1933 Fiat 508A Balilla Spider
- Year: 1933
- Make: Fiat
- Model: 508A Balilla Spider
- Trim: 2 Door Cabriolet
- Engine: 995cc
- Drive Type: RWD
- VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): 026116
- Mileage: 137
- Exterior Color: Gray/Black
- Interior Color: Brown
|Condition:||Used||VIN (Vehicle Identification Number):||026116|
Where can I begin to express the absolute treat it is to offer this truly STUNNING car? I am HUGELY excited to offer for a sale this Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Award Winning Fiat Balilla 508A Spider. Needless to say, the restoration, care and presentation of this Fiat are beyond exceptional. This is a long ad, but please be sure to read the entire thing – there is a lot of wonderful detail to cover! Let’s dive right in!
Designed and brought to life by Dante Giacosa (designer of many notable Fiats including the mechanical design of the Fiat 500), Tranquillo Zerbi (designer of Fiat’s grand prix engines), Antonio Fessia (head of the aero engine division), Votta Martinotti, Bartolomeo Nebbia and Rodolfo Schaffer, the new 508 was crafted by some of the best minds and hands Italy had to offer. After test driver Carlos Salamano spent countless months testing the new car in deplorable conditions, the car was presented to Mussolini on April 8, 1932. After giving his nod of approval, the Fiat 508 Balilla debuted as the replacement to the 509 on April 12, 1932 at the Fiera Milano trade show to much acclaim. Newspapers wrote that finally a true, affordable family car has arrived. The Fiat 508 was made in a few styles thereafter including the Berlina, the Spider, Coupe, Van, Spider Sport and Torpedo. All brought a wonderful degree of purpose and style to the Italians and sold ~113,000 cars of all body style. Spiders sold well, but not many exist today after suffering from causalities of war both figuratively and literally. The 508 is a true piece of Fiat and Italian history.
Let’s move on to this car specifically:
Our history with this car begins in 2010 when purchased from a Italian gentleman in Connecticut. He and his nephew had an extensive collection of rare classic Fiats and decided to part with their entire collection. When the car was acquired, it was in very good condition with some minor flaws, but an overall very nice restoration. After the arrival of the car, the next months and years were spent honing the car into a meticulous restoration and presentation. Extensive effort was put into the details of the car, utilizing some of the most talented hands possible.
Once completed and prepped, the car was accepted as an entrant to the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance. Acceptance to likely the most challenging and prestigious show is honor enough, especially in a large class such as that this Fiat was entered. Before the show, there is the Pebble Tour D’Elegance, a 17-mile drive through the adeptly named “17-Mile Drive” of Monterrey, California, open to all entries of the Concours. This drive, though absolutely stunning in surroundings, if often revered by its entrants because it often challenges the cars beyond their limit. Not overly challenging in terrain, though not without its hills, the drive is often a more a killer for very early cars and those that live too sedentary of life. Many choose to none-the-less try to complete the drive not just for the experience but also because completion of the Tour acts as a tie breaker at the Concours. This gorgeous Fiat entered and completed the Tour with flying colors! Certainly not the fastest car in the group, the Fiat kept a steady but brisk pace and drove as new!
After successful completion of the Tour on Thursday, the Balilla made its way to the legendary lawn of the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach golf course. The class had a robust number of entries with extremely strong competition. As the afternoon arrived and so did the award ceremony, this breathtaking 508A was called to the podium for 3rd place! Only a handful of cars will ever be invited, let alone win a trophy at Pebble Beach, so this was of the highest honor. The Pebble Beach trophy, ribbons, plaques and paperwork are included in the sale to display as the new owner sees fit.
This Fiat was not a one off purchase. It sits within an extremely robust collection filled with both rare and eclectic cars. Not only that, this 508 was made at home within an extensive collection of rare and beautiful classic Fiats. Please take a moment to scroll to the bottom of the page to take note of some its peers. Fiat experts watch over and maintain this beauty and assure that it is in wonderful running and driving condition. Check the rest of the pictures as well for the car on the road. This car is ready to be driven and was not trailered to our photo site.
This could quite possibly be the best 508 Spider in the world given its condition and it’s Pebble Beach lineage.
The Condition and Service:
If you haven’t read one of my ads before, typically you would see me dive into every last detail of a car to explain every wonderful trait as well as any flaw. Well, with a Pebble Beach award winning car, it makes adding breadth and depth difficult! The car is absolutely breathtaking and only 137 miles grace the odometer since restored. If I were to try to find any flaws, I would be grasping at straws. None-the-less, let’s dive in a bit.
Let’s start on the engine and drivetrain:
This engine comes to life with a turn of the key and press of the floor mounted starter pedal without any drama. It warms up nicely and revs beautifully. The car cruises comfortably at 50mph!
Check out the underside pics and the engine bay pics! Flawless.
The 3 speed transmission is in wonderful shape. The shifter eases into gear without any drama with an easy double clutch.
No bangs, no rough ride, no clunks!
Confident pedal, great pressure with a firm positive stop.
Steering feels good, no excessive play or vibrations.
Let’s continue to the exterior:
-PAINT and BODY
The paint is EXTREMELY nice. A true 10 out of 10. Both underside and top side shine beautiful and present cleanly. The two tone gray and black paint is glossy, wet and looks stunning. To pick out any flaws would almost impossible.
Wonderful shape, loads of tread on new tires
-BUMPERS and BRIGHT WORK
The bumpers are in wonderful shape! Chrome is in wonderful shape. Grill looks stunning and was refinished before Pebble arduously by hand.
Not to let a pebble defeat this car, the windshield is great shape. The rear plastic window is clean and clear.
Stunning, perfect top. Side windows and boot included as well!
Onto the cabin:
The Brown leather seats are in beautiful shape! No splits, no worn spots! Just wonderful brand new leather.
Beautiful shape! Gauges work, lights on the multi-switch work, key turns smoothly.
Very nice and no flaws.
The wheel is in great shape. Smooth, crack free and no fade.
This beauty comes with the correct jack, fix-a-flat can and even original owners manual! Check the pictures! Also included as mentioned above is all of the Pebble Beach paperwork, trophy and ribbons.
It is quite hard to explain what a wonderful sensation it is to drive this Fiat. Firstly, because of its stunning restoration, you are transported in your mind instantly to leaving the Fiat dealer in Turin and you are on your way home with your new purchase. There are few cars that truly give that sensation, especially south of the 7-figure marker. Secondly, this gorgeous 508A has wonderful peppy 995cc engine that is fantastic with which to cruise along. The car is is tight, very comfortable and despite the narrow tires is quite nimble and smooth. The brakes are surprisingly good for the vintage and leave no nail biting moments as with some other cars of this era. It truly is a no story car ready to be enjoyed! I hope you can tell by my long ad that this car is an wonderful and beautiful Fiat 508A Spider. This really is a very special car to drive and with it’s Pebble Beach history alone create a great cornerstone to both a new or established collection. It it also a critical block to any Fiat collection and for most will be a true highlight model.