The fiat 1400 was the first post-war “new generation” car built by Fiat which inaugurated its new course and the most prosperous twenty years of its production.
It is clear that, in Italy in the early 50s, the Fiat 1400 – and we are talking about the sedan – was a car that only the wealthy could afford, the Cabriolet instead was the most expensive model after the 8V (the latter practically unattainable in terms of price), therefore few specimens were sold. This specimen is said to be one of the 15 specimens still existing in Italy, and it has been completely restored: engine, bodywork, chrome, floors, interiors, soft top and its frame: it seems that the car has all its correct components and in fact it is rare to see one that still has the original rear lights (at the time, in Italy, the turning signals were not mandatory). The colors are beautiful, the car is beautiful, the price a little less beautiful. Find it forsale at €65,000 (today $70,600) here in Roma, Italy.
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A clarification about tail lights and turning signals: since 1928 circulation law cars had to be fitted with “trafficators”, two orange sticks with internal light placed on both sides popping out when activated, while there was a single tail light, usually placed above the rear license plate, that included park light (possibly illuminating also the plate), a reflector and a stop light. There were various version of tail lights, with one, two, three lenses, the park light and the reflector were red, while stop light could also be orange or amber, some had “ALT” engraved figures.
Let’s say that in the Thirties the majority of cars had two tail lights (park/stop/reflector) and the trafficators as well.
There are pictures of italian cars from the early Fifties in which the tail light is still a single unit, one for all is the Fiat Campagnola at 1952 Algiers > Cape Town raid.
In the Fifties, in 1954, 1955 and definitely in 1959 the circulation law was modified an upgraded to international standards, so many models born at the beginning of that decade had the old equipment, soon after abandoned for the new one that included rear, front and, introduced later, lateral turn signals, orange the rear and the lateral, white or orange the front one.
This Fiat, according to its 1950 manual, has red park/stop/reflector tail lights and trafficators mounted on front fenders, the rear plate light is obviously separated.
Giuseppe Maranghi – Laveno (VA – Italy)
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