Introduced in 1957, the successor to the Fiat 500 Topolino would become the iconic small Italian car due to its friendly appearance. Its popularity cannot be better proven than by the fact that the design of the present-day Fiat 500, introduced in 2007, was heavily inspired by the 1957 model (if not directly copied from it). It turned out to be a re- newed success for Fiat.
The 1957 original, then called the Nuova (‘new’) 500, had a rear-mounted, 479cc air-cooled flat-twin. It was followed in 1960 by the D, fitted with a 17hp, 499.5cc engine. That same year the range was extended by a panel van and a station wagon, the Giardiniera, both based on the same chassis with a 100mm longer wheelbase. In order to provide easy access through the rear door and to increase the load capacity the engine was laid on its side.
Fiat transferred production of the Giardiniera to Autobianchi in 1968. The so-called ‘suicide doors’ with hinges at the back were retained until the end of production in 1977, while the saloon versions already had ‘normal’ doors. This very well restored vehicle is one of the last Giardinieras to be made.
499.5cc air-cooled flat-twin