FIAT 1100 TV Spider
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Based on the same platform as the popular Fiat 1100 Sedan, the Turismo Veloce (Fast Vehicle) was introduced in 1955 at the Geneva Motor Show.
Fiat saw an opportunity on the market for personal convertibles and commissioned the Pininfarina design studios to make one, based on the Fiat 1100 TV Coupe, which was designed by the same company. The result was a little nimble open-top vehicle. In 1957, the car received an update with a refreshed exterior design and a larger engine that increased the power output by five.
The 1100 TV Spider featured a distinct design feature for the front grille, split in two, while the other 1100 range displayed a single-frame grille. Its canvas top was completely retractable behind the seats under a vinyl cover. The rear quarter panels were raised in a swept-back design, emphasizing the car’s sporty look. Pininfarina didn’t want to install the same taillights behind the car and imagined a set of elliptic lamps mounted vertically on the edge of the rear fenders.
Inside, the dashboard featured an instrument cluster with two round dials. Later on, to cut the production costs, Fiat mounted the linear-type speedometer from the regular Fiat 1100 on the roadster and eliminated the tachometer. The interior featured a leather wrap in front of the passenger seat and on the door panels. Unlike the sedan and station-wagon versions, the TV Spider featured a floor-mounted gear-stick.
Fiat installed a tweaked 1.1-liter engine under the hood to produce 50 hp instead of the 45 hp one on the regular 1100. In 1957, the carmaker upgraded the vehicle to a 1.2-liter four-pot, which developed 55 hp units but kept the same 3-speed gearbox and axed the instrument panel’s tachometer.