Not everything by Fiat is small! Take the ‘grand’ Fiat 2300 S Coupé. Unknown to most, probably due to the feeble production numbers of this car. An extraordinary vehicle, based on the Fiat 2100/2300 range. The elegant bodywork, designed by Ghia, is introduced at the Turin Motorshow in 1961. Production capacities at the Fiat plant aren’t sufficient, hence the car is built by Ghia and later on by OSI as well.
Ronald Crabbendam is the proud owner of this immaculate Fiat. He didn’t find out about the rarity of the car until long after he had bought it. A chance meeting with this Coupé just got the butterflies going from the very start. As these things go in relationships, the ghosts from the past only surface when it is too late. Ronald acquired the Fiat and started using it to its proper intend, driving it. Immediately embarking on the biggest test for newly weds, a road trip, camping gear neatly tucked away in the enormous boot. Along that trip it became pretty obvious this relation needed a bit of work. Tender loving care that has been part of the equation in abundance ever since.
In the days of this very Fiat, it was a good tradition to have niche models like this designed and built at one of the Italian coach builders. Fiat has always been a good client to the well known Italian design houses. Although Ghia has never been on top of Fiat’s list, with the 2300 S Coupé they delivered a timelessly elegant design. Not all that flashy, but most refined and classy. Even with Ronald the car now calls for associations with chic elegance, him secretly taking an elegantly dressed lady to the opera. Quite the opposite of driving through the rain with a tent in the boot.
Meanwhile Ronald knows pretty well that this car is something special. The car is completely restored, with the sourcing of knowledge and parts acting as a very steep learning curve. Low production numbers are good for exclusivity, but finding the right parts usually is hell and prices a nightmare. With the aid of the right people, the Coupé got the attention it deserved and now shines like a Fiat of this class should. Ronald loves to take it out, adding up quite the mileage. Something the twin Weber carbureted straight six is born to do.
The 2300 S Coupé isn’t a common car, it never was. Today they are mostly in the hands of enthousiasts and collectors, who know how to value this elegant car and aren’t distracted away from its beauty by the humble Fiat-logo. The fact that few people understand the true beauty of this haute couture car might well be to its advantage. Only a few dozen of these cars are known in The Netherlands, of which Ronalds exquisite example is one. Another well known example is still owned by the lady that prominently sported the Dutch coin for many years. If that doesn’t count when talking style, integrity and class. Bravo to the Fiat 2300 S Coupé!