and relatively solid but anytime I see this much surface rust I’m worried. The seller says that it hasn’t been driven since around 1966 and that it’s been stored outside! Ouch.

The interior is as simple as can be and the knobs and small details on the dash are fun. The seller says that this is from their father’s estate and it’ll definitely need to be gone through completely. When they pulled it up onto the trailer one of the front wheels was stuck, a fairly common problem that shouldn’t be difficult to fix. The floors are soft and they suspect rust, that may be a little more difficult to repair.

The engine is Fiat’s 1.1L inline-four which would have had around 45 hp. The seller isn’t sure if it runs or even turns over, they haven’t tried it. I prefer small cars like this Fiat 1100 but given the amount of restoration that this car needs, I don’t think I would have it in me to complete this one. Have any of you owned or driven a Fiat 1100?

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Comments

  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Sorry Scotty, I have never owned one, rode in one or even heard of one till now. I would like to take one for spin though. The Albany Wisconsin Lions Club car show is this Sunday, who knows? Under ten hours and 0 bids but 36 watching. This is a parts car for someone. I see it says Dynamo in the instrument panel, Fiats term for a genarator? Cool car, I wonder what else was in the Estate? Maybe more cool and unusual cars! Keep up with the great finds! Mike.

    Like 1
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Forget It Already, Tony!

  3. Rube Goldberg Member

    Hooray, SG is back!! And with it, more oddballs. Believe it or not, I did see a couple of these in the midwest. Usually, behind a tow truck, but more popular than the 500. I think it’s really cool, and possibly made before Fiat got such a lousy reputation. At one time, this time period specifically, they did make good cars. Foolish to run it as is, and a drivetrain update, to ensure the speed limit, is in order, not that I’d want to go 70 in this, tho. Cool find, keep ’em coming, and to BF staff, let Scotty go nuts with the oddballs. It’s my favorite part of this site.

    Like 5
  4. dirtyharry

    In 68-70, I was working at our station. We seemed to be ‘ground zero’ for each and every import, being in so Cal (Opels, Simcas, MG’s, Austin’s, etc.). I recall seeing a lot of foreign cars, with the owners largely happy with their import car. They all bragged about terrific mileage. We were pumping gas during “gas wars,” for as little as .25 a gallon, as I recall. In Europe, gas was much more and they made more sense, but in America it they seemed out of place to me sharing space with cars that weighed 3 times as much.

    Like 1
  5. Ken Carney

    Almost bought an 110 wagon back in ’84.
    It was a ’66 model that belonged to a red
    neck neighbor of mine who knew nothing
    at all about cars other than how to destroy them. What stopped me from
    buying the car was the lack of parts and
    technical assistance in the Midwest back then. Another thing was the column
    mounted 4-speed shifter that gave my
    wife fits when we test drove it. And yeah,
    it might’ve been a great little car if all those problems hadn’t been stacked against it. The last straw came when I
    talked it over with Dad and he gave me a
    resounding “Hell no!” and steered us
    toward a ’72 Hornet wagon instead.
    Neat little car though.

    Like 2
  6. Gaspumpchas

    FIAT= Fix it again Tonite–OR__
    fix it again Tony

    A world of trouble, if u couldn’t get parts in the 60’s its gotta be worse now. Heck I couldn’t get a Ford v8 Dist rotor locally, everyone had to order. Good luck to the new owner. Lawd have mercy.
    Cheers
    GPC

    • Tom

      Parts aren’t actually that hard to find if. Fiat made loads of these.

      Like 1
  7. Del

    I see a crusher near it soon.

    But then I am Psychic

    Like 2
  8. Charles Gaffen

    My next door neighbor had one when I was a kid, same color as this one. Ironically a blue one with a light gray top ended up being my first car. It was somewhat beat, but served me well despite quirks. (It like to drive in the rain, but getting it started on those days was a challenge) I also had a bad front end that ate 11 tires in the 2 years I owned it. It was comfortable, slow, but it was cute to look at and had a great trunk. Unfortunately I hit the back of a delivery truck and the engine got pushed into the trans, and it was toast.

