In the 1950s and 1960s, America was filled with big, V8-powered land yachts, with brutal straight-line speed and questionable handling. Europe, on the other hand, was filled with interesting, characterful superminis like this Autobianchi Bianchina. (Ok, so we're generalizing a little... roll with it.) Based on the Fiat 500 and originally unveiled in 1957, the Bianchina was available in a variety of bodystyles, ranging from sedan, to cabriolet, to van.

This particular example, being profiled by Petrolicious, is 1959 Trasformabile and is owned by Annalisa Maniscalco. The adorable convertible has all of 18 horsepower - it's the second most potent Bianchina model ever made - courtesy of a 479cc, rear-mounted Fiat engine. According to Maniscalco, it can only go about 50 kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour), but when it's this cool (suicide doors!), who cares? Take a look below for the latest from the team at Petrolicious.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      Andrew TheBoss
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a long tale. When in Italy we imagine all the americans like aliens We had 2Cyl/500cc engines, you 8V cyl./5/6/7.000cc. Your car was like a ship ours a strange hybrid between vespa and a car. Sometime the engines were ridiculous, but who cares. no rain inside and a good place to make love :) And was a step above Fiat 500! This is a miniature or a caricature of the best American cars. When americans built dream cars. Strange mixes by alien ships, jets with a bunch of dreams mixed together. This is why this car was born. To taste, in little, the american dream in Italy. The "pinne" (fins) era is gone but the memories remains.
      Matt Gosselin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like this is where Nissan drew their inspiration from for the Figaro.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks very cute and cheerful.
      The Other Bob
      • 1 Year Ago
      It takes a certain level of dedication to use a vintage as a daily driver, which I admire. Cool little car. I have never seen one before.
      mikewilson38
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hi! all, It is such a cute thing,reminds me of the good old days,never seen one like this for a long time.I know it would not be one of those fast running vehicles.But then who cares.Look at it, gives you such a cheerful and happy feeling.Who wants the performance,when you have the beauty.
      recorby
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bazongas!
      Steve
      • 1 Year Ago
      what is this ****box? who wants that blue scrotum? Seriously Autoblog bring some good news.
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just to clarify misconceptions, vehicles like this handled very poorly as well, and were not faster around even tight tracks than "muscle cars" of the era. Most were built purely for the sake of economy, and used far inferior shocks and suspension tech than their American counterparts, as at the time America was mostly at its peak of prosperity while Italy and many other nations in Europe were in strong financial difficulty with high unemployment, which is why they reverted to microcars with tiny engines. It wasn't by choice but by necessity on getting by with less.
        Rick C.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        Not all true in the handling department, especially the eceterinis that were breathed on by Abarth and other Italian tuning firms of the day.
          lasertekk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rick C.
          A perpetuated myth? My 60's vintage Italian car layed waste to my (multiple) friend's vaunted 60's muscle cars back in the 80's, and it still does well today, still sitting in my collection.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      lasertekk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Love these Fiat based ettcetterinis from the 50's and 60's.
      Justin Shaw
      • 1 Year Ago
      This would be a chick magnet.
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know a guy that owns one, red with a black top. He collects quirky stuff, like a 2CV and a four-wheeled Isetta. The Bianchina is very cool.
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