The 1904 Fiat sitting in the LeMay: America’s Car Museum lobby, is not only old, but it also contains all of its original parts from when it rolled off the manufacturing floor 108 years ago.
The metal, paint and even the leather seats are original, which makes it a one-of-a-kind uber vintage car in a world where many “classic cars” are largely rebuilt or pieced together from parts of several cars.
The Fiat Company was formed at Palazzo Bricherasio in 1899, taking its name from an acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, which is Italian Automobile Factory of Turin. The car maker got into the racing world from the start, developing cars with little regulations that lead to bare bones chassis with performance engines to keep weight down and increase speed.
The 1904 Fiat, with its 60-horsepower engine, was introduced to meet the demand of rich export markets, including America, since it had a large number of would-be drivers who wanted style.
Designed to a high standard of luxury in every detail, it was welcomed by American coachbuilders such as Quimby and Demarest. It was originally equipped with a four-cylinder engine block, which was later replaced with a six-cylinder engine block that delivered five more horsepower and was manufactured at the plant in Corso Dante.
The car on loan to the ACM is owned by Bob Sullivan.