The Bianchina’s good fortune

The Autobianchi Bianchina first appeared in public in 1957, when it was presented at the Science and Technology Museum in Milan. It was a deluxe rendition of the extremely popular Fiat 500, bring based on the same mechanics and frame.

Nicknamed the “Trasformabile” (literally, “transformable”), it remained in production until 1969, evolving over time into a 4-seater sedan (Berlina), a station wagon (Panoramica), a roadster (Cabriolet), and a van (Furgoncino).

A “Bianchina” was driven by ragionier Fantozzi, a famous character in Italian cinema, brought to life by comedian Paolo Villaggio in 1975, six years after the small automobile had been discontinued.

In Fantozzi’s tragicomic misadventures, the Bianchina has its owner’s same bad luck and almost invariably ends up smashed and destroyed.

But in reality, it simply enjoyed a smashing success.

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August 26, 2014