Classic vehicles help modern buyers make new connections to a carmaker's modern offerings. That's why in little more than a month we've seen Jaguar announce a continuation run of the D-Type, Porsche get a show at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, Land Rover plan to restore a Series I, and Jay Leno celebrate the 1942 Dodge Carryall. Fiat Chrysler already has a heritage division, but the vintage department takes a new step into its history with the "Reloaded by Creators" service.
Said to be inspired by retail programs at museums, Reloaded by Creators will see FCA Heritage source and buy noteworthy classics from the Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Lancia brands, restore them to original spec, then sell them to collectors. When Roberto Giolito, head of FCA Heritage, broke the news at Retromobile in Paris, he also revealed the first five offerings: three "ultimate classics" in the Alfa Spider IV serie (1991), Lancia Fulvia Coupé Montecarlo (1973), Spidereuropa Pininfarina (1981), and two custom cars in the Alfa Romeo SZ (1989) and Lancia Appia Coupé (1959).
The ultimate classics represent the last of their kind to be built, not necessarily according to model year, but with respect to design and engineering - no major model changes followed. The Lancia Fulvia Coupé ceased production in 1976; the limited edition 1973 Montecarlo model celebrated the car's victory in the 1972 Montecarlo Rally and still wears the original license plates. The 1981 Spidereuropa Pininfarina comes from the beginning of the end of production; after building the Fiat 124 Sport Spider for US-only sale from 1975 to 1983, Pininfarina resumed manufacture in Europe in 1982 and bestowed the new name. The Alfa Spider went out of production in 1993, the 1991 Series IV example for sale here has been in FCA's collection since it was built, used for technical testing.
As for the custom cars, Lancia built a variant of its third-generation Appia as a coachbuilt chassis. Pininfarina bodied the 1959 model for sale here, and Fiat showed it first in Paris. Fiat used the funky, Zagato-designed, thermoplastic-composite-bodied, 1989 Alfa Romeo SZ for testing at the carmaker's Balocco circuit. Only around 1,000 SZ models emerged from the factory during a two-year production run.
Each vehicle will come with a certificate of authenticity and be guaranteed by FCA, plus be featured on the FCA Heritage site. The historic division will use the money raised from those sales to find and add cars to its permanent collection.
Fiat gets into the classics game with 'Reloaded by Creators' program originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Feb 2018 14:01:00 EST.