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