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This amazing 1931 poster advertising the Fiat 514 caught my eye, as its designer intended…‘Its of ‘monumental style design’, the 514 likened to a statue on a plinth, beaming out light into the darkness’.

The 514 was built between 1929 and 1932 in sedan, cabriolet and spyder bodies. The engine was a 1438cc 4 cylinder sidevalve with power outputs ranging from 28-37bhp for the 514A/MM performance variant.

Although Fiat stopped racing in the early 1930s, concentrating on road cars in the twenties they produced cars of sporting intent. Its most successful design was the Tipo 509, which dominated the Italian small-car market. The 509 was powered by a four-cylinder 990cc OHC engine.

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1932 Mille Miglia; the #9 37th place Fiat 514MM of ‘Frate Ignoto’-Arturo Mercanti/Francani ahead of the Bettinazi brothers 35th placed Fiat 514 CA Spider in the Montalcino/Radicofani area near Siena. the race was won by the Borzacchini/Bignami Alfa 8C2300 Spider Touring (Guerrini)

The 1929 514, its replacement was introduced into much tougher economic times and used a simpler 1.5-litre sidevalve four. The 514 was conventional; it had semi-elliptic springing all round, a 4 speed gearbox and 4 wheel mechanical brakes, adoption of hydraulic brakes part way through the cars production cycle being the models most important development.

Together with the standard cars Fiat introduced a trio of sporting roadsters; the 514S, 514MM and 514CA, ‘MM’ signifying Mille Miglia and ‘CA’ Coppa del Alpi (Alpine Cup). The 514S and 514CA used the standard (2,555mm) wheelbase whilst the MM used the longer (2,770mm) chassis shared with the 514 van. All used tuned engines; the 514S had 34.5bhp, the MM and CA had engines developing 37bhp. Top speed of these cars was circa 112km/h (70mph).

Credit…

Hutton Archive, Bruno Guerrini, Bonhams

Tailpiece: 1930 514 Roadster…

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