Lot 59

2018   |   Amelia Island Auctions 2018

1953 Fiat 1100 Coupe

Coachwork by Vignale

SOLD $418,000


$400,000 - $500,000





Car Highlights

A Special Giovanni Michelotti Design for Carrozzeria Vignale
One of Only Two Such Coupes Built
Continuous and Known History Since 1954
Recent Recipient of a Seven-Year Concours-Level Restoration
Invited to Be Exhibited at Villa d’Este and Eligible for the Mille Miglia
Displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® in 1955, 1956, and 2016

Technical Specs

1,089 CC OHV Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin Solex 30-32 BI Carburetors
50 BHP at 5,400 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Nardi-Modified Drum Brakes
Front Independent Suspension with Coil Springs
Rear Live Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note that online bidding is not available for this vehicle.

Register to Bid

One of Only Two Examples Built | Recipient of Numerous Concours and Design AwardsHarrison Godwin, Carmel, California (acquired in 1954)Benz Repair, Salem, Oregon (acquired from the above in 1967)Mike Malone (acquired from the above in 1984)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2008)

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, April 1955 (Second in Class)Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, April 1956Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 2016ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, California, October 2016 (Designer’s Choice Trophy)Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Amelia Island, Florida, March 2017 (Best in Class)

Alfredo Vignale opened his shop in 1948, and by 1953 the Carrozzeria Vignale stand at the Torino Motor Show was filled with show cars, including an amazing Fiat 1100 Coupe dressed with a body penned by one of the most gifted automotive designers of the time, Giovanni Michelotti.

The Fiat offered here is one of only two known 1100 Coupes bodied by Vignale in this design, and visual evidence suggests that it was shown in Torino, but it is thus far impossible to state this conclusively. Admired for its deceptively simple design and countless fascinating details, the Vignale Coupe is as sporting as it is sophisticated.

The Coupe’s documented history begins in 1954, when it arrived in the US and was registered to Harrison Godwin, a cartoonist and hotelier in Carmel, California. Mr. Godwin showed the 1100 at the 1955 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, painted red with a black top, where it was awarded Second in Class. There is evidence of the car being shipped back and forth from Italy, including a series of photos taken in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Trieste, with the car wearing its California license plate.

In 1967, the 1 100 Vignale was photographed at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey; later that year, it overheated near Salem, Oregon, and was stored at a local shop with the intention of repairing it. After the project stalled, collector Mike Malone, who had been pursuing the car for years, finally purchased it in 1984. Mr. Malone vigorously researched the car’s history, but it continued to sit idle until August 2008, when the current owner acquired it. The consignor states that the restoration lasted longer than intended, as no shortcuts were taken – and the results are truly spectacular. The most difficult aspects of the seven-year project were the re-creation of the hubcap medallions and the restoration of the ultra-rare Nardi performance components, including the original steering wheel and induction and brake parts.

Finished in Velvet Green and Black over Pumpkin leather, the Fiat returned to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® in 2016 after a 60-year absence, then was shown at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, where it won the Designer’s Choice Trophy. In 2017, the rare coupe earned a prestigious Best in Class award at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The car is accompanied by Giovanni Michelotti’s original pencil sketches of the design, its original tool kit, and its FIVA identity card, as well as a rich history file.

This is a rare opportunity to obtain a stunning special-bodied Fiat 1100, featuring many of the signature design touches of the brilliant Giovanni Michelotti that can also be found on coachbuilt Ferraris and Lancias of the era. In light of its compelling history and superb restoration, the new owner of this gem will be fortunate indeed.