Fiat 4 HP

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Fiat 4 HP
Fiat 3,5hp 1899.jpg
Also calledFiat 3 ½ HP
Fiat 3 ½ CV
24 produced [1]
AssemblyCorso Dante plant, Turin, Italy
DesignerAristide Faccioli[2]
Body and chassis
Body stylevis à vis
LayoutRR layout
Enginestraight-2 679 cc[3]
Transmission3-speed manual
Wheelbase1,470 mm (58 in)[3]
Length2,300 mm (91 in)[3]
Width1,420 mm (56 in)[3]
Height1,450 mm (57 in)[3]
Curb weight680 kg (1,499 lb)[3]
SuccessorFiat 6 HP

The Fiat 4 HP (also known as the 3½ HP or 3½ CV) was the first model of car produced by FIAT, from 1899 to 1900 based on a third party design.


The 4 HP is related to the Ceirano brothers—Giovanni, Ernesto and Matteo—who were an influential force in kick-starting the Italian automotive industry. In fact, they are variously responsible for creating companies including Ceirano GB & C, Itala, SCAT (Società Ceirano Automobili Torino) and SPA (Società Piemontese Automobili).


In 1888, after eight years apprenticeship at his father's watch-making business, Giovanni Ceirano started building Welleyes bicycles, so named because English names had more sales appeal in Italy.[4] In October 1898, Giovanni then co-founded Ceirano GB & C and started producing the Welleyes motor car in 1899,[5] its coachwork was by Marcello Alessio.[6]

In July 1899, the Welleyes' plant and patents were sold to Giovanni Agnelli who then produced the 4 HP, which became the first ever FIAT; the car had a water-cooled 0.7-liter (679 cc) 2-cylinder, rear-mounted engine producing 4.2 horsepower at 800 rpm, coupled with a three-speed gearbox without reversing gear. Its top speed was 35 kilometres per hour (22 mph).[2] and it had a fuel consumption of 8 litres per 100 kilometres (35 mpg‑imp; 29 mpg‑US).

Giovanni Ceirano was employed by FIAT as the agent for Italy, however, within a year he left to establish "F.lli Ceirano", which became STAR (Società Torinese Rapid Cars). In 1904, Matteo Ceirano left Ceirano GB & C to establish Itala, to then leave in 1906 and also establish SPA (Società Piemontese Automobili) with chief designer, Alberto Ballacco; that same year, Giovanni Ceirano founded SCAT (Società Ceirano Automobili Torino).


The FIAT 4 HP at the UK National Motor Museum

In total, FIAT produced 24 units [1] (8 of which were in the first year).

Today, at least four of these first Fiats are in existence:


  1. ^ a b "Fiat Heritage | Fiat". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b "FIAT mod. 4 HP". Archived from the original on 2013-07-27. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Technical specifications of 1899 Fiat 3.5 CV". Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  4. ^ "Lancia, the essentials". 1937-02-15. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  5. ^ "1899 Ceirano Welleyes". Retrieved 2008-02-26.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b "La Fiat 3 ½ HP". (in Italian). Retrieved 2008-03-25.
  7. ^ "Fiat 3½hp". Retrieved 2010-12-02.