Chassis number: 0959117
Starting price: 35 000 PLN (estimated: 50 000 – 70 000)
(8 200€/11 800-16 500€)
Engine: 2 cylinders, 0.5-litre
Power: 17 break horsepower
Other: two-door body, rear-wheel drive, engine mounted behind the rear axle
Legal condition: imported, not registered
The original Fiat 500 is the car that motorized post-World War II Italy, but there’s much more to it than that. It also became the icon of the Italian design and lifestyle and one of the most loved cars of all time. History of this legendary vehicle started with its debut in 1957. The car was eagerly awaited. At the time, Italy was recovering from the war and needed an inexpensive and simple car. The 600 model, visually similar to the 500, was on sale from 1955. Despite this, Fiat decided to introduce an even smaller car. The 500 was just 2,97 metres long. Its body was designed by Dante Giacosa, whereas its basic design characteristics included maximum simplicity and a two-cylinder, air-cooled engine. It was mounted in the back and sent its power to the rear wheels. Many of Fiat’s rivals used two-stroke engines back then, but the Italians begged to differ. The engine of the first generation 500 had 497 cc of displacement and developed 13.5 BHP. It had a rolling roof fitted as standard and doors opening backwards. A more powerful Sport version had an engine bored out to 499 cc. An engine of such displacement became standard in 1960, with power increased to 17 BHP. Later models, starting with 500F launched in 1965, had conventional, forward-opening doors. Over time, the interior of the car was gradually refreshed and many comfort-enhancing optional extras were introduced. Sports versions modified by companies such as Abarth or Giannini were also available. The 500 was also available as an estate (called Giardiniera) or in a rare, doorless Jolly Ghia version, sporting a canopy roof and with no doors. Production of the 500 ended in 1975. For the last 3 years of production the car was sold alongside its successor, the 126, as a 500R version, equipped with, inter alia, synchromesh gearbox. Throughout its lifecycle, a total of nearly 3.9 million examples of the cute 500 were made. Nowadays it has become a desirable classic car, especially since Fiat has introduced the modern version of the 500. Interestingly, original 500s can still be found in some parts of Italy, where they serve their owners as daily drivers.
The Fiat 500 presented here was made in the first year of “F” series production, that is 1965. It was purchased in the Italian town of Ferrara. It comes with an original paper registration title from 1968. It remained in the hands of just one single family since new. Its first owner, born in 1932, bought it in a showroom and gave it to his granddaughter in 2008. After it was imported to Poland, it received a thorough refreshing treatment. Its body was painted in Verde Lattementa Pastello, a colour featured in Fiat’s catalogue, which is very often chosen by owners of modern day 500s. Sheet metal elements of the engine and interior have been sandblasted and powder coated. Engine underwent a comprehensive service: filters, oil, fuel lines, seals and exhaust have been replaced, the whole engine has also been re-sealed, along with gearbox and axle shafts. Starter motor has also been refurbished. Wheels have been sandblasted and powder coated, too. Elements made of aluminum and chrome have been meticulously polished. Seats have been given new covers, side bolsters and carpets, whereas door and window seals have been replaced. Rubber bushings have been replaced, while missing stickers, tags and minor details have been put in place.
The Fiat 500, especially in light, pastel colours, is one of the most charming cars of all time and an unquestionable icon of Italian style. It will be a perfect addition to any collection, even one worth millions, it will also be a perfect gadget or a gift, while still offering reasonable practicality.