Fiat, long known for producing inexpensive, efficient cars, surprised the automotive community in 1957 with an all-new 500 model that was even smaller than its predecessor, the beloved Topolino (Little Mouse). Designed by Dante Giacosa, the 500 Nuova, or “Cinquecento,” much like the Volkswagen’s Beetle, featured an economical air-cooled rear-engine design. While purpose-built for practicality and limited in top speed, its compact dimensions and fully independent suspension made it a joy to drive.
Introduced with an air-cooled 479-cubic centimeter two-cylinder engine that was later upgraded to 499.5 cubic centimeters, the Cinquecento received various technical modifications over the course of its healthy 18-year production run, while styling remained essentially unchanged. Importation to the U.S.A. continued through 1961. The “F” variant arrived for 1965 with several changes, including front-hinged doors, a slight power increase, and other detail updates, mainly to the heater and driveline.
Part of the RM Auctions Hershey event in October, 2012.
Source: RM Auctions