Fiat 125 Years – La Dolce Vita

Autoworld Museum, Brussels, Belgium

From 4th July to 1st September 2024

Autoworld has chosen Dolce Vita for its summer 2024 exhibition Fiat 125 ans. Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) was founded in 1899 and celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, giving autoworld the opportunity to organize a major summer exhibition dedicated to the Italian brand. Giovanni Agnelli was one of the founders, and soon became the company’s president. His grandson Gianni Agnelli took over in 1964, and today John Elkann, Gianni’s grandson, is Chairman, continuing the family dynasty.

Fiat quickly became the driving force behind the Italian automotive industry, and remains so to this day, all the more so as Fiat owns or is a shareholder in most Italian manufacturers (Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ferrari, Maserati…). It’s often said that Fiat put Italy on the road, with many popular cars right from the start of its existence. Like Citroën in France, Fiat industrialized production in Italy, notably with the Lingotto factory in the 1920s. It was the most modern factory in Europe at the time, with its famous test track on the roof of the building.

The exhibition presents the saga of the small cars that made the Turin-based brand famous, including the Topolino, the 500 in its various generations, the 600 Multipla, a monospace before its time, and the Panda. But Fiat also built racing cars like the “Mephistopheles” in 1923, a real monster equipped with a Fiat aircraft engine to break speed records. In addition to popular city cars, Fiat also offered compact and mid-size sedans, as well as the occasional fine sports car in more confidential production, which we are delighted to see again in the exhibition.

In the early 1950s, for example, the 8V (Otto Vu), equipped with a 2-liter V8, exceeded 200 km/h, but only a little over a hundred units were built. A decade later, the 2300 Coupé featured a very elegant 4-seat coupé design, with a 130 hp in-line 6-cylinder engine that allowed it to flirt with 200 km/h. This Fiat exhibition is associated with an Abarth exhibition, the 2 names being closely linked in Italian automotive history.

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