Formerly the property of A.C. 'Bert' Westwood
1935 FIAT BALILLA 508S TWO SEATER
Registration No. Not registered
Chassis No. 508S 072815
Engine No. 108CS 000362
Engine: four cylinder in line monobloc, 995cc; Gearbox: four speed central change, synchromesh third and top; Brakes: four wheel hydraulic; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf spring front and rear. Right hand drive
The 508 was introduced in 1932, but it was not long before demand required a competition version and this came in the form of the very pretty Balilla Sport. Featuring stylish two seat open bodywork and exquisite finned tail, housing the spare wheel, originally penned by Ghia, Fiat bought the design and modified it themselves. Two versions were available, the Coppa d'Oro or Mille Miglia and the second series Balilla Sport introduced in 1934, had a four-speed gearbox and overhead valve engine capable of 46bhp. The Sport version was consequently given the denomination 508S. In various guises the popular model was sold throughout Europe, but just three dozen were imported to the UK, of which this example is one.
'Bert' Westwood was synonymous with these Fiats, having been approached by Fiat England in late 1935 to form and captain a team of works supported private entrants, the Black Diamond Team as they were named, achieved success in all forms of motor sport from club events, to rallies and trials and at Brooklands also.
This car was purchased as a spare car, that Westwood retained alongside his No.1 Black Diamond Team Car. Although never originally receiving factory coachwork, it did later on have a body put on for trialling by Westwood, but this was subsequently broken-up.
Westwood retained the car, and his team car until 1994 when they were both sold at auction, this being acquired by the present owner. Still lacking bodywork at that time, the decision was made to equip it with an English design Balilla Sports coachwork, and with this in mind, original sports wings were sourced, and an English body was faithfully copied in ash. The engine has been rebuilt with a new Phoenix crankshaft, and new white metalling and line boring was undertaken by Arthur Archer of Dunmow. This has now been tested and run but the car has not been not used.
Offered for sale with instruments, lights, cycle wings, bulkhead, and equipped with correct English wheels and spare, although requiring completion the project represents an excellent basis for development for competitions such as the Mille Miglia.
We are grateful to Alan Cameron for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.