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Nothing delivers joy quite like the original Dante Giacosa designed Fiat 500, or aptly Cinquecento.
This lovely 1972 Rosso Corallo Scuro Fiat 500 ‘R’ for meaning ‘Rinnovata’, or renewed, is powered by an updated 650cc engine as found in the Fiat 126. Upping power to 24bhp.
The diminutive Fiat Nuova 500 was just 116 inches (2.97 meters) long, 52 inches (1.32 meters) wide and 52 inches (1.325 meters) tall. It had a wheelbase of 72.5 inches (1.84 meters). Empty, it weighed 1036 pounds (470 kg), and fully laden, 1500 pounds (680 kg).
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The Fiat 500 is a car that now symbolises Italian civilian motoring, with its simple and carefree attitude it is the motoring personification of La dolce vita, with its simple easy to maintain mechanicals and go-kart style handling it is a simple motoring pleasure and that everyone needs to experience! The car was manufactured from 1957 til 1975 and was actually a cut-down version of the Fiat 600 which came along in 1955 but was not anywhere near as popular. Coincidentally this was the same for the classic mini, being a cut-down version of the Morris Minor. The Fiat 500 was designed by Dante Giacosa and was one of the first cars driven on mass by the Italian population. The car was famed for its cute styling and simplistic care-free motoring and was the quintessence of Italian motoring flair and enthusiasm. The car was not primarily designed for looks and was in fact designed to use as little sheet metal as possible, being an expensive commodity in post-war Italy. The car's cloth sunroof was a great example of this, as the cloth was lighter and less expensive than steel and having a sunroof was considered a bit of a luxury so every car had one. This added simplicity through cost-cutting adds to the car's fun character. The two-cylinder 479cc engine had a not quite so 'performance-inspiring' 12bhp when new but weighing in at under 470kg this was just enough and the lack of weight made the car handle like a go-kart and sound like a lawn mower. The lack of weight and power makes each corner a challenge to see how much speed you can carry through the turn, to ensure you can get up the hill on the other side and makes the whole driving experience that much more engaging. With 4 seats, the car is more than practical enough for every day and the small size of it makes parking in urban areas like parking a piece of cake and was perfect for the cramped and narrow medieval streets of most 1950s Italian cities.
The car has recently had its bonnet painted and repaired as there was a dent from something falling on it when kept in the garage. Overall the condition is very good with some machine polishing needing to be completed to have the car in good order.
The interior is in excellent condition with nothing needing, the simplicity of the layout is great and everything works as expected. In 2018 the car had new door cards, carpets, handles and new door seals.
This car being the later 'R' variant has the uprated 594cc unit from the 126. The engine has been later upgraded to the 650cc unit from the later 126 variants giving the car more power and torque and making the car much more able to keep up with modern traffic. The engine has been upgraded to Luminition electronic ignition for added reliability and smooth running of the engine. The engine was recently treated to new gaskets, rocker cover and engine mounts in 2018 to ensure the oil and engine stay where they should and has had a full service including new spark plugs, fuel filter, air filter, engine oil, on top of this the car has just had new handbrake return springs and drive boots replaced.
The chassis is in good condition with no nasty rust patches.
The gearbox performs well and with this being the later 'R' variant, all gears have a synchromesh. In 2018 some work was carried out to repair the gearbox and drive shafts.
The open diff and axel work well and has recently had new boots to ensure its longevity with repairs to the driveshafts being carried out in 2018.
The steering feels light and good through the thin-rimmed 1950s-style wheel with nippy handling.
The brakes feel solid and stop the car about as well as any 1970s car with discs and pads having been installed in 2018 with new rear wheel cylinders.
Maintenance History Summary:
The car comes with an extensive service history. The car has recently been serviced with new spark plugs, timing belt, filters and oil etc.