Fiat involved in racing with 1905 Fiat 24/32 HP Series 2

In 1901, Fiat created 80 examples of their front-mounted 8-horsepower vertical twin. A year later, they introduced their first four-cylinder car, the 12/16. By 1903 it had been replaced by a larger 16/20 HP car that had a engine that displaced 4181cc. The earlier engines featured atmospheric intake valves while the 1903 engines had a T-head design featuring a low tension magneto ignition, and pump-circulated water cooling. Gearing was by a four-speed manual unit which sent the power to the rear wheels through a dual-chain drive system. The 16/20 HP cars were sent to America where Hollander & Tengeman of New York served as the sole agents for the U.S. and Canadian markets. They were responsible for most of the 200-cars sold with each vehicle carrying a price tag beginning at $6,700.
1904 brought about a major design change to the chassis construction. Instead of using the steel-reinforced wood chassis design, a switch was made to pressed steel frames.

It was not long before Fiat was heavily involved in racing, both in Europe and American. As competition quickly escalated, the only way to keep was to enlarge the cubic capacity of the engines. It was not uncommon for the early four-cylinder engines to displace over ten liters, many reaching into the 20-liter range. Racing regulations did little to slow this down, often only putting restrictions on the total weight of the vehicle. This resulted in bare-bone chassis that would often twist and break under the extreme forces of the engine. In all respects, it was a time of experimentation and continued development, that saw major advances within a short amount of time.

For Fiat, they too found the winning formula in expanding their engines. Their entry in the 1904 Gordon Bennett Cup race, the precursor to Grand Prix racing, was the 75 horsepower Corsa which displaced fourteen liters from its four-cylinder engine. It was driven by Vincenzo Lancia who would later found the Lancia Company. He first impressed the Fiat Company in 1900 with his driving talents as a test driver, and soon was promoted to their 'Works Driver.' He drove in the 1903 Paris to Madrid race, two Vanderbilt Cup races in the USA, Grand Prix races, and more.

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