Still wondering; Millicento, anyone?

01-10-2011, 05:07 AM
Because there previously wasn't a Fiat 1100 heading, I originally posted in 'Non-specific':

Millicento, anyone?

Just looked over the forum topics and didn't see the 1100 family listed (maybe I just didn't look hard enough); probably nobody believes there are any left, but there's one in Pasadena, CA---in my garage.

Notice, I didn't say there was one running in Pasadena, though....maybe some day.

1959 1100/103d; 68mm x73mm, 1089 cc; cr 7.2:1, I think; with a whopping 40HP! Heater, yes; radio? nope! (you couldn't hear it anyway)
Like I said....maybe some day.

Jan. 10, 2011:
My dad bought the car new in '59; since I was only twelve, I didn't grasp the impact of his trading in his 1942 Buick Super (or was it a Century?) with Compound Carburetion---two 2-bbl Strombergs joined by progressive linkage; the forerunner of 4-barreled carbs years later---a former fire-chief's car with rubber plugs in the roof where the lights had been removed, and overdrive (? I don't remember). The engine block alone probably would have made two Fiats. :rolleyes:

Lots of odd features on foreign cars of vintage; some fairly common (center-hinged doors--the fronts were 'suicide', column-mounted 4-speed, priming lever on the diaphragm-style fuel pump in case you wanted to save the battery and starter) and some not so common (rubber-disc couplings in lieu of U-joints, and coil-spring motor mounts--the springs were molded into rubber, which served as dampers of a sort--they'll probably support the engine even if the rubber completely falls away in chunks).

Anyone have any stories? Observations? Did you like the car? Hate the car? Trade in twenty-seven of them for a Lamborghini emblem?

06-16-2011, 08:30 AM
hi, There is another one here in my garage in Michigan. 1959 103d Millicento. It was pictured in the June 2011 edition of Hemmings Sports and Exotic magazine. I think it must be Exotic, cause it is not that sporty. I am in the process of repairing the engine. It ran, but was noisy with low oil pressure. The crankshaft has been ground, and is being reassembled now. I should have it back on the road next month. I am jealous, I do not have a manual lever on my fuel pump. I had that feature on a 58 Mercedes I used to own, and it was very handy. If you go to the Jay Lenos Garage site, he has one, listed under Classics, that is in wonderful original condition, it spent most of it's life in someones living room.

06-19-2011, 08:22 AM
Hello, tacky!

Nice to know that one is not alone in the universe. How many miles on your 52-year-old? Is this your first rebuild?

You mentioned low oil pressure; you probably know all the fundamentals, but what shape is your full-flow filter in (the screened cylinder that screws down into the block on the right side)? On mine, the screen rotted into fine particles, thanks to long-term poor maintenance, and really chewed the crank and bearings---leading to the first rebuild, in 1970. Six or seven years later, I discovered that the oil pump was lucky to move any oil at all, so I went to the dealer parts guy (whom I'd gotten to know REALLY WELL), to get a new one. Oddly, their pricing was backwards---I built a pump out of individual parts for about half of what they wanted for a complete one.

Last question, at least for now---have you determined your favorite idiosyncrasy yet?

Have fun, Doug.....


06-03-2013, 01:15 PM
its strange that they died out through out the world. they do still exist here in India. they were manufactured here until late 90's (methinks). in Mumbai we have the Padmini Premiers (used as taxis)

08-04-2013, 08:14 PM
Hello, CenariusXVI!

Sorry to take so long responding, but as there was no post in this thread for two years, I became lax in monitoring---plus, there was no email notification of your post.

I was aware of the cars' continued production in Brazil (a lot of restoration parts are made there) but didn't realize they lasted until 2001, as stated in some Padmini Premiere articles I looked up. I believe the last year they came to the USA was '69, and Fiat stopped exporting anything here in '80 or '81, resuming only recently after bailing out a floundering Chrysler Corporation.

The forced retirement of the cars may not bother the clean-air brigade, but it's still a raw deal to any 'car nut'; a similar edict by the government of Japan forces any 40,000-mile car to either be scrapped or have its engine replaced, not just rebuilt, which has started a whole industry in the US as literally boatloads of perfect-running "Used Engines From Japan" have hit the shores and undermined the remanufacturing industry---many owners would rather pay $400 for a running motor than pay several times that to have their own redone.

Of course, the Pad has only 40 horsepower.....

Take care, Cenarius, and thanks for posting!


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