In the summer of 2002 a listing in the Auto Trader magazine read 'sale: 1971 Fiat rolling body, no keys or title'. Accompanying this brief and ambiguous description was a small photo of what looked like a Fiat 2100.
The vehicle was sitting in the mud under a collapsing wooden deck at the home of a tow truck driver on the South side of Chicago. It had apparently been abandoned in a vacant garage after its previous owner had passed away.
A towing company was called to haul it to the scrap yard for disposal.
The driver held onto the car and was selling it as a 1971 because the license plate was last registered in that year. Also, because he was unable to open the hood he didn't know what shape the engine was in or if it had one at all, and decided to sell the car as just a body. Fortunately, the hood release was elegantly hidden inside the glove compartment and although the body was deteriorating, the vehicle was found to be nearly complete.
This Fiat 2100 Berlina is one of the only remaining vehicles of its kind in the United States. European Auto Restoration in Fennville, MI began the restoration of this rare and special vehicle in 2003.