1922 Fiat 501 Tourer by Melbourne Motor Bodies
Model: 501 Tourer by Melbourne Motor Bodies
Registration Number: 137 NOU
Chassis Number: 1224445
Engine Number: TIPO 101.No.1120933
Steering: Right Hand Drive
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Guide Price: £10000 - 12000
Road Tax Exempt
Fiat’s first offering after World War One was the 501, which was introduced in 1919 and produced until 1926, when some 47,600 vehicles had been built. At a time when Austin was looking at creating smaller motor cars in Britain, the Fiat would have been seen as a more commodious form of family transport. Even at this time, Fiat would have gained a reputation for producing leviathan style competition vehicles and indeed their motor cars always seem a little quicker than many of their counterparts. The 501, with a 1460cc side valve, four cylinder engine, was no slouch and examples can be seen at VSCC events performing with some verve.
There is little known of the early history of this very pretty Fiat; it obviously started life in Australia as it is clothed in an Melbourne Motor Body Company four seat tourer body, and amongst many other touring badges adorning the 501, there is a Vintage Drivers Club of Australia decal on the windscreen. We have also discovered that 137 NOU was entered into Christie’s auction sale at ‘Motorfair’, Earls Court, on the 27th October 1977, and it is presumed that the vendor’s father, a specialist Fiat garage proprietor, purchased the car from this sale.
The 501 was then exhibited in his showroom for a long period of time. Sadly he passed away about ten years ago and new management side-lined the car to a lesser store, to be covered up and dismissed as no longer an asset. Years passed and new owners asked the family to remove the Fiat from their premises.
Hence we are instructed to offer this very attractive four seater vintage tourer, which has clearly benefited at some stage from good quality restoration work. We are advised however that the engine itself will require attention, the motor car having not run in a long time. Rumour has it that the cylinder head gasket may have failed and indeed there is a spare with the car, but we cannot warrant that this as the sole problem. We can only recommend that the new custodian should carefully strip the engine, make a proper diagnosis and carry out recommissioning work.
The reward for breathing new life into a Fiat 501 of this type will be great. Certainly it is thought superior to various offerings from our own British Industry of the time and your writer can vouch for this, having owned a slightly later version of the marque.
Included in the sale is a two gallon petrol can and tool box containing a jack, spare bulb horn and head gaskets etc… A replacement V5C has been applied for.
Auction Date: Wednesday 23 November 2016