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Greenwich Concours Preview: 1956 Fiat 1101 Campagnola

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It’s rare to see any kind of truck at a top tier concours event, unless the truck in question is a Subaru Brat at Concours d’Lemons, so it was a real treat to see this vintage 4×4 at Greenwich Concours 2012. This of course is the 1101 Campagnolo, which was Fiat’s riff on the wartime Willys MB model which went on to inspire quite a few other 4x4s.

This particular example was offered for sale on Sir Craig’s Suggestions and Listings in 2010, and promptly caught the attention of a website that encourages its users to bring a trailer everywhere they go for unspecified reasons. In the advert the seller claimed this to be the only Campagnola in the US, but merely days later a commenter on Bringatrailer who lived minutes from the where that Campagnola was offered revealed that he also had a Campagnola. Which, if anything, should teach us to always take the “only one in the US!” claims with a big helping of salt. Let’s take a closer look at this non-bro truck after the jump.

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The 1101 Campagnola was offered with a number of engines when it premiered in 1951, most of them being the 1,901cc powerplants also offered in Fiat’s other cars. The basic model offered locking differentials and a 4-speed gearbox. Power in most early models topped out around 60bhp, though these stats didn’t differ much from other foreign trucks inspired by the wartime Willys model.

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This truck did not look overrestored, which was a welcome change from some cars that appear on the concours circuit.  Owning something that gets mistaken for a WWII-era Willys several times a day has to be an interesting experience, but if you love shouting “It’s not a Jeep!!!” over the traffic noise, this just may be the right truck for you. Similarly, you could make some small income on the side by accepting bets that it is a Jeep from unsuspecting derps who don’t know any better.

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Stateside auctions are not awash in these as you’d expect, but I suspect there are a few more Campagnolas here and there. Parts are of course going to be an issue, so usability may be limited unless you own a machine shop. I think this would be the perfect summer vehicle to take to the beach, like in those Outback Steakhouse commercials where a group of 20-somethings fire up the barbie and grill some stuff while tossing a rugby ball.

What would you do with a truck like this in the US?

Full gallery from Greenwich Concours 2012 below:

[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Jay Ramey]

Currently there are "12 comments" on this Article:

  1. Batshitbox says:

    I'm still holding out for an Alfa Romeo Matta

    <img src="http://www.mondofuoristrada.it/upload/alfa_romeo_matta_2.jpg"&gt;

    Because I want my utility vehicles to not only be ridiculously expensive and fabulously unreliable, but also rare as hen's teeth even in their country of origin. (Hence the Italian phrase, "What's a Matta?" Hey!)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfa_Romeo_Matta

  2. wisc47 says:

    As an owner of a fine, old-fashioned Fiat, I find this fifties four-wheeler to be fantastic.

  3. dukeisduke says:

    A nugget from the Wiki article on the Matta:

    "The Matta was built from 1952 to 1954, with 2007 AR51 and 154 AR52 units produced. In 1954, the Italian army abandoned the AR51 and switched to the Fiat Campagnola, which was technically simpler."

  4. miki says:

    If you're considering buying one of these, there's a dealer in Italy who have for sale 3 different Campagnolas in barn-find condition for 2490 € each (3270 $). They also have 2 Mattas but they're a lot more expensive.
    http://www.carclub.it/?vpagina=auto&epoca=1

  5. Alff says:

    I'd put a snorkel on it so I could ford it again, Tony.

  6. Sam Richardson says:

    As far as I know… there are only two in the US, his and mine, and technically, they are different models. Mine is a 1972 AR-59 while his is a 1956 AR-55 (1101 vs. 1102). Effectively the same, but different wiring and brakes. Great machine. My family brought one over in the 90s but it spent most of the past 15 years parked. I've put a fair bit of sweat into it over the past couple of years, and am proud to say it's running just fine. I'm mostly down in DC, but it does well up north too. If there ARE any others, I'd like to hear about them.
    <img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2867/8761426134_28e37da870_o.jpg&quot; width="600">

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