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Posts Tagged ‘Italian automobiles’

I love to come across lost cars of the past and this beauty in baby blue is no exception. Behold the Alca Volpe, probably the rarest of Italian microcars, only ten of these cars were ever made following a mysterious turn of events involving the manufacturer…

193_Alca Volpe_001

Met with great enthusiasm by the Italian press, the Volpe, meaning ‘fox’, was set to rival the micro car du jour, the Fiat Topolino. Even smaller than the Topolino and cheaper, the Volpe seemed destined for automotive stardom in post-war Italy.

193_Alca Volpe_002

After its celebrated launch in Rome, 1947, despite many pre-orders and pre-payments, no complete deliveries were ever made to any customer. The following year,  Alca was hit with charges for fraudulent bankruptcy. Customer bank deposits went ‘missing’ and courts found that the equivalent of 5.5 million euros today, had been illegally held by the company. It is possible that Alca never in fact built a single running car.

193_Alca Volpe_003

So what about the model we’re looking at? This is one of a handful of Alca Volpe’s that still exist today and was sold recently at auction for a little over $40,000.

Just one problem; it doesn’t actually drive. RM auctions, who sold the car in February 2013 writes in their description:

“This rare car is restored as original, without the motor it never received”.

Text and images from Messy Nessy Chick

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084_fiat_multipla

Fiat launched the Multipla in 1956 and presented what might have been the first MPV. There were three downsides with the car, the engine was too small, even without a full car, it was too different from other cars to reach a large group of buyers and getting in behind the steering wheel made driving the VW Kleinbus look safe. Having said as much it is in all its strangeness a fascinating and funny car well worth taking care of for future generations.

Images and translated text from “Norsk Motor Veteran” No 6 -2011

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11053_600mu

The original Fiat Multipla and 600 Multipla were based on the Fiat 600’s drivetrain, model 1100 coil and wishbone independent front suspension, and sat 6 people in a footprint just 50 centimetres (19.7 in) longer than the original Mini Cooper. The driver compartment was moved forward over the front axle, eliminating the boot in effect but giving the body very MPV-like one-box look. Behind the front seat the vehicle could be arranged with a flat floor area or a choice of one or two bench seats.

Until the 1970s it was widely used as a taxi in many parts of Italy.

A 633 cc right hand drive Multipla was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1956 and was found to have a top speed of 57.1 mph (91.9 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-50 mph (80 km/h) in 43.0 seconds. A fuel consumption of 38.4 miles per imperial gallon (7.36 L/100 km; 32.0 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £799 including taxes on the UK market.

Pinifarina designed a remarkable open topped Multipla called the "Marine" with a wooden slat wraparound bench in the rear -photos of it can be found on the Internet

A Fiat 600 Multipla towing a caravan is used in the video clip of the Crowded House hit Weather with You from their 1991 album Woodface.

The Multipla name was re-introduced in the late-1990s for the Fiat Multipla compact MPV. Text from Wikipedia 

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