Bianchi, recognized today as one of the cycling world’s oldest and most esteemed names, had a diverse history when founded by Edoardo Bianchi. The company ventured into various realms, including the production of arguably the world’s finest racing motorcycles and the construction of its inaugural automobile in 1900.
In 1957, Bianchi formed a partnership with FIAT and Pirelli to establish Autobianchi. A new, purpose-built factory in Desio saw the commencement of production, and Autobianchi’s initial model was the Bianchina, based on the FIAT 500 and named in homage to Edoardo Bianchi’s first-ever car.
The Bianchina made its debut as the Transformabile coupé, featuring a full-length folding sunroof. Positioned above the basic FIAT 500, designed for economical transportation, the Bianchina targeted the market as a ‘second car’ or luxurious ‘recreational vehicle.’ With a strong appeal to affluent middle-class women, it mirrored the increasing prosperity of Italian society. In 1960, the Bianchina range adopted the newly introduced and more potent FIAT 500D engine as standard equipment.