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A BRIEF HISTORY OF ITALIAN CARS: FIAT

Most think immediately of Ferrari when they think of Italian cars —and rightfully so— Ferrari is considered the king of luxury sports cars. If you have ever driven one you understand why it deserved such a title!

In my blog posts we will be examining extensively the history, present and future of Ferrari, however, it obviously is not the only marvel that Italy has given the world of cars.

Italian cars, however, had a much humbler beginning. It is true that Fiat hardly evokes the same emotion as Ferrari, however, Fiat has played the most important role in the development of the Italian motor industry. Fiat was the first to manufacture cars in Italy, they registered very close to the beginning of the automobile industry in
1899. The name Fiat, has nothing to do with fiat currencies, it is actually an acronym F.I.A.T. stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino which means: Italian Automobile Factory of Turin.

It was in 1900 that the factory opened in Turin with 150 workers they were ready to go, and that they did! The first modl was the 3 ½ CV —which can be seen in some private collections and auto museums.

In 1902 with a 24 horsepower Fiat, Vincenzo Lancia won the Sassi-Superga uphill race, How things have changes since then! Fiat continued to make a name in the racing world and in 1908 opened a factory in the US. Although today Fiat is accessible to anyone and everyone, at that time Fiat was considered to be a luxury car only for the rich… Unfortunately I don’t foresee such a transition with Ferrari in the future.

Please stay tuned for further writings on the history of Italian cars!