April 05, 2019

AMERICAN FIAT

Fiat Automobile Co. (1910-1918)

Poughkeepsie, New York


This is an American Fiat radiator emblem (1910-1918)    mjs
Size: 100mm wide 57mm high    MM: Greenduck

Fiat of Italy had their automobile factory in Turin. Fiat began to export the Fiat Type 1 to the US from 1908. But, the US imposed a 45% duty on all imported cars, which made the Fiat car very expensive. Fiat decided to build their cars in the US, in order to eliminate the import duty and reduce the sale price of their cars. By 1910, Fiat had set up the Fiat Automobile Company to manufacture Fiat cars in the US with a factory in Poughkeepsie, New York. The US company had the rights to build all Fiat cars and virtually all parts of the American Fiat were made in Poughkeepsie.

The first American Fiat cars were 30 hp four-cylinder touring models. A 45 hp six-cylinder model joined the line in 1911 by when a range of body styles were offered. The American Fiats made at Poughkeepsie were all large cars, including models specially designed for the US market. The Company continued to import smaller Italian Fiat cars.

In 1917 Fiat of Italy took over the American operation entirely. However, due to the First World War in Europe, Fiat manufacture in the US was discontinued and by February 1918 the Poughkeepsie plant was sold.

Emblems

The Fiat Type 1 models imported into the US from Italy from 1908 to 1910 carried an oval radiator emblem. This is the red and black enamel Fiat radiator emblem shown below. This Fiat radiator emblem is rare.

This is an imported Fiat Type 1 radiator emblem (1908-1910) gtc
Size:     MM: Unknown 

The more usual blue enamel Fiat radiator emblem used on Fiat cars in Europe was carried on Fiat cars imported into America after 1910, see example below:

This is a Fiat radiator emblem used on imported cars after 1910 mjs
Size: 100mm wide 57mm high  MM: Unknown (some Accagnini, Milano)

The American Fiat cars carried an oval radiator emblem made for exclusive use on Fiat cars built in Poughkeepsie. This is the red and blue enamel Fiat radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This American Fiat radiator emblem is very rare.  

This is an American Fiat radiator emblem (1910-1918)  mjs
Size: 100mm wide 57mm high    MM: Greenduck

Some American Fiat models also displayed the "Fiat" name on a brass script mounted on the radiator core, see example shown below.

American Fiat radiator with rad script (c1910) gtc

The "Fiat" name was also displayed on a American Fiat nameplate/serial plate, which was mounted on the dashboard, sometimes on the outside of the dash behind the car hood. This is the red and blue Fiat nameplate/serial plate shown below, which was colored to match the American Fiat radiator emblem. This American Fiat nameplate/serial plate is very rare.

This is an American Fiat nameplate/serial plate (1910-1918)

The "Fiat" name also appeared on the American Fiat sill plates, see example shown below:

This is an America Fiat sill plate (1912)    bonhams

The "Fiat" name was also displayed on a small brass American Fiat maker's nameplate, see example  shown below. This American Fiat nameplate is very rare.

This is an American Fiat maker's nameplate (1910-1918)    mjs
Size: 103mm wide 32mm high   MM: None

The Fiat patent plate shown below is also very rare and was attached to American Fiat cars from about 1911:

This is an American Fiat patent plate (c1911)     mjs
Size: 78mm wide 48mm high    MM: None 




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