    Like 3
  9. Andrew S Mace Member

    It’s cute. If it weren’t for the “soft floors,” lack of a rear window, etc., etc., it might be fun to tinker with? Most likely, it’s a donor car for a better project. :(

    Like 3
  10. Daymo

    The XR4i, as fantastic as it truly was, wasn’t the ultimate Sierra. Here in Europe we not only also had the XR4x4 with 4WD but also the Cosworths, with a 2.9-litre Cosworth engine. In hatch or saloon (sedan) shapes.
    A rally drivers wet dream!

  11. Fred H

    No matter how cute it is….It is still a Fiat ))

  12. Kevin Harper

    Geez not to be mean but there is a huge lack of knowledge on these.

    OK first off these cars were built in the millions. They started in the 1950’s and offered things like independent front suspension, unibody construction and good fuel economy. They handled and stopped well in period and much better than the typical american sedan, but they had too the roads in Italy are tight and narrow where the american cars were built for straight roads and cruising.

    These were built for a long time. From the early 50’s til 2000. They were built under license in India from around 1970 til 2000 and used mostly for Taxi’s, not a role that an unreliable car would excel at.

    The drive train in these was used to launch a lot of ecterini builders like stanguilini, Siata and others.

    The engines were hot rodded to death and used in a lot of the early single seat race series. Sort of like our Formula Ford but they allowed modifications. I have seen millecento engines with DOHC, multi valves, supercharged ect. Most Italian racers in the 50’s and 60’s probably raced a millecento powered car.

    Parts are easily available. I can have anything at my door in about 3 days.

    This particular car is probably a parts car. I can get a decent runner in Europe for about 5k and shipped for 1k. You could not fix this one for that price. I saw it on ebay some time ago and if it had been on the east coast I would have been tempted to buy it. I would have stripped off the small stuff to use on other cars and turned the rest into a vintage racer. It would be fun to chase the A30 Austins and Giulietti Ti’s with.

    Oh the correct terminology is Dynamo. This is what michael Faraday called it when originally invented. If you want to get deep into the weeds on Electrical engineering a Dynamo makes direct current and a Generator makes alternating current. Somewhere along the way we started calling a Dynamo a generator, but really an Alternator is a Generator. It is not a big deal but it is similar to the difference between engine and motor, they aren’t really the same thing but common practice is to assume they are.

    Like 8
    • Martin Horrocks

      Thanks Kevin
      You saved me a lengthy post! This was a very important car in the development of Italian motorsport and sold all over the world.

      The FixItAgainToni guys just don´t know auto history or how much Fiat contributed to it.

      There´s not much value in this one and whoever is elling should take whatever they are offered o clear space.

      Like 6
  13. charlie Member

    I was working at Olivetti in the summer of ’62, in early computer programming, my co workers all had Fiat 500’s or 600’s, and seemed to spend much of Sunday’s fixing, adjusting, and polishing them. The Boss, who had a doctorate in electrical engineering, (we addressed him as Doctore) had a 1100 which was MUCH nicer than the 500 or 600 and felt luxurious to me. In comparison it was big, silent, and fast – 100 km/hr all day. (Which I realize is only about 66 mph). But they were to the Italians what a Buick was to us at that time.

    Like 3
  14. Joel

    My very first car was a 1959 Fiat Millecento that my father and I rebuilt when I was around 9 or 10 years old. I remember he moved the engine around when rebuilding by just picking it up. No lifts needed. I really learned a lot rebuilding it and as I recall all of the parts for the motor came from J.C. Whitney. My father was smart; the car simply couldn’t really go fast enough to get you in trouble but was very dependable so he let me use it when I turned 15. We sold it around 1976 for $300 and thought we were making out. I’d love to have that car back.

    Like 3
  15. Little_Cars

    Good luck trying to find that rear window here in the states. But, never say never….

  16. Sam61

    How about an homage to Checker Marathon…Italian taxi cab…requisite yellow with checker board accents.

    Like 1
  17. t-bone Bob

    used to have one like this

  18. Karim sedky

    How much are u selling it with? Where is the car located?

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