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Ready for a time travel in our history? Drag the cursor on the timeline, choose a date and discover the most iconic moments of the last 120 years of Fiat history.
A group of businessmen and professionals from Turin join forces to realise a mutual dream: an Italian automobile factory that could offer “democratic mobility”.
On 11th July 1899, in Turin, Fiat: Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Automobile Company Turin) company was stablished.
The same year, production officially began with the release of the first ever Fiat-branded car, the Fiat 3½ HP.
It is 1903, despite the semi-artisanal production line, the company’s results are good enough to push the share capital up to 800.000 Lira, a rather substantial figure for the time.
Together with the other executives, Agnelli, who had been appointed as CEO in 1902, decide to list the Turin-based manufacturing company on the stock exchange.
In 1910, Fiat renewed its offer with the launch of the Fiat “Tipo”.
The use of standardised components makes it possible to rationalise costs and production, creating a car that was both reliable and accessible to all.
These features made the Fiat Tipo so successful that, over the years, different versions of the car were produced, from 1 to 6, in order of their engine capacity.
Fiat’s first sports competition was in 1901 with the 8 HP and 12 HP, so the company certainly understands the importance of motor racing as a test bench for new technologies before applying them in the production line. In 1911, the Fiat S61 of 1908 won the Grand Prix of America, while the Fiat S76 Record of 1910 was nicknamed "the Belva di Torino" (literally, The Beast of Turin) for its performance. In 1924, the Fiat SB4 Eldridge, better known as "Mephistopheles", was created for breaking speed records.
The Fiat “Zero", also known as the Fiat 12/15 HP, was the forerunner of the utilitarian range of Fiat cars.
Under the eye-catching bodywork, designed with the help of a very young Pininfarina, the car had a very simple, robust and reliable mechanical structure, which was offered, in the Torpedo version, for just 8.000 Lira, a real record in convenience for the times.
Quality, style and accessibility are the reasons behind its success, which led Fiat to produce over 2.000 examples between 1912 and 1915 alone.
This is the year that the construction of the Lingotto factory began, one of the most important examples of European industrial architecture. Designed by Giacomo Mattè Trucco, it embodies Italy’s ambitious desire for innovation and industrialisation. The factory was inaugurated on the 22nd of May, 1923, in the presence of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy.
Exhibited for the first time at the Milan Motor Show, held from 17 to 27 April 1932, the Fiat 508 Balilla, a revolutionary vehicle for its time, was an immediate success. The first Balilla was a four-seater sedan, with a body made of wood and iron, which could travel up to 80km/h and only cost 10.800 Lira. It was one of the most popular cars in Italy, loved by the people and the press alike.
In 1936, the Fiat 500 A Topolino (literally meaning, “little mouse” and the Italian name for Disney’s Mickey Mouse), was born. At the time, it was the smallest mass-produced car in the world. Forefather of the economy-cars sector, it was produced to respond to the economic crisis, which hit Italy right after the start of World War II. It was named “Topolino”, due to its small size and shape.
Mirafiori is not only Fiat’s industrial headquarters in Turin, it is also the oldest factory in Europe to be still productive. It was opened on May the 15th 1939, to increase the production of smaller-capacity engines car models that could offer mobility to everyone at an affordable price. With the end of the Second World War, the factory’s automotive production really began with the launch of the second series of the 500 A and the relocation of the Fiat 1100 production lines.
The Fiat 1100 S is a rare jewel, produced in just a few hundred examples. And the investments made in this sporty sedan with sophisticated mechanical workings, was not slow in paying off. At the 1000 Miglia of 1947, four 1000 S “Berlinetta” all came in within the first ten places. In order, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh and the ninth position. But this racing success is not the only thing to leave a mark: even the unmistakable snout line made it famous all over the world.
In 1948, the company introduced the 500 B "Giardiniera", one of the first station wagons ever built on a large scale, which featured luxurious side strips made of ash and Masonite. The term "Giardiniera" was inspired by the name of the carts that gardeners used to carry their goods. Although it’s only been in production for just over a year, more than 21.000 models have already been produced.
The Fiat Campagnola, which was used in a purely agricultural context, was a large-scale production line that started in 1951. Equipped with a steel frame with longitudinal and transverse parts, it was an innovative car for its time and wrote one of the most important pages in post-war motoring history, crossing Africa from South to North in 11 days and 4 hours.
In 1952, the image of the new Fiat 8V was revived with a sportier appeal. Featuring independent suspension and fiberglass bodywork, this car with an all-Italian soul and a unique and elegant design was designed with the creative and technical input of iconic figures, like Ghia, Bertone, Zagato, Vignale and Farina. The car gives a nod to America, mainly due to its eight-cylinder, V-shaped architecture.
A brand-new new car is born. Released on the market in in 1953, the 1100/103 Type A and Type B models, were characterised by their modern 4-door construction, load-bearing body and modern three-box design. That very same year, the Fiat 1100 E completed its first single-driver world tour.
