Author Topic: Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet  (Read 1299 times)

Big Al

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Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet
« on: August 21, 2014, 07:41:30 AM »
The Bianchina Cabriolet has now arrived. It is a known car, ex Steve Vine of some length of time. Unusual in being a right hand drive version. Rare but not really a RUMcar, as 500s never think themselves as microcars. I think therir very success as a product counts against them! Its not minimal motoring, close to it, but not fully so.

It is mainly restored but does need finishing. Particularly the interior where only the door cards seem to remain of the original. So some proper seats need to be found. The new Cabrio hood, from Italy, needs to be fitted too. A bonus with this car is the very rare optional hard top. This fits on over the dry folded down cabrio hood. It is not, perhaps, pretty, but has been made to perpetuate the idea that there are plenty of rear seat passengers available without much in the way of legs.

To get the car stored in the dry a 6 hour sort out of cars was required to reorganize the vehicles into the order in which many are to be cleared through minor work and sales. This means the BX in the garage is out in the cold to be replaced by the Bianchina, 2 Messerschmitts, Shopper and a Moped that Andrew, new chum down the road, wants to get going. Even of these only the Bianchina is listed to stay! I can also once again get at my bench. So there is work there into the autumn to get these all sorted out.

Why the Bianchina? Not especially micro, not especially rare under the skin, being a Fiat 500 in Sunday best. Well I fear I have to go a bit soft after this summers illness in the leg again. The Bianchina is a soft top, its different, but it has cheap and easy to get mechanical spares. It should be reliable and as quick as a Schmitt A to B so 100 mile distant events can be tackled on a day out for less expense. The dogs will fit in it.
It is also fine for nipping up the local shops and Post Office meaning no big car use in warming up and inefficient fuel cycle, like a Schmitt. Also I have a Jolly so some of the spares double up. Lastly I think it is a bargain. Fiat 500s have doubled in price over some 5 years. The Autobianchi on the other hand used to be very much more expensive, perhaps hitting triple the money of a 500. Now they are only double and cheaper ones can be found. They have not gained value as they should. This is the 'surfing VW' effect, as people are buying 500s because of the image and not in any knowledge that there actually far more interesting versions of the car. So the cooking model gains value, the rare and unusual do not in the same degree. Because of this influx of new buyers and the disappointment in performance you can now buy into a complication of tuning packages, including 5 speed gearboxes if you so wish. Would that Messerschmitts and others offered the same kind of freedom, sources and tested products for the interest and value they command. It makes an interesting choice if its a nice day and both a KR200 and the Bianchina are ready in the drive. Which do you use? The Schmitt is the expensive and more challenging option, rather flying in the face of its original market position.

Bianchina in, something in the 'stuff to be kept' has to go to make both spacce and finance for it. Jury is out on that one, but it could be one of the Schmitts, as how many do your really need when you can only drive one at a time, and the spares and limited support seem to be getting too expensive to really warrant multiple ownership and usage.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

marcus

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Re: Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 08:48:51 AM »
Nice little cars. 500 is well within the 700 cc definition of micro, certainly rarer than Minis and about the same length and width as a bubble, so why not?! I guess there is a club for all 500s, so does not need to be discussed in RCN, but still good to to have
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

richard

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Re: Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 09:28:12 AM »
I drove Mike Shepherds lovely little estate version to the last Stoery rally ,2002 was it ? , great fun but all a bit too normal  :) - I mean it drove like a car fgs !
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977

Bob Purton

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Re: Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 09:49:20 AM »
and plenty of places to store biscuits! ;)

richard

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Re: Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 10:42:17 AM »
Ah fond memories Bob  ;) I wasn't short of storage space , just hands
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977

Big Al

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Re: Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 10:03:59 PM »
I drove Mike Shepherds lovely little estate version to the last Stoery rally ,2002 was it ? , great fun but all a bit too normal  :) - I mean it drove like a car fgs !

Indeed so. Not quite the challenge of something more micro/trike/minimalist.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs