Former King of Italy’s Fiat For Sale
Italy's former King's 1939 Fiat Torpedo|
10th May, 2009
A car used by the King of Italy to chauffeur Adolf Hitler, Benito
Mussolini and General Franco around Rome on State visits is to be auctioned in Monaco next week. The 1939 Fiat
Torpedo, which will be sold by auctioneers, COYS, is expected to fetch more than £250,000.
It was delivered to the Italian Royal Court in 1939 for the personal use of the Prince of Piemonte and
Countess Calvi di Bergolo. From August 1940 onwards, this historically important Fiat was then taken to the Villa
Savoia as the official car for King Vittorio Emanuele III and Queen Margherita.
Chris Routledge, the Managing Director of COYS who have their headquarters in London, said: “It is known
that the car was used by Pope Pious XII, Benito Mussolini as well as his mistress Claretta Petacci and by Aldolf
Hitler and General Franco when they visited Rome.”
From 1st February 1941 the car served as the personal transport for the Princess of Pistoia, before being
commandeered by the command of the open city of Rome on 15th November, 1943.
At the end of the Second World War the car became the official transport for the first prime ministers of
Italy, Einaudi and De Nicola. It remained in the fleet of the Quirinale palace until 1963. In recent years this
time warp car was featured at the prestigious Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza.
When introduced in 1938, the Fiat 2800 was targeted at the very richest and wealthiest pre-war European
elite. This super luxury car was offered with varying styles of coachwork, the most common of which being
various saloons and limousines, as was the style and requirement of the times.
A number of military specification cars were also built for the Italian military general staff. Alongside
the formal saloon and limousine that were manufactured, a very limited number of special Drophead Dual Cowl
Phaetons were commissioned by the Italian government of the period, with coachwork by Farina of Turin. It is
believed that 12 such examples were completed of which perhaps only half exist in any form today.
Chris Routledge added: “The example that we are offering at our sale ‘The Legende et Passion’ which
takes place at the Espace Fontviewille, in Monaco on Monday 18th May is the most famous of them