Originally a bicycle manufacturer and arguably best known as a maker of fine racing motorcycles, Edoardo Bianchi built his first automobile in the early 1900s. A wide variety of models was manufactured over the next 30 years, though by 1940 the firm was concentrating on motorcycles and commercial vehicles. Car manufacture resumed in 1957 under FIAT auspices, Autobianchi’s debut model being the Bianchina, based on FIAT’s new 500.
Positioned up-market from the FIAT, the Bianchina debuted as the Transformabile coupé, with full-length folding sunroof. The Bianchina showed clear signs of American influence, its size excepted, exemplified by two-tone paintwork, whitewall tyres and plentiful chrome. In 1960 the newly introduced and more powerful FIAT 500D engine became standard equipment on the Bianchina range, which was augmented by two new models: a Cabriolet and the Panoramica estate car. A fourth version, the Quattroposti saloon, arrived the following year.
Arguably much more elegant than Ghia’s ‘Jolly’ derivatives of the Fiat 500 and 600, this charming and rare Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet ‘Eden-Roc’ is most handsomely finished in red with beige side stripe, black hood and red and white interior. It has been the subject of a total restoration in Italy, which was only finished in February 2016, and is presented in beautiful condition. The car is offered with its Italian registration and the FIAT Register Historic Certification.