An American-style 2-door, 2-seater Spider, also created to satisfy the needs of private pilots during competitions. The Fiat 1100 TV Trasformabile was launched in 1955 to guarantee excellent performance, speed and precision. The 571 units produced were equipped with an enhanced engine and independent suspension at the front with a stabiliser bar.
The Fiat 600 Multipla is born, and it’s the first MPV ever produced. A light, fast car, with extremely refined lines, which rapidly becomes a great success. This simple, family car makes functionality its strength, allowing it to carry four to six people or convert to a two-seater taxi version.
The New 500 was an evolution of the revolutionary 500 Topolino, designed to respond to the need for a car that was both economical and practical. The new 500 is a car that takes on the technological challenge of reducing the size of each component, while still maintaining its young, timeless and iconic spirit.
The Fiat 124 is now also available as a family version and the Sport Spider by Pininfarina is released. The Dino Spider also makes its debut, but the news doesn’t stop here: Fiat signs an agreement with the USSR for the construction of Togliattigrad, a small town on the Volga River, transformed into a real car manufacturing city.
Production begins at the new Rivalta plant with the release of the 850 Coupé and 124 Spider. Between 1976-1977, Fiat takes one of its most important steps in the field of production and applied technologies, with the introduction of the Robogate: an automated production plant, built by Fiat Comau, which combines various technologies managed by a single IT system. The system, which is able to recognise and weld different body parts completely automatically, has given rise to iconic models, like the Ritmo, Uno and Tipo.
Designed as a vehicle for urban traffic in big cities, the New Fiat 850 City Taxi of 1968 was designed with a formal and functional appearance, spacious interior and reduced external dimensions, to ensure easy handling. With the addition of its radio transceiver, the car’s technical equipment is truly remarkable for the time.
The heir of the 850, the Fiat 127 represents a real revolution in the automotive field, thanks to its transverse front engine, McPherson suspensions at the front and interconnected rear. More space, more comfort, more safety, thanks to its improved road holding, stability and braking ability. An iconic car for anyone who lived in the 1970s.
Presentation and production start-up of the Fiat 126. The model is the evolution of the Fiat Nuova 500 but presents a completely redesigned 4-seater body, a f 594 cc engine, with a subsequent increase in speed, and a synchronised change in the three upper gears.
The Fiat Ritmo was one of the most successful Fiat models ever produced. Created to be recognised at first glance, its most obvious feature was the straight and angular lines that design a 3 or 5-doorsedan, contained in a 4-metre-long car.
The Panda is released in two versions: the 30 with the evolution of the 126 engine and the 45 with a 127 engine. The Fiat Panda 30 soon becomes one of the most loved city cars in Italy, famous above all for its robustness and functionality.
The Fiat Uno, the predecessor of the Punto, is presented at Cape Canaveral. A revolution in the world of small cars, it was a huge and instant success, winning the title of Car of the Year in 1984, forever embodying the concept of a popular car, suitable for all.
The Fiat Tipo was born with a 5-seater, two-box design, to make the most of the interior space. The result of an innovative project, the car, which was developed to achieve high levels of performance, comfort and safety, fully embodies the concept of innovation with mature content.
The Panda Elettra, a zero-emission version of the Panda, makes its debut. Based on the 750 Fire, it could travel up to 100 km, with a maximum speed of 70 km per hour. It was equipped with a small burner that could start the heating, consequently saving battery life, while the transmission relied on a four-speed gearbox.
The new Fiat Punto and the Punto Cabrio are born. Presented in 1993 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Fiat Punto is the utility vehicle par excellence, and also one of Fiat's greatest successes. The Punto Cabrio, a convertible version of this great Italian classic, also differs for its 60 bhp or 88 bhp petrol engine.
The Fiat Barchetta is born, a Spider with a 1.8 engine designed by Andreas Zapatinas, who came up with the idea of the line that starts from the bonnet and seems to invade the passenger compartment. The car was a noticeable success, presenting itself as an economical but reliable Spider.
The New Fiat 500 is launched. This four-wheel icon is back on the road in a completely new version that is destined to leave its mark. Moreover, a new level of comfort is added to its compact dimensions.
The Fiat 500L is presented for the first time. From a stylistic view point it recalls two distinct but recognisable design philosophies and is presented as a fusion between the 1957 Fiat 500 and the 1956 Fiat Multipla. The spacious passenger compartment has also been given increased versatility, thanks to sliding seat.
Presentation of the Fiat 500X, the city SUV with a strong connection to style. In the same year, the two automobile groups Fiat and Chrysler merge, with the creation of FCA: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Fiat celebrates its first 120 years with a special series of cars: the New 500 Family 120TH, presented during the Geneva International Motor Show, is ready to party with its bicolour Tuxedo finish and an exclusive collaboration with Apple Music.