FIAT of White-Russian commander Baron Wrangel discovered Joure, the Netherlands.
A precious FIAT from 1913, once belonging to general Baron Wrangel, an officer in the Imperial Russian army and later commanding general of the anti-Bolshevik White Army, is discovered in Russia. The 99 year old spectacular barnfind was made by Jan Bruijn of Galleria Style & Auto in Joure (the Netherlands). The FIAT will be shown for the first time on June 23 and 24 at the Concours d'élégance Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoorn (the Netherlands).
Jan Bruijn of Galleria Style & Auto in Joure (the Netherlands) discovered the 1913 FIAT Tipo 5, first used in St. Petersburg in Russia. The Torpedo body with the dual windshield and the leather roof is completely original. Research needs to establish the coachbuilder: given the original French lamps (Blériot) and the French dashboard gauges including a unique inclinometer Rothschild in Paris seems a good candidate. Research in the archives in Turin is still in full swing, but it is already confirmed that the FIAT with chassisnumber16213 and enginenumber 163 was first delivered to Fiat-agent Loste in Trieste.
It must have been an impressive sight to hear and see this FIAT 50/60 HP - one of the fastest cars of its time - pass by with it's powerful nine liter engine and large exhaust. For Wrangel, the FIAT with shaftdrive, dual rear wheels and a fuel tank of 180 liters must have been a strong and reliable ally. The demise of the White Army can certainly not be blaimed to the FIAT.
The FIAT will first be displayed at the Concours d'élégance Paleis Het Loo, that takes place on June 23 and 24 2012 on the royal grounds in Apeldoorn (the Netherlands). It will be the first time since the death of Wrangel that the car is being shown. Jan Bruijn: "It is very likely that the FIAT has never been used after 1928. It would explain the original state of the FIAT; the car has never been repaired or restored." It is the intention to make the FIAT drivable after the Concours. Jan Bruijn: "That will be done with the utmost caution, because the patina of the FIAT is absolutely unique after 84 years of non-use. The FIAT is a future contender for the Preservation Award at the famous Pebble Beach Concours."
About General Baron Wrangel
General Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel (1878 1928) was an officer in the Imperial Russian Army. After the October Revolution he went to the Crimea, and joined the anti Bolshevik White Army. In the spring of 1919 he commanded the Caucasian army units and made his mark with the capture of Tsaritsyn (later Stalingrad, now Volgograd). Wrangel was commander of the White Army in Southern Russia, which later withdrew to the Crimea and was finally defeated at the end of April 1920. Wrangel emigrated through Turkey and Tunisia to Yugoslavia where he remained the leader of the White Russians in exile and continued the fight against the Bolsheviks. He died in 1928 in Brussels (Belgium) probably poisoned and is interred in the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Belgrade (Serbia). Historical research should show whether the FIAT was a gift of King Alexander I of Yougoslavia to Wrangel. Both studied at the same time at the Russian military academy in St. Petersburg.
About FIAT Tipo 5
The 50/60 HP Tipo 5 was FIAT's flagship model. Tipo 5 (shaft drive) and Tipo 6 (chain drive) were made from 1911 to 1916. Both cars competed with the best of arch rival Mercedes.
The total production (1911 1916) amounted to 457 cars of Tipo 5 and 86 cars of Tipo 6. Wrangel's FIAT was build in 1913 and the production that year was only fourteen cars. Wrangel's Tipo 5 is provided with a 50/60 HP Tipo 55A engine of 9,025 cc. As a special order the car was provided on the basis of the short Tipo 6 chassis, but with the driveshaft of Tipo 5.
FIAT put the steering column in the most sportiest mode, as was usual for cars that were to receive a sporting body. As an additional feature, the chassis had double tires/wheels at the rear.
About Galleria Style & Auto and Jan Bruijn.
Jan Bruijn of Galleria Style & Auto in Joure is founder and former organizer of Concours d'élégance Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoorn. Bruijn is specialized in early automobiles with special bodywork. Exhibition and sales by appointment.
Fiat - Wikipedia
Wrangel - Biography (Rusian)
Peter von Wrangel - Wikipedia