This magnificent two-seater sports car is a masterpiece by one of the most talented and prolific automotive designers in the 20th century: Pietro Frua. Born in Turin in 1913, the son of a seamstress and a Fiat employee, Frua graduated in technical drawing from the academy founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, then worked at coachbuilder Farina where he quickly climbed the ranks until – at the age of only twenty-two – he became director of the Centro Stile.
The model showcased here is a 1946 Fiat 1100C Spider Car, the first original project Frua created for the company – which after the Second World War had hired 15 workers and taken over and repaired a factory that had been heavily damaged by bombs.
The Fiat 1100 family started in 1937, designed to replace the 508 Balilla, and developed well into the end of the 1960s.
Frua’s model – based on a chassis obtained from Balbo coachbuilder in 1946 – placed second at the 1947 Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance, and went on to collect a multitude of accolades all over the world, changing hands many times over the decades.