Fiat 508 CM file photo [32106]

508 CM

Primary RoleOther


ww2dbaseThe major manufacturer of light vehicles for the Italian army, Fiat had designed several military type vehicles prior to World War II. The 508 CM, or 508 C Balilla "Torpedo Militare", was one such vehicle. Based upon the civilian Fiat 508 Balilla saloon car the type was ordered by the Ispettorato della Motorizzazione (Inspectorate for Motorization) for use specifically in Italy’s colonial possessions where rough terrain regularly needed a small utility vehicle with a higher ground clearance than civilian types, and adapted to avoid sinking in soft terrain. The official requirement called for an inexpensive lightweight vehicle with a special military-grade body, good road speed and fair off-road performance. The resultant vehicle utilised a simple four-cylinder Fiat 108C petrol engine driving through a four speed gearbox quickly proved to be a very capable vehicle, although rather uninspiring the Fiat 508 CM would become the most prolific military vehicle employed by the Italians, with large numbers being built between 1937 to 1943.

Philip Trewbitt: Armoured Fighting Vehicles (Dempsey-Parr, 1999)
Wikipedia: Fiat 508 CM

Last Major Revision: Jun 2022


508 CM
MachineryOne Fiat 108C 4-cyl 1,089cc petrol engine rated at 32bhp
Length3.35 m
Width1.37 m
Height1.57 m
Weight1.1 t
Speed80 km/h
Range400 km


Fiat 508 CM, 1939

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Fiat 508 CM, 1939

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