The odd couple: 1948 Fiat 500 A Berlinetta – 1947 Fiat 500 B Barchetta by Maestri

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These two very special cars have been an inseparable couple for many years, and not just because they were built by the same coachbuilder.

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The coachbuilder we are talking about is Enrico Maestri, owner of a small workshop in Piacenza, Italy, whom in 1939 had a commission from the gentlemen driver Paolo Butti. The contract concerned the construction of this small berlinetta on the basis of a Fiat 500 A “Balestra Lunga” to join the road races in the category up to 749 cc. Unfortunately shortly thereafter the “unexpected” happened: the World War II, and so the car was completed in 1947 (and titled as 1948).

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The Barchetta instead was built by Maestri (based on a Fiat 500 “Balestra Corta” and a motor with overhead valves) for himself who drove it in 1947 along the “Circuit of Piacenza” and then he sold it. During the years the two cars have been reunited and in the hands of avintage car parts dealer; they were bought together and restored by the previous owner. Enrico Maestri built a total of six cars, three went missing, one is in Japan, and then there are these two to testify his work: in our opinion, the fact that these cars were built by an almost unknown coachbuilder increases exponentially their charm. Find them for sale at €120,000 (today $136,000) – each – here and here in Capriolo, Italy.

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