Founded in 1899 by Eduardo Bianchi, the Bianchi Company made vehicles for 56 years. These included full-size cars, tanks, and trucks with Mercedes engines. But the factory was destroyed during the war and he had been unable to recover. In 1955, Milanese industrialist Ferrucio Quintavalle organised a new company involving Bianchi, Fiat, and the Pirelli Tire Company, called Autobianchi SpA. Trucks would continue to be manufactured by the firm, and motorcycles would be manufactured by Eduardo Bianchi SpA.
Two years later, at the Milan show, the first car to carry the name Autobianchi arrived. The Bianchina Transformabile (Convertible) was one of the first adaptations of the 500 Nuova, using its chassis, engine, and transmission, but with a very attractively styled coupe body with a roll-back roof, reminiscent of the French Vespa 400.
In 1958, it was given a stronger engine and became available as a sedan, coupe, convertible, and station wagon. During this year, Giuseppe Bianchi, Eduardo’s son, sold the family holdings in Autobianchi to Fiat, and in 1963, Fiat gained full control. In 1960, just over 30,000 of these cars were built.
The 1960 Geneva show saw the debut of what was arguably the prettiest of all the models, the Bianchina Special Convertible. It was a little luxury car, with a luxury price, and it was immediately accepted by the fashionable jet setters as a second car or runabout. Designer Luigi Rapi drew a well-proportioned shape, highlighted by a side spear chrome moulding. Interior fittings were more attractive. The indicators were fitted separately below the headlights, not on the bumper guards.
The cooling slots on the side below the doors and the chrome borders below the body edge were eliminated, and the windscreen was more angular. The model went through three series with minor alterations and improvements, in total 9,350 units of the Bianchina Cabriolet were built.
Finished in two tone Azzurro blue over cream, this cute and largely unmolested Autobianchi Bianchina is said to be in good overall condition and its ‘Transformable’ roof makes for pleasurable summertime driving.