Fiat 1400

Fiat 1400 1950-1958

1950 Fiat 1400 advertising

Fiat 1400 B

1950 Fiat 1400

1956 Fiat 1400 B

The following is the introduction to the ‘Salesman’s Guide’ for the Fiat 1400 issued by Fiat, April 1950.


Any new car can aspire to be named after progress: better today than yesterday, at least in intention, even if only on the data of experience. But for the ‘1400’ this is no presumption. The advertising slogan ‘car of progress’ corresponds to actual fact, both in comparison with what has been done hitherto, and as a new trend in automobile building towards the future. This is so true that in the drawing offices and the workshops the ‘1400’ is currently designated by the number ‘101’, as if to indicate a fresh start from the base 100. A new chapter. What are the essential aspects of the industrial progress of the automobile? Chiefly these:

mechanical progress of all its parts in order to increase, through a still better balance between the parts and their functions, the efficiency and reliability of the car;
progress in the convenience, roominess and comfort of the car;
progress in economy, both in purchase price and running costs, with due consideration of the car’s brilliant features.
The aim of this triple order of improvements is a car of still simpler and safer construction, still easier to drive, still more utilitarian in performance and more convenient, comfortable and economical. In short, a longer lasting car cheaper to buy and to run.

The ‘1400’ is on this road, where it reaches a goal which is also a starting point for further outstanding stages of progress. From the point of view of construction, engineering and coachwork, the ‘1400’ embodies the elements of a new constructive era. It begins a series of new models: the “car of progress” series. The ‘1400’ will be one of the chief attractions at this year’s International Motor Shows, beginning with those of Geneva and Turin. One of the first things to say and to draw attention to about the “1400”, before entering into a technically detailed description of the car, is this: the “1400” is of frameless construction. This is not an absolute novelty: some manufacturers are already using this system; but in Fiat production it is an important innovation to which due attention must be drawn. ‘Frameless construction’ means the abolition of the conventional chassis frame. The body is built in one piece and carries on its bottom all the mechanical parts. In the ‘Salesman’s Guide’, which forms part of this Bulletin, the important feature of the ‘frameless construction’ is explained in its technical details and in its practical advantages. It may be useful to explain here that, in general, the ‘frameless construction’ is a logical constructional idea. Is not a ship just a shell, the hull, containing within it all the propelling machinery? It is the same with an aeroplane: engine, propeller and wings form a single whole with the flying shell. The motor car, which originated as a motor driven chassis, with a body mounted on it, a body separately built and then fixed to the frame, later became – like the ship and the aeroplane – chiefly a shell (the coachwork) carrying the mechanical components, and no longer the other way about.