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Prime Find of the Week: FIAT 1100 Historic Race Car

If you have read, watched – whether live or streamed – or maybe even just briefly heard about the Goodwood Revival you’ll probably want to attend. And if you have a taste for speed and competition, you might even have considered taking to the track yourself. Well, in this Prime Find you could!

If you haven’t yet read Tony Wawryks excellent report on this year’s Goodwood Revival Meeting you should – just to get a feeling for what we’re talking about here. Please, recap right here:

September Sun Shines on Glorious Goodwood

Well, I was there too. As I have been a few times since first attending one of the very early Revivals in 1998 – or was it 1999? I am usually rather cautious with those large adjectives, but I can easily vouch for Tony’s description of the Revival Meeting being “one of the biggest and best classic motorsport events on the planet”. This edition as well as former ones: In its essence the Revival is a race meeting and trust me, you will not leave dissatisfied with the racing.

However it is easy to get somewhat carried away with the exotica and sheer value of the most coveted of the race cars and the way they are driven with gusto while the millions of Dollars / Pounds/ Euros are literally at stake: It’s a fast track, you know. I sincerely applaud the owners and drivers for taking their very finest out for a good spanking, and as many other spectators, I’m left gawking with amazement at these absolutely out of reach unicorns of historic race cars. I’m surely not the only one dreaming of being out there too – were I not short of a million or two.

Which is why I bring you this Prime Find of the Week: A triple-Goodwood Revival Meeting contender for 13,800 GBP. Now that is actually not bad at all, is it? And just in case you’re in any doubt, I’m here to tell you: No, it isn’t!

This week’s Prime Find: as seen and photographed by yours truly: A very purposeful FIAT 1100.

The car is a ca. 1959 FIAT 1100 historic race car which has most certainly proven itself and which could probably be raced in the St. Mary’s Trophy once again. I’ve seen the car in person and it looked pretty straight as such and in fact rather pretty as a car in itself. Now the FIAT 1100 has always been a charming little thing, but one modified for historic racing is something different all together – for the better in this case. In classic light blue it has a very period look to it – but under the bonnet was more power than the little Italian could ever have dreamed of: 1500cc of race-tuned FIAT engine.

Rather serious stuff here and all looking carefully engineered and well prepared.

1500, you say and might raise an eyebrow? Yes, 1500: The car was modified to Goodwood spec, and they have always been more determined on establishing a level playing field than worrying about what might actually be historically correct, as the FIAT 1100 obviously never had a 1500 engine in period. But then again: We’re talking about racing at Goodwood, aren’t we – and it certainly could do that, all for the modest outlay of 13,800 GBP.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to twist the concept of Prime Find a little to fit this week’s find into it – ehrm, as the car was actually sold at auction during the Goodwood Revival weekend. The good thing about that is that I know the exact price! And now so do you. My point is to show that even at a high profile event like the Revival, bargains can indeed be found. And this one underlines that a cunning buyer could indeed find himself an entry car way, way below the millionaire’s stars that steal most headlines.

The FIAT looked amazingly straight for a rather seasoned race car.

And the really brilliant thing about it is that – from a racer’s point of view – a cheaper car does not necessarily translate into worse racing. Perhaps, the opposite might even be the case? The saloon car races at Goodwood have always been particularly spectacular, and I wouldn’t rule out that values several times lower than a Ferrari 250 (well, than any Ferrari…) does the close racing quite a favour.

The exact car in the thick of it at a former Revival Meeting: It works too!

Having said that I chose the Fiat because of its apparantly straight and undamaged bodywork as well: It looked like a racing car that needed nothing except for a new driver. At that price it was a bargain. Keep it road registered and you would even have the coolest of summer classics for attending the occasional classic car meeting. And a race car. Sort of makes the race car half price, doesn’t it?

See the full description here at Bonham’s site: Fiat 1100 “Abarth Evocation” Competition Saloon

 

With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to primefindoftheweek@viaretro.co.uk

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