The world of Heritage
All about the department that champions the historic heritage of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth.
The history of our cars and our brands
People’s passion for classic and vintage cars has no borders, but there are certain places at a definite point in space, and suspended in time, which conserve the essence of this passion. Places like Heritage.
Centro Storico Fiat
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Officine Classiche
Museo Alfa Romeo
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A world of grand international events
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Le Mans (FR) |
30 June – 3 July 2022
Le Mans Classic 2022
Alfa Romeo DNA at the re-enactment of the glorious French race.
Italy |
15-18 June 2022
1000 Miglia
An event like no other in the world.
Heritage stories
We describe a century of technology, style, competition and performance. We tell our story, and yours.
Last Stories:
The Pininfarina record-breaking single-seater Abarth
Looking for records to break.
Fiat 126
The long-lived polyglot hatchback.
Alfa Romeo Alfetta
The evolution of the sports sedan.
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Last News:
18 June 2022
Alfa Romeo triumphs at the 1000 Miglia 2022
With the 6C 1750 SS Zagato (1929)
26 November 2021
Heritage Hub hosts the annual YES-Europe conference
E-Mobility Academy: open dialogue between university students and entrepreneurs.
Discover our brand and model clubs all over the world
Use our locator to find your nearest brand and model clubs.
The history of four world-leading Italian motoring brands
From the most emblematic models to the most successful, revolutionary people, and the most significant events, this section illustrates and celebrates the cornerstones of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth.
From now on, you and your passion can count on a team of experts
Certificate of Origin, Certification of Authenticity, restoration. To guarantee your car's timeless charm.
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Enter a world built on passion. An extensive range of products offered by Heritage to feed your timeless passion.


The forerunner born out of passion

The first Fiat was made in 1899 based on a design by Aristide Faccioli. The Fiat 3 ½ HP looked like a horse-drawn carriage.

The 3 ½ HP was the first car made by the Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino. It was built at the end of 1899, several months after a group of ten or so aristocrats and notables from Turin interested in automobiles had founded a new company specifically dedicated to this innovative product on July 11.

It was the dawn of motoring and the first cars were reminiscent of horse-drawn carriages. They had large, thin wheels with wooden rims and double leaf-spring suspension, quilted leather seats to comfortably accommodate passengers, awnings to shelter them from the rain, control levers also for steering and small displacement petrol engines.

In particular, the Fiat 3 ½ HP designed by Aristide Faccioli was a compact car that could accommodate two or three people sitting facing each other, two on the seat in direction of travel, one of whom was in charge of operating control levers, and one in an open-top seat facing the opposite way. The bodywork, known as a "Duc", was made by the famed Turin coachbuilder Marcello Alessio.

FIAT 3 1/2 HP - 1899
FIAT 3 1/2 HP - 1899
2 cylinder in line Otto cycle 679 cm³
4,2 HP @ 800 rpm
35 km/h
680 kg
Carrozzeria Marcello Alessio

The first Fiat car was a link between the horse-drawn carriages the 19th century and the engine-powered mobility of the 20th. Twenty-six cars were made, four of which are still in existence today.

While the chassis and bodywork were still heavily reliant on the design of the 19th century horse-drawn carriages, the petrol engine of the Fiat 3 ½ HP had all the features of the cars that would follow. The power output was modest but the engine was technologically modern and sophisticated

Positioned at the back under the seat, the engine had two cylinders arranged horizontally with overhead valves. The exhaust valves were controlled by cams while the intake valves were opened by vacuum. Despite the rudimental fuel feed system, the engine delivered 4.2 horsepower and the 3 ½ HP could touch a top speed of 35 km/h.

Twenty-six cars were made from 1899 to 1900, four of which have survived to the present day. Three are part of the FCA collection and are kept in the National Automobile Museum in Turin, at the Fiat Historical Centre also in Turin and at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Great Britain.

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