2013 The Silverstone Classic Sale

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The ex Enid Blyton - 1969 Fiat 500 Gamine 'Noddy Car' by Vignale

Lot No.: 426

Registration: NOD 513
Chassis Number: 1922688
Engine Number: 4345512
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 595cc
Year of Manufacture: 1969
Sold for (£): 28,750

Frixos Demetriou was a successful casino owner in Cyprus and the owner of the Olympic gaming club in London. While in Milan by chance, his flight to Athens was diverted, he spotted an unusual looking car by the airport and on inquiry discovered that it was a Fiat Gamine Vignale. The Gamine was a small two seat roadster produced by Carozzeria Vignale from 1967 to 1971 based on the Fiat 500 platform using the 2-cylinder air cooled engine from the 500 Sport. Demetriou was looking to diversify his business interests and sensing an opportunity he returned via Turin, securing the rights to sell Vignale products in the UK. He bought 200 cars up front paying with cash and committed to buy the next 6 months production if Vignale would manufacture the car in right hand drive form. The Gamine two-seater was well received, becoming trendy with the Chelsea set - even night-club owner Peter Stringfellow had one.

This car has had a total of 4 owners and has covered what is believed to be a genuine 4,553 miles from new! Not only that, but the car was registered and owned by Enid Blyton's company and can most accurately be described as 'The' Noddy car! For those that don't know: "Noddy is a self-employed taxi driver. Noddy loves driving his friends around Toytown in his little red and yellow taxi. The other toys can hear him coming by the distinctive ‘Parp, Parp' sound of his taxi's horn and the jingle of the bell on his blue hat. Often he uses his car to visit all of the places in Toytown. When his taxi business is not doing so well, or when he needs help, Noddy turns to Big Ears." The current owner purchased the car off the company that bought the assets from the Enid Blyton Company.

This 500 Gamine is simply an unrepeatable piece of British literary history and is a must for any Blyton fan or Fiat collector. The car is fitted with a larger capacity 594cc engine and syncro gearbox. Marque specialists Middle Barton Garage have looked after the vehicle and prior to the auction they will check over the car and supply any interested bidders with a condition report. Buyers should be aware that the number plate: NOD513 is included in the sale. "Parp, Parp!"