A Century of Cars: 36. Solido 1965 Fiat 500 Nuova
The Fiat 500 (Italian: cinquecento) is a
car produced by the Fiat company of Italy between 1957 and 1975,
with limited production of the Fiat 500 K estate continuing until
1977. The car was designed by Dante Giacosa.
Launched as the Nuova (new) 500 in July 1957, it was marketed as a cheap and practical town car. Measuring only 3 metres long, and originally powered by a tiny 479 cc two-cylinder, air-cooled engine, the 500 redefined the term "small car" and is considered one of the first city cars.
Despite its diminutive size, the 500 proved to be an enormously practical and popular vehicle throughout Europe. Besides the two-door coupé, it was also available as the "Giardiniera" station wagon; this variant featured the standard engine laid on its side, the wheelbase lengthened by 10 cm which yielded a usable rear seat, a full-length sunroof, and larger brakes from the Fiat 600.
Sports models were famously produced by Abarth, as well as by Giannini.