1899 F.I.A.T. 3 1/2 HP
Early Motor Cars Veteran 1894-1904
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In 1888, after eight years apprenticeship at his father’s watch-making business, Giovanni Ceirano started building Welleyes bicycles, so named because English names had more sales appeal in Italy. In October 1898, he then co-founded Ceirano GB & C and started producing the Welleyes motor car in 1899, coachwork by Marcello Alessio. In July 1899, the Welleyes’ plant and patents were sold to Giovanni Agnelli who then produced the 4 HP, which became the first FIAT (sometimes called the 3 ½ hp). It was manufactured at the Corso Dante plant in Turin, Italy. The car had a water-cooled 0.7-liter (679 cc) 2-cylinder, rear-mounted engine producing 4.2 horsepower at 800 rpm, coupled with a three-speed gearbox without reversing gear. Its top speed was 35 kilometres per hour (22 mph) and a fuel consumption of 8 litres per 100 kilometres (35 mpg imp; 29 mpg US). Eight vehicles were produced in 1899 and 18 in 1900. Four units are known to have survived: one is preserved at Fiat (at the Centro Storico museum), Turin, Italy one at the Museum of Carlo Biscaretti Ruffia in Turin, Italy, one in the Ford Museum at Dearborn, Michigan in the United States and the fourth at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire in the United Kingdom.
|Dimensions||47.5 × 34.5 cm|