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Homepage. This page: Rare period photograph of a Fiat 508 Balilla built at the former NSU plant in Germany.

NSU-Fiat 508 Balilla saloon.

Initial thoughts that this small four-door saloon was a Fiat weren't too far from the mark, as someone identified the car for me as actually being an NSU-Fiat 508. These were cars built by Fiat at the former NSU factory in Heilbronn, Germany, and badged as NSU-Fiats. Interestingly, licence-built Balillas were also produced in France, as the Simca-Fiat, and in Poland by CWS (Central Car Works), or Centralne Warsztaty Samochodowe.
The Berlin-area registration of the car shown below, and the dress of the two children shown with it, also point to a German- rather than Italian-built motor-car. The photograph was taken in 1937. Despite the NSU/Fiat being just two or three years old, it already sports some damage to its front wing.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Fiat 508 Balilla built at NSU
The original Fiat 508 was introduced in 1932, with a three-speed 'box and a four-cylinder engine of 995cc. Later a four-speed gearbox would be introduced. Production of the NSU-Fiat Balilla derivative would commence in 1934, shortly before the revised body style shown above was introduced.
In addition to a version of the 508, Fiat would also build the 500, 508C and the 1500 at their newly-acquired production facility prior to the outbreak of war. The first model built up at new factory was the 2.5 litre 521 from 1931-1933. Assembly of various cars would re-commence after WW2, alongside the sale of complete Fiats brought over from Italy.
Return to Page 15 in the gallery of vintage cars and vehicles.

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