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Homepage. This page: Two young ladies and an interesting convertible Fiat 1100B.

1. FIAT 1100B Cabrio.

A selection of classic 1100B Fiats now feature on this page, starting with a 1100B Cabriolet. In later years the Fiat 1100 would evolve into a conventional three-box design (see this Fiat 1100-103 page). Prior to this design though, the car looked altogether more interesting, as this photo shows. At first I thought this was a conventional 1100B, but a closer look reveals a roll-back hood, and a tiny rectangular rear window, which identifies this car as a Fiat 1100B Cabriolet. This photo is dated September 1955.
The 1100 range dates back to 1937 when the first car, itself based on the 508 Balilla, was launched, looking similar to the contemporary Topolino model. The early 1100s had a heart-shaped grille, but this was to change a couple of years into production, the model now being known as the 1100B (unofficially known as the 'Musone'), which is what is shown in this photograph. The engine was a four cylinder unit of 1,089cc driving the rear wheels. In 1949 the model received yet another re-style, with the rear end changing slightly and the car being badged as the 1100E. A long wheelbase version of the 1100B was also available.
Fiat 1100b cabriolet

2. Fiat 1100BL Taxi cab outside Johann Reiter's violin factory.

Next, a photo of a Fiat seen a long way from its homeland. I believe this is the long wheelbase Fiat 1100BL, in taxi form. The sign directly above the ladies' heads says "Johann Reiter - Instrumentenmacher & Reparateur", ie "Instrument maker and repairer". To the right is a sign for a "Metzgerei", or butchers shop, and to the left, alongside building number "29" is a sign saying "260 Jahre Deutscher Geigenbau", which translates to being a violin maker. A violin case, or something resembling the shape of a violin, can be seen mounted on the wall above the sign.
Fiat 1100b Taxi cab
A look online has brought up some information on Johann Reiter. It seems he was one of the leading makers of violins in his day. He worked from a 14th Century building located at the foot of the Bavarian Alps, in Mittenwald, Germany. Violin-making was big business in the town, with a number of craftsmen employed in their manufacture and repair. The snow-covered mountains can be made out in the distance in the photo above. I found an article written in 1956 about Reiter. Apparently he had been producing violins since 1899 from the building shown above, using wood sourced from a nearby forest. Just up the road from his premises was the Mittenwald Violin Museum, at no.3 Obermarkt. I also found this interesting shot of Reiter's workshop, packed from floor to ceiling with violins. Although this isn't a violin related site, I couldn't resist including this image, showing the inside of the premises shown above:
Inside the premises

3. Another Fiat?

The photograph below also shows what could be a Fiat 1100 (I originally wondered about it being an Opel, but I don't think the headlights are correct), parked outside a hotel (Gasthof) somewhere in Europe. Is this a Fiat?
Another old car, possibly a Fiat

4. Driving around Florence, Italy.

Handily, the taker of the next photograph jotted down the word "Florence" on its reverse, confirming the location of this Italian scene. The Fiat 1100 is somewhat dwarfed by the towering building behind it, Il Duomo di Firenze (Florence Cathedral). Whereas today the area in front of the cathedral is pedestrianised, there was still a road in use at the time of this shot. The car is either an 1100b or post-war 1100e.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A Fiat in Florence, Italy
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