Oldest In SA 1911 - Fiat Torpedo 15 HP
CAR|October 2018
Oldest In SA 1911 - Fiat Torpedo 15 HP

Now owned by the second generation of the same family, we tracked down the oldest running Fiat in South Africa.

Wilhelm Lutjeharms

AS A modern-day com-muter, it’s hard to imagine the challenges drivers faced piloting cars a century ago. This 1911 Fiat, for example, feels a world away from anything else on the road today. Some parts, like the brass ancillaries, foot pedals and four-spoke steering wheel, are wonderfully solid but, as we leave the owner’s driveway, notable twist in the chassis points to its engineering naivety. It’s both a clear illustration of a century of development in automotive technology and a strong reminder of the place in history cars like this have.

Among the Torpedo’s meticulously maintained historical documents is the sales invoice dated 9 August 1911 indicating that the 15 hp No. 13432 was sold for the princely sum of £500. The letter also confirms the Fiat was to be delivered to its new owner in Brighton, after which the driver delivering the car would stay with the new owner for a week. The paintwork is described as “French grey with black mouldings and fine line of green” and the upholstery as “green leather throughout”, while the wheels were fitted with Michelin tyres.


You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD

Log in, if you are already a subscriber


Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines


October 2018