1946 Fiat 1100 Frua Barchetta: Carrozzeria Frua's first work
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Carrozzeria Frua is perhaps best known for its design of the Maserati A6G in the Fifties, but the coachbuilder’s first work of art was this; the Fiat 1100 Frua Barchetta.
Finished in 1946, the special Fiat 1100 – a world away from the staid saloon car that left the Fiat factory – was first sold to Luigi Critterio on the 3 September, before being bought by Gino Bubbolini 25 days later.
In 1947 it was shown at the Villa d’Este concours, winning a Second Prize of Merit in the process. Clearly the design was as noteworthy in period as it is today.
Following a number of ownership changes, including one single owner for 33 years, it was bought by its current holder in 2015. Then painted red, the 1100 Frua Barchetta was taken to Carrozzeria Gatti Luciano to be restored to its original specification and colour scheme.
Freshly restored the 1100 Barchetta has reemerged onto the world stage, set to go on public display alongside some of Frua’s later work during The Concourse of Elegance at Hampton Court Gardens in the UK from 1-3 September.
“We celebrate cars as art at Concours of Elegance; those models that are so beautiful that they almost become timeless," said Concourse of Elegance Director, James Brooks-Ward.
"The Frua Barchetta certainly falls into that camp, looking as fresh today as it did when it became the first car to emerge from Carrozzeria Frua 71 years ago. It’s an absolute masterpiece.”