Fiat was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, and its first car, the 4 hp, was built with patents and the plant for the Welleyes motorcar, which was ready for production when purchased. Influenced by the design of the contemporary Benz, that first car had a .7 liter, water-cooled 2-cylinder mounted in the rear that produced 4.2 hp @ 800 rpm and was good for 22 mph in the finished vehicle. The gearbox was a 3 speed, though without a reverse gear. Priced at 4200 lire, 8 cars were produced in 1899, and 16 more were made in 1900, the last one for the vehicle's production. The car was replaced with the Fiat 6 hp in that same year. By 1904, the ambitious company had gone through several more models and was building a Fiat 60 hp!
This car is on permanent display at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, and will make an apparance on November 5, 2017 at the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Although Fiat refers to the car as the 3½hp, it is perhaps known more commonly in the English-speaking world as the 4 hp, and the number better reflects the vehicle's actual output.
Image credits Fiat Chrystler Automobiles.
|--||24 total for 1899-1900||--|
|0.7 liter 2 cylinder||natural||--|
|4 HP @ 800 rpm||5.7 HP/Liter||--|
|Top Speed||0-62 mph||Range|