The Fiat 500

Built in Turin, Desio (Monza and Brianza) and Termini Imerese (Palermo), between 1957 and 1975, the Fiat 500 is recognised the world over as a symbol of Italian identity…


fiat 500

Measuring just under 3 metres long and originally powered by a tiny 479cc, two-cylinder, air-cooled engine delivering just 13bhp, the Fiat 500 – across its various iterations – had a total production run of just under 4 million models. It became ubiquitous in Italy (though they are very rarely seen these days) and commonplace in many other parts of the world. The model in this picture is the Fiat 500 R, aka the Rinnovata, which was built from 1972-1975 and is distinguishable from earlier, now even rarer, models by its front-hinged doors (the D had back-hinged ‘suicide doors’), by the lack of chrome nudge bar, which characterised the L, aka the Lusso, and by its wheels: the F, aka the Berlina, looks very similar from the outside but had hubcaps. The Rinnovata is a modern ‘supercar’ by Fiat 500 standards, having a 594cc engine delivering 23 bhp and a full synchromesh gearbox – oh, the luxury!