Please contact sales (at) mcgrathitalian (dot) co (dot) uk
In recent decades, Fiat have gained a reputation for not being very good at building big cars. But in the pre, and immediately post-war periods, there were some very popular larger Fiats. One of the most successful of all was the 1400/1900 series launched in 1950. It was their first entirely new design since the war and with styling inspired by La Dolce Vita, this voluptuous saloon must have seemed very luxurious and avant garde. Indeed, it had a number of firsts for Fiat, the first unitary construction chassis, first to include a heating and ventilation system and first with a curved windscreen! How we take things for granted today!
The engine for the 1400 was a 4-cylinder petrol engine but from 1953 a diesel version was announced. This was another first as it was the first Fiat diesel passenger car. The engine was actually a 1901cc 4-cylinder that had previously been seen in the 615 light commercial and was to go into the new Campagnola Jeep as well. In 1956, the 1400 range had a facelift and was designated 1400B. The diesel continued as well and the car you see here is a 1957 Fiat 1400B diesel.
McGrath Italian imported this car from Southern Italy in late 2015 and it is in very sound condition with an amazingly original interior. It is also on the button, although the diesel starting procedure and 24volt electrics take some getting used to. And its not fast you understand, with a 43bhp oil burner and a vague 4-speed column change but forward progress can be made and anyway, it’s a great place to sit while you’re waiting!
While a handful of 1400s were imported into the UK in period, but punitive trade tariffs meant that they would have been very expensive indeed. Of course, that wouldn’t have included diesels and therefore there is a fair chance that this is the only example in the UK.
McGrath Italian were also delighted to loan the car for a music video last year and if you want any further proof that this is a cool-looking car, then watch here;
So, if you fancy a fifties saloon with Italian flair that isn’t even close to Alfa 1900 money then this might be for you. You’re very unlikely to see another one at any show you attend after all!
Since importation, the 1400B has been UK registered with an age-related number and has a current V5C in our name. As a pre-1960 vehicle it does not require an MOT and the road fund licence is free.