Classic Cars

Auction, 0216


4.000 / 6.000
Price realized:  Registration



CHASSIS N. 022655




POWER: 65,5 CV



Like almost all the big car manufacturers, in the 1940s Fiat also worked on designing a basic, versatile vehicle which could be used for off-road driving and in adverse weather conditions, that was suitable for agricultural as well as military use. This market segment had been opened up by the glorious American Jeep, many examples of which had remained in Europe and were reconditioned and sold to private individuals. These led to the production of all the subsequent ‘off-road vehicles’ from the Land Rover to the Campagnola to the Japanese models.

The Campagnola, or “AR51” as many generations of Italian conscripted soldiers would learn to call it, entered into production in 1951 and was destined to become a classic on a national level.

It was mainly used – in addition to the various military transport fleets – by companies that needed vehicles that could be driven anywhere in order to follow the work sites that were rebuilding Italy and its infrastructures, and by people in the countryside or in the mountains who needed the ability to drive almost anywhere.

The Campagnola allowed this thanks to its long-travel suspensions and, more importantly, due to its low-gear transfer case and the fact that it could be turned from rear-wheel-drive to all-wheel-drive while in motion. So the Campagnola was a lightweight vehicle (around 1250 Kg) with four wheel drive and eight speed transmission. It had an open torpedo body style with a simple soft top and suicide half doors, light but forcedly very basic: it barely had seats inside!

Despite not being a model destined for wide circulation, even the ‘general-interest’ press covered the presentation: the weekly magazine “Epoca” dated 8/12/51 dedicated two colour pages to the Campagnola, writing: “The Campagnola represents a step forward in the evolution of the multi-purpose motor vehicle” and continued by rightly highlighting its professional vocation. Nobody, in those years could imagine the birth and development of the ‘off-road vehicle’: a specific motoring sector that was to become a fashion.

However there is always someone who sees farther ahead than everyone else: the first owner of the Campagnola we are offering for auction today – one of the great Italian publishers of the XX century – needed a private car that was able to reach his rather isolated mountain cabin. He was not, however, wiling to renounce the minimum of comfort so he had his Campagnola modified by an anonymous coachbuilder.

Fitted with a rigid roof and full doors, with an enriched interior and imitation leather finish, the rustic Campagnola was transformed, without even knowing it, into the forerunner of the modern luxury SUV!

The transformation was carried out with care and using quality materials: please note, for example, the adoption of the internal handles of the Lancia Flavia.

Purchased by the current owner in 1978, the vehicle was used by the same and his family for over forty years to explore the wildest areas of the Valle d’Aosta.

Unused for some years, the family has decided to put the vehicle up for sale and to pass it on to a new owner who can continue to take care of it.

It is not rare to find a Campagnola on the market, but this example, in addition to being in very fresh mechanical condition, having a low mileage and not subjected to heavy use, represents a unique specimen compared to the typical ragtop AR51, and would be perfect for a collector of classic vehicles with a house in the mountains...

The vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition but, for safety reasons, we advise the purchaser to have it checked over and to replace the fluids, filters and perishable elements.