Winning Amount: £ 11,100.00
User ID: o*******1
'Start off with the 500. On a thrifty, practical, manageable basis. Totally undemanding and universally loved. The small ‘big’ car everybody knows.' Fiat 500 sales brochure, 1971.
As Europe settled onto a more even keel post 2nd war, its population’s mobility slowly crept up the social and political agenda. The supply of second hand cars was dwindling as the five or so year hiatus in vehicle production in the late 1930s and early 1940s started to take effect so there was a gap in the market for new machines but they had to be cheap with a capital CH.
“Bubble cars” and motorcycle based machines had their moments but people quickly moved on to ‘real’ cars and each nation had its favourite offering; VW’s Beetle in Germany, the French 2CV and eventually the Brits’ Mini were all charged with moving as many as five people (unless you were attempting to break a World Record on Blue Peter) around in a degree of comfort (or perhaps less discomfort) though economy of purchase and ownership were still paramount.
Fiat’s answer for the Italian market was the 500 or ‘Cinquecento’ and so good it was that 2.9 million of them were made over an 18 year period. What this simple and economical machine lacked in performance, refinement and equipment was more than made up for in sheer charm and character. Bristling with good ideas and neat design the 500 boasted all independent suspension bolted to a unitary construction body which had a large fabric sun roof. A rear mounted, 479cc air cooled, two-pot engine drove the rear wheels through a four speed gearbox. Fit for purpose in standard tune, after tuning guru Carlo Abarth got hold of it the little Fiat had a real sting in its tail.
Almost impossibly cute, this 1972 Fiat 500 ‘project’ is to the classic F specification free thankfully, some would say, of the somewhat incongruous plastic dashboard and other additions of the ‘L’, which to our mind slightly moved the car away from its original and charming 1960’s roots in an attempt to keep it relevant for the 1970s.
This genuine Italian Cinquecento was imported from its’ country of origin some time ago and comfortably qualifies for a free road fund licence. It is fully UK registered with a current V5C certificate.
A fresh MOT test has revealed that attention is required to the car both mechanically and bodily. The relatively cheap and simple to resolve mechanical issues (some merely 'advisory') relate to wheel bearings, axle pins, bake pipes, suspension bushes and a broken engine/gearbox mount. All four tyres require replacement though the stick-on whitewalls could be perhaps be transferred across to the new ones! As is illustrated in the photo gallery the floor has received some attention in the past and there is some corrosion close to the near side rear suspension mount while the MOT Tester also advised that the car’s sills show some evidence of having been filled in the past. Prospective buyers should be aware of these issues that will need to be addressed before the 500 is returned to the road.
The Monaco Bianca (Monaco White for those not fluent in Italian) paintwork is only fair, with some dull patches and micro-blistering evident, though a session with the T-Cut and polish would no doubt provide some easy rewards in this area.
The interior is in pretty good order with the black seat covers (showing only slight bagginess), door panels and trim contrasting and complimenting the coachwork beautifully. All the original interior fittings have been retained including the correct door handles, window winders and ash tray with black carpets completing the picture. The original fabulously generous white plastic steering wheel is still fitted and to the previous owner who felt the need to mark the “12 O’clock” position on it with red tape for those crossed arms power oversteer moments, Berlinetta salutes you and your Markku Alen ambitions!
A look at the race-specification bullet door mirror and its magnificent chromed stalk simply confirms both the previous owner’s ambitions and their optimism that such an aerodynamically honed item would make the slightest difference when attached to something with the Cd of a house brick. The boot rack, complimented by a wonderful period suitcase, no doubt pushes the coefficient of drag figures even higher but by nothing like as much as the Fiat’s coolness-rating. The chrome work, such as it is, is in good order though the rear bumper recently took a knock while the 500 was in transit and is slightly distorted. The opening vinyl roof section is in good order and fits well allowing for instant wind-in-the-hair motoring (in Italy), whilst ensuring total waterproofing when in place (in the UK).
The engine appears to be in fine fettle and it boasts a new exhaust system. The current owner tells us that indeed the engine has recently been rebuilt, but at the time of writing the relevant bills had yet to be located - we will update this listing as and when they come to hand. The current odometer reading is some 82,000km which though unverified may well be its original mileage (kilometerage?).
While we would not for a moment claim this is the best Fiat 500 in existence (!), it is offered at no reserve and a future owner can choose between attending to its immediate issues as detailed above or a full restoration as perhaps funds allow.
Once appropriately refurbished the Fiat 500, with its unsurpassable chic appeal, is capable of providing the ultimate in fun motoring or, with the Monaco White paintwork acting as a blank canvass, a superb marketing tool that any business would be proud of.
Registration Number: YOD 587K
Chassis Number: 110F3031956
Engine Number: Not listed