3k: Needs Mohr LS1: 1955 Fiat 1100 Trasformabile

 In 1955 Fiat released a convertible (Italian Trasformabile) version of their 1100 series compact family car.  Styling was done in house by Fiat’s design director Fabio Luigi Rapi and coachwork was done by the in house special bodies division (Sezione Carrozzerie Speciali).  This was the first post-war small drop top from Fiat (it could be considered the grandpappy to the 850 Spider) and a limited 471 examples were built during the first year of production.  Why is this important?  Because you don’t need to be Wayne Carini to understand the supply/demand aspect of classic car collecting and you won’t need his deep pockets for today’s rare pile of parts.  Find this 1955 Fiat 1100 Trasformabile offered for $3,000 in Oakland, CA via craigslist.

The world of low volume Fiat restoration is one that you would be wise to tread cautiously, but a quick glance at the pictures in this one show a car that isn’t too rusty (all things considered) and the seller claims to have all of the chrome and external trim pieces.  This is good news for any future restorer, because you aren’t going to find those parts in a JC Whitney Catalog or at your local swap meet, even if you live in Turin. 

For a glance at the potential upside, we found this link to a Bonhams auction from 2010 that shows a condition 2 (older professional restoration) ’58 1100 Trasformabile sold for $35,100 including buyer’s premium.  This matches very nicely with Hagerty’s price valuation showing $35k for the restored car, but a valuation of $18k for a condition 4 car.  Today’s feature is well below the condition 4 car (no engine, no trans, no top) but you’ve got to wonder what it would take to get this car up to a drivable condition.

You can probably source a 1100 cc engine from any of the scores of standard 1100 sedans built by Fiat, but you might find the 51 horsepower to be disappointing even in a 1200 lb car.  The next logical choice of powerplant is something bigger/peppier from Fiat, maybe a 1.8 liter engine from a Fiat 124 Coupe…but…something primal in the lower end of my brain stem makes me wonder if an AP1 engine from a Honda S2000 would fit?

See another pile of parts that could be turned into something cool if you had the time and money? tips@dailyturismo.com