Prized Hand-built Model on Display at Company's New Toy Museum
1939 Fiat Balilla 1/4 scale Roadster Hand-built by Fiat engineers in 1968 in a process that must have taken several thousand hours of painstaking work for display at the 1970 Milan Fair, it has everything a driver would expect, even a miniature tool kit. The collection including the Fiat fills the DFW Elite Toy Museum.com, providing visitors with a unique overview of automotive history collected globally over the last 25 years by Ron Sturgeon, founder of DFW Elite Auto Rental.com.
One of the most prized cars in the DFW Elite Car Club.com fleet has never been on the open road. Those who admire the bright red 1939 Fiat Balilla Roadster are immediately drawn to its polished wooden steering wheel and immaculate leather interior. Despite its inviting appearance and flawless performance, this car is not available for driving -- because it's only a toy.
Hand-built by Fiat engineers in 1968 in a process that must have taken several thousand hours of painstaking work and designed for display at the 1970 Milan Fair, the 1/4-scale Roadster has everything a driver would expect from a full-sized Fiat. The detail is remarkable, right down to its spark plugs and radiator. The meticulously detailed car even has a miniature toolbox, filled with tools and a pair of tiny goggles for eye protection.
For a closer look at this amazing little Fiat, visit the online gallery at http://www.dfwelitetoymuseum.com/ . The toy museum with over 3,000 antique toy cars, other auto related art and automobilia is a treat for any collector.
"It's really an unusual, beautiful car," says DFW Elite Car Club.com owner Ron Sturgeon. "When you look at the amount of detail and precision that went into building it, it's absolutely amazing. People really can't believe it when they see it."
The Fiat Balilla Roadster is one of about 3,000 rare toy cars in Sturgeon's collection, most of which are on display at the company's exotic car showroom. That collection fills the DFW Elite Toy Museum.com, providing visitors with a unique overview of automotive history collected globally over the last 25 years. The hand-built one-of-a-kind Fiat is one of the collection's centerpieces, and it was purchased from the famed toy collector Count Giansanti-Coluzzi, founder of the Switzerland-based Fulgurex company, which made miniature trains with obsessive accuracy.
The Count's passion for precision carried over into other miniatures, and he amassed a sizeable collection of rare model cars, ships and airplanes. When he learned this exquisite Fiat might be for sale in 2000, Sturgeon traveled to Switzerland and purchased it from the Count. The legendary Count passed away shortly after that fateful visit. Sturgeon says the vehicle is likely worth at least $25,000. "The Count was so gracious when we visited," Sturgeon adds, "having a drink then taking my wife and I to lunch."
"This Fiat is unique and it remains among my favorite cars in the Toy Museum," Sturgeon says. "It is so authentic in every way, and then when you look at the history of where and why it was made, who owned it -- it really attracted me as a collector."
"This one off model has a fantastic amount of detail, including cast aluminum components and drive train components," says Rodney Ross, Toy Museum Curator and ten-year Sturgeon friend. "Creating it surely took thousands of hours from a top-notch design team. Not to mention that it's the only one of its kind in the world."