King’s car used to ferry Hitler, Mussolini and Franco to go under the hammer
A car used by the King of Italy to chauffeur Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and General Franco around Rome on State visits is to be auctioned in Monaco next week. The 1939 Fiat Torpedo, which will be sold by International Auction House, COYS, is expected to fetch more than £250,000.
It was delivered to the Italian Royal Court in 1939 for the personal use of the Prince of Piemonte and Countess Calvi di Bergolo. From August 1940 onwards, this historically important Fiat was then taken to the Villa Savoia as the official car for King Vittorio Emanuele III and Queen Margherita.
Chris Routledge, the Managing Director of COYS who have their headquarters in London, said: "It is known that the car was used by Pope Pious XII, Benito Mussolini as well as his mistress Claretta Petacci and by Aldolf Hitler and General Franco when they visited Rome."
From 1st February 1941 the car served as the personal transport for the Princess of Pistoia, before being commandeered by the command of the open city of Rome on 15th November 1943.
At the end of the Second World War the car became the official transport for the first prime ministers of Italy, Einaudi and De Nicola. It remained in the fleet of the Quirinale palace until 1963. In recent years this time warp car was featured at the prestigious Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza.
When introduced in 1938, the Fiat 2800 was targeted at the very richest and wealthiest pre-war European elite. This super luxury car was offered with varying styles of coachwork, the most common of which being various saloons and limousines, as was the style and requirement of the times.
A number of military specification cars were also built for the Italian military general staff. Alongside the formal saloon and limousine that were manufactured, a very limited number of special Drophead Dual Cowl Phaetons were commissioned by the Italian government of the period, with coachwork by Farina of Turin. It is believed that 12 such examples were completed of which perhaps only half exist in any form today.
Chris Routledge added: "The example that we are offering at our sale ‘The Legende et Passion' which takes place at the Espace Fontviewille, in Monaco on Monday May 18th is the most famous of them all. We have already had huge interest from clients around the world as well as from a number of collectors in Italy."