Racing On The Rooftop

Fiat’s rooftop race track in Turin, Italy.


Above is a picture of the Fiat Company’s unusual final stage in production of new vehicles. Starting in 1923, the Lingotto factory located in the town of Turin, Italy, had the peculiar quirk that they had constructed a fully functioning race track on the roof in order to test their cars upon completion.

The Fiat Company was founded in 1899 in the same town of Turin. Traditionally, Fiats have mostly been considered a European car with Europe providing the majority of their sales. Recently, though, Fiats have been becoming increasingly popular in the United States due to their recent joining with Chrysler. They mostly produce superminis and city cars.

Construction for the Lingotto began in 1915 and it was officially opened in 1923. At the time, it was the largest automobile factory in Europe. The five story tall building had another unique feature compared to other factories because it began production at the bottom, continuously progressing the cars upward with more and more completion. Eventually, the final stop would be the roof with its flat surface being the ideal spot to test out their newly finished automobiles. An entire race track was completed on the roof of the building to be the final test track for their cars before they were sold. Fiat utilized their factory workers as the test drivers, so that the people who built them also were allowed a chance to enjoy them. To this day, the Lingotto still stands and the race track is still intact, but it is no longer allowed to be utilized for racing. Currently is used as a meeting place for the company and is occasionally rented out to car clubs for meetings.