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Autobianchi Reviews

Autobianchi's roots can be traced back to 1895. Edoardo Bianchi founded a self-named in 1885, and initially built  bicycles before moving into luxury car manufacture in 1899. However, the company's factory in Abruzzi was  destroyed by bombing during WW2, and then its founder died in 1946, leaving Autobianchi in the hands of his son, Giuseppe.

Car production was resumed with the aid of investment from Pirelli - and the company was now known as the Autobianchi partnership. Fiat-based cars were Autobianchi's main fare, and it was inevitable that the larger company would end up taking control, which it did so in 1968. New models dried up, but not after a producing a number of innovative products, such as the Primula and A112, which arguably created the front-wheel drive hatchback and supermini classes years befor the mainstream opposition.

Good: All the fun of a Fiat 500 but with a few more luxuries
Bad: Virtually unknown in the UK
Good: Looks like a BMC 1100, but with the added versatility of a hatchback, and flair of a coupe derivative
Bad: Too rare to entertain owning comfortably in the UK
Good: Nice combination of Fiat 124 engine and front-wheel drive running gear, like a Fiat 128 on steroids, you're unlikely ever to see another
Bad: A111-specific parts might be a tad difficult to find
Good: Compact supermini with proved Fiat mechanicals, good fun to drive, excellent handling, willing engines
Bad: Rust, rubbery gearchange, left-hand drive only