1939 Fiat 508 CM Coloniale


  • Charmingly in fairly good condition
  • New seat upholstery
  • Overhead-valve engine and hydraulic brakes 

The Appeal

Designed for use in the trying climates of North and East Africa, the Fiat 508 CM was to be seen ferrying officers of the Italian army to and fro. The rugged simplicity of the design and well-executed engineering made it a capable workhorse.

This particular example is in good condition, with a reupholstered interior and well-preserved paintwork. Mechanically, it is said to start easily and run smoothly but would benefit from a service before being used on the road again. 

So if you’re after a chance to get involved in historical film and TV work, or reenactments, this might be just the car. 

The History and Paperwork

  • Believed to have been produced in 1939
  • Based upon the Fiat 508 C
  • Intended for use in North and East Africa
  • The car is not registered for road use
  • There is no accompanying documentation
  • Believed to be a very rare example
  • Potential to be used in films

The Interior

  • Reupholstered seats
  • Original instruments
  • Simple, rugged design

Clearly, this Fiat isn’t designed with luxury in mind. The interior features just enough to be getting on with, and no unnecessary frivolities. The plain-looking seats have been re-covered, along with the matching door cards, and there is older stout rubber matting on the floor. 

In front of the driver — who sits on the right — is a large, plain steering wheel and beyond this is the spartan dashboard, with its three gauges and a few pull switches. Pedals are in the usual arrangement and the central gear lever falls easily to hand. 

Centrally hinged doors are an unusual feature and the car’s occupants are protected by a simple folding canvas roof, which exhibits an attractive level of patina. And to the rear, a luggage compartment contains the fuel tank, with the spare wheel mounted on the bootlid. 

The Exterior 

  • Military styling 
  • Body panels in good condition 
  • Storage bins in front wings

Originally intended for military use, this Fiat is in remarkably original condition, with no obvious modifications or additions. This makes the car an ideal candidate for use in film and TV work, as well as for those discerning owners who strive for historical authenticity. 

The bodywork appears to be in good condition throughout, with the paint being similarly well preserved and enhancing the car’s appearance. And although this is undeniably a military vehicle, you can tell that it was based upon a ‘30s civilian design, with its long bonnet and distinctive wings. There are storage boxes integrated into the front wings, a very practical design feature. 

The car runs on steel disc wheels and well-based tyres. The tyres are rather perished and due replacement. Underneath, there is some surface corrosion as you would expect to see on a car of this age, but no significant damage that we could see. 

The Mechanics 

  • 1,089cc, four-cylinder, overhead-valve engine 
  • Manual transmission
  • Hydraulic drum brakes

Despite being produced in 1939, this Fiat features modern engineering such as overhead valves and hydraulic brakes. The engine bay is in nicely original condition and retains charming period details such as the foot pedal operated headlight dip switch and the Solex carburettor. 

The rear-mounted fuel tank has been fitted with a modern in-line fuel filter and the exhaust pipe looks relatively new. Underneath, the rear axle shows evidence of past oil leaks, which is not unusual.

We’re told by the vendor that the car starts easily and runs smoothly. But it has been standing unused for some time, so will require recommissioning before use. 


In all, this is a nicely presented example of an Italian military staff car. And with a little light servicing it could be pressed into use for reenactments or film and TV work. 

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.

All bidding, buying and offers are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

Shipping and transfer

Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased. Car & Classic may refer a shipping company that also deals with import/export paperwork. Prices start at €150+VAT within the same country or €400+VAT for moves across borders. For more details, email [email protected].

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1939
  • Make Fiat
  • Model 508 CM Coloniale
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 57,258 Kilometres
  • Engine size 1089
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Maranello
  • Location International
  • Country Italy
Bidding history
2 bids
  • nemogru•••• €7,000 23/03/23
  • tibalov•••• €5,000 22/03/23

The Gallery

The safest way to buy a classic car online

Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
Safe, secure payment process

About Max Bids

The max bid process allows you to bid without any hassle.
Enter your maximum bid and we will then bid on your behalf to ensure you're the highest bidder - just enough to keep you in the lead and only up until your maximum.


C&C prevent auction snipers from bidding in the last seconds to win an auction.
Auctions are extended by 3-minutes if anyone bids within the last 2 minutes to allow other bidders to react and counter-bid.

Auto-bidding increments

  • If your maximum bid is equal to or below the reserve price, your maximum bid will be applied in full if you are the highest bidder.
  • If you are the highest bidder and place a maximum bid above the reserve, we will automatically put in the reserve as your first bid.
    • Once the reserve has been met, Car & Classic will make sure you are the highest bidder using only the bidding increments stated below.
    • We will keep you in the lead up until your maximum bid OR the increment closest to your maximum bid, providing your maximum bid is enough to cover the increment value.

Bid Amount Increment
£0 to £10,000 £100.00
£10,000 to £50,000 £250.00
£50,000 to £100,000 £500.00
£100,000+ £1000.00

Automatically outbid immediately

When you place a max bid and are outbid immediately that means that another bidder has placed a max bid limit which is higher than yours.
You can bid again and we will use our automatic bid system to try and get you as the highest bidder.

Matching max bids

When there are two max bids of the same value, the one placed first remains the lead bidder.

What are pre-bids?

A pre-bid means you’re able to place a bid before the official start of the auction.
You will be notified whether or not you are the highest bidder when the auction starts.

Problem with your bid

Bids are contractually binding. To help protect you, we have some rules in place if we think it's been mistyped. Please check and amend what you have entered.