The road-test report in this issue of Motor Sport emphasises the quite fantastic performance of the Fiat 1500. In Italy it is regarded as a quite normal sort of 4-seater family saloon and its basic price in this country is only £785.
But its maximum speed and acceleration are quite remarkable. This seemingly modest 1 1/2-litre car is quicker by 1.6 sec. from 0-50 m.p.h. than the Sunbeam Rapier Series III sports saloon of equivalent capacity, for example, and beats that car by two seconds to 60 m.p.h. and its s.s. 1/4-mile time by no less than 1.3 sec.
Thus history repeats itself, for some years ago we noted that the Fiat 1100 had better performance than the current Sunbeam Rapier. This new Fiat 1500 is, indeed, very little inferior to the Series III sports Sunbeam Alpine of greater engine size to 50 m.p.h. or over the s.s. 1/4-mile. The eagerly-anticipated Vauxhall VX 4/90 looks like being a sluggard beside the outstanding newcomer from Turin, judging by the only performance figures we have seen so far for the Lutonian. These show the VX 4/90 to-be over a second slower to 50 m.p.h., 7..8 sec. more sluggish in top gear from 50 to 70 m.p.h. and 1 1/2 sec. longer to cover a s.s. 1/4 mile. On top speed the Vauxhall seems likely to be some 6 m.p.h. slower than the 1,481-c.c. Fiat. Verily, I can see enthusiasts beating a hasty path along the North Circular Road to the Sales Office door of Fiat’s Wembley depot. . . . Incidentally, the famous firm of Jack Barclay Ltd. is now an agent for Fiat cars.