The Fiat 500 . . . loved by many Americans although many more wonder why is definitely still our favorite miniature Italian. Perhaps it’s because it shares the same birthday as the United States . . . 4th July . . . or perhaps it’s because it’s just a great little car which oozes with personality and charm.
The Fiat 500 Topolino was first unveiled in 1936 and, to be honest looked nothing like the range of Fiat 500’s you’ll see in the showrooms at fiat santa ana these days. It was much bigger and uglier than the compact pocket rocket of today but nevertheless proved to be a great success selling more than 500,000 models.
Fiat made the decision to ditch the bulky appearance of the motor in 1955 and go for something which was altogether more sophisticated and stylish, more Italian if you will . . . enter the Fiat 600, smaller and more attractive than the Topolino. It had smooth lines, round headlights and a quirky body and proved to be incredibly popular until it was finally removed from the market place in 1969. Even the best things come and go throughout history.
Anyway, all was not lost because somewhere along the line the fabulous Fiat 500 was born, first hitting the roads on 4th July 1957 . . . okay, do the math, 58 years ago. Out of the ashes of the 600 chassis they developed this brand new car – it wasn’t a variant but an entirely new concept. It had a two cylinder engine and a cloth roof . . . well, I did say that it was more than a little bit different.
The car became an instant success and quickly established itself as one of the most popular little cars in Europe but, by 1975 it’s popularity was usurped by the up and coming Fiat 126 and the 500 nameplate was put into retirement. How could they do such a thing? Whose idea was it to replace the splendid Fiat 500 with the 126.
All was not lost though and, in 2007 almost 50 years after hitting the original market place the Fiat 500 was once again hitting the streets of Italy and the rest of Europe, finally making its way across the pond in 2011 thanks to the new alliance between Chrysler and Fiat . . . the brainchild of Sergio Marchionne.
Modern Americans do enjoy a love affair with this little Italian motor, although not all of them will readily admit to it. You can’t imagine a car which is much further away from the generalized view of American motors – the American muscle – gas guzzling super cars and an important part of the All American Dream and the history of motoring in America.
This iconic little motor is the exact opposite – it’s small, it’s nippy, it’s very economical to run, it’s extremely economical to buy and you can even park it in the smallest of spaces. What’s not to love by the newer breed of environmentally conscious Americans . . . not to mention the financial benefits.
At OC Fiat they’ve got a great choice of Fiat cars, none Fiat cars, new cars and pre-owned cars . . . with a great deal on the iconic Fiat 500. These cars put the fun back into driving, they really are the ultimate “”pocket rocket”” and ooze Italian class, style and sophistication . . . albeit in a smaller package than we may be used to.