Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Allemano
Augusto Scalese, Naples, Italy (acquired new from Carrozzeria Allemano in 1954)Fabio DeClescensio, Bari, Italy (transferred from the above in 1979)Licia Marta Porzia, Bari, Italy (transferred from the above in 1995)Paolo Marcheghiani, Bari, Italy (acquired from the above 2010)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 2016
While coachbuilding in much of the world was rapidly disappearing in the early 1950s, in Italy it was enjoying a remarkable renaissance. Fiat launched its most important new volume family car, the 1100/103, at the Geneva Auto Show in March 1953, and at the showcase Torino Auto Show in April, Italian coachbuilders rushed to display their special versions. Prominent among them were a cabriolet and coupe designed by Giovanni Michelotti for Carrozzeria Allemano.
Much appreciated in the coverage of the show, they were singled out in the press for their distinctive design. Auto Italiana noted “two magnificent … versions of an original and beautiful two-seater based on Fiat’s ‘Nuova 1100’ with a very personalized front and lines styled by Michelotti.” Of particular note was the distinctive split grille, a “shark nose” seven years before the Ferrari 156 F1 car and the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Bertone coupe inspired by the 156.
This design was produced in a small series before being succeeded by a different Michelotti design in 1954. Research to date has found two coupes and four cabriolets, with one coupe and two cabriolets known to exist today.
Chassis 019195 was built in late 1953 and received its Statement of Conformity on December 31 of that year. The first owner, Augusto Scalese, paid Carrozzeria Allemano 2,511,000 lire, or $4,016 – the price of a new Cadillac Series 62 Convertible – and the car was registered with the license plate NA 86282, which it has worn for its entire existence.
The Cabriolet was passed down in Sig. Scalese’s family to his son-in-law Fabio DeClescensio and granddaughter-in-law Lucia Marta Porzia. In December 2010, the family sold the car to Paolo Marcheghiani of Bari, Italy. The current owner purchased it from Sig. Marcheghiani.
A thoroughly researched and painstaking restoration has brought this historic Fiat back to its original and correct form, specifically re-creating the rear fender line and the correct taillights as designed by Michelotti. During preparation for the work, the original Azzurro Metallizzato color was found, and a remaining fragment of the original Bordeaux vinyl trim has been matched for the upholstery. The badges as seen on the car when delivered were remade and fitted in their proper locations, and the original-style wheel covers were re-created to complete the cabriolet’s as-built appearance.
This charming Fiat is so compelling and notable that even before its restoration was completed, it was invited to be shown in a class of custom-bodied Fiats at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, where it impressed all who saw it. A rare and inspired design, this Millecento Allemano Cabriolet has international appeal and historical importance thanks in no small part to the influences it had on later, now legendary vehicles.