The 508S Balilla Sport competition version drew its inspiration from an original design by Carrozzeria Ghia, and it was based on the highly successful 508 Balilla saloon. This saloon was not only the first FIAT model of the inter-war years to receive a name along with a number, but it also served as the foundation for the sportier variant.
FIAT acquired the rights to the design and produced two versions: the Coppa d’Oro (Gold Cup) and the lightweight Mille Miglia, both named after the impressive achievements in these demanding long-distance races.
Sporting an elegant open two-seater body with a distinctive finned tail, the original Balilla Sport featured a modified version of the saloon’s 995cc four-cylinder sidevalve engine. This tuned powerplant propelled the rear wheels through a three-speed gearbox and was mounted on a sturdy cruciform braced chassis.
The car was equipped with Lockheed hydraulic brakes and rode on wire wheels. The second series, introduced in 1934, further enhanced the already successful formula. It incorporated a four-speed synchromesh gearbox and an overhead-valve engine capable of producing 46bhp.