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Homepage. This page: A very rare car in the UK, an Italian Bianchi S9 4dr berlina of 1937 parked at the Brooklands race track.

1937 Bianchi S9 four door saloon (berlina).

The car in this photo took some identifying, and in the end someone on the VSCC forum was able to i.d. it as an Italian Bianchi S9 saloon (or Berlina), of 1937. This identification ties in nicely with the date of the car's registration - DLX 973 - which is a London area issue. A check of Glass's Index of Registration Numbers 1937-1950 confirms that the DLX series was first used in Feb 1937 and only ran til December of that year.
The venue was much easier to identify, thanks to the banked race track visible in the background. It could only be Brooklands racing circuit, perhaps the country's best known motorsport venue of the pre-war years. A close look at the photo reveals enamel signs for Shell and Redline motor spirit, and a sign to the left advertising Luncheons and Teas - very British! The saying "The Right Crowd and No Crowding" was applied to attendances at pre-war Brooklands race meetings, and it all seems to have been a very civilised affair.
Classic Bianchi S9 car of 1937
Unfortunately I don't know whether the Bianchi S9 belonged to a driver, or a spectator - perhaps someone recognises the location that the car was parked at, and could shed light on whether it was more likely to have been a driver parked here? The car parked in the background looks to be of American descent.
The S9 was introduced in 1934, fitted with a 1452cc engine in it's separate chassis. The coachwork was in steel. I cannot imagine that these cars were ever a regular sight in the UK. In addition to the four door saloon seen here, there was also the option of an open-top S9, called the Dolomiti Cabriolet, although whether they were sold only in the home market I'm not sure.
The Glass' Guide - Register of New Models - for 1939, just two years later than the S9 shown above, lists the concessionaires for the Bianchi as Burton, Osborne & Taylor Ltd, Conway Street, Fitzroy Square, London W1, so it is likely that DLX came from this supplier. In '39 the only model listed for the UK market is the 11.4 Viareggio Saloon four door 4/5 seat saloon, costing 395, so perhaps the S9 had been deleted from the sales catalogue by then. Despite looking in some copies of Practical Motorist from 1937, and a 1938 copy of Used Car magazine, I can find no adverts for the S9, or any Bianchi for that matter.
This isn't the only Bianchi to feature on OCC though, as a circa 1913/1914 Bianchi tourer, parked outside a vintage garage, can be seen here
Return to Old Motoring Photos Page No. 9.

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