This unique Fiat 1400 Cabriolet was bodied by Carrozzeria Vignale of Turin specifically for the 1952 Turin Motor Show. The car was designed by Giovanni Michelotti with sketches shown in the March 1952 issue of Road and Track magazine. Fiat introduced the 1400 in 1950 which marked Fiat’s first all new post war model. The Fiat 1400 immediately became a favorite with the “Italian designers and coach builders”. Vignale and his young company with designer Michelotti were responsible for bringing some of the most iconic 1400 designs to life. Including the 1951 Fiat 1400 Cabriolet presented here.
This Fiat 1400 Cabriolet debuted in April 1952 Turin Motor Show and went on to be shown in Europe including the Concorso d’Eleganza dell’Automobile di Villa Borghese in Rome in June 1952, where it was captured on film by the Luce newsreel cameras driving through the Pincio Gardens.
That month, while vacationing in Italy with her husband Edmond Herrsher (Founder of Century City and Director of Property Management for 20 th Century Fox), California resident Dorothea Herrsher purchased the car from Alfredo Vignale himself at a price of over $6,000.00. She imported the car to the United States where it continued its course as a show car being exhibited in October 1952 at the Oakland Sports Car Show. There it won first in class and again at the Petersen Motorama Show in November 1952. Interest in the car was so great that the car was featured on the cover of the February 1953 issue of Motor Trend Magazine. The car was last seen on the show field of the 1953 Concours d’Elegance Ambassador Hotel Los Angeles where Ms. Edmund Herrsher (Dorothea) was said to have been escorted by actor John Hart (The Lone Ranger). It is interesting to consider how this Hollywood connection may have influenced its history as its next appearance was on the silver screen. (The more likely conclusion is that her estranged husband took possession of the car and consigned it to the back lot of Century Fox).