In 1939, Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (FIAT) designed and produced a car that was so elegant, only four were ever built and sold.

Meet the ’39 FIAT 1500 B 6c Touring Superleggera Coupe Speciale. It was FIAT’s first venture into serious aerodynamic body styling and the first Torino-based project to be tested in a wind tunnel.

The Touring Superleggera Coupe Speciale was sylish, fast, sporty and curvaceous, with its radical, sweeping design highlighted by the aerodynamic arrow-shaped nose section.

With only four cars ever built from this model, maybe FIAT believed, at the time, that it had reached automotive design perfection and thought it best to just break the mold, much like four other curvaceous Italian models: Loren, Lollobrigida, Cardinale and Bellucci.

©The Palladian Traveler

Borsalino w/ props SMALL | ©Tom Palladio Images

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Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 50 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches along the cobblestone via TravelingBoy.com.

24 comments

  1. Very nice. And here I am still waiting for a reply SMS from someone saying that she’s willing to be my model for the week. Should have stucked to something more reliable. Such a very shiny stylish car.

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  2. What a gorgeous car! My dad had the first F1/9 (made first by Fiat but by the time we got one, by Bertone) in Omaha, Nebraska. It was lime green, a blast to drive and had people hanging out their car windows to ask what it was, as you could only see “Bertone”. I didn’t realize what Fiat stood for and I caught that curve reference at the end. 🙂

    janet

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      1. That’s a fairly “modern” FIAT sports car with the engine placed midway between driver and tail. Bertone, by the way, was the body design company licensed by FIAT; all the other mechanics were FIAT, so your pop was cruising around Omaha in a “Fix it again Tony.” 🙂 Same for my 850 FIAT Spider convertible, British Racing Green with fawn leather interior, with the body designed by Bertone. It was a good little scoot-around car back in the day. 🙂

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      2. What made it so frustrating for people is that it didn’t say “Fiat” anywhere, just “Bertone” and who knew what that meant? The roof lifted off and it was so much fun. Yours sounds pretty sweet, too.

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      3. That lime green was pretty flashy along with the other neon colors, lemon and orange. Probably worth a lot of dough today, just like my 850 cabriolet. Darn! The guy I sold it to, back in ’76, still has it and it still runs.

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