With the Fiat 500 barely a year old in the US market, few consumer may be aware that this car can trace its lineage back before the outbreak of World War II. Legendary Italian engineer Dante Giacosa set out to create a small car for the masses in the middle of the 1930s and came up with the 500cc Fiat Cinquecento, which quickly took on the name “Topolino,” or little mouse, in Italian. It was a revolutionary car, with an ingenious design; it’s sidevalve (and later overhead valve) inline four cylinder engine swung out ahead of the front axle. The engine only produced horsepower in the single digits and was good for a top speed of around 53 mph, but fuel economy was outstanding at almost 40 mpg. After World War II, few Italians, however, could afford the asking price of 720,000 lire, which represented a yearly salary three times over for the average worker. Nevertheless, the Topolino soldiered on until the introduction of the Nuova 500 in 1955, a car which became so much a symbol of Italy that it overshadowed its predecessor and was built under license worldwide. Our feature car for sale in Switzerland has undergone an outstanding restoration and is a one family vehicle. The car even has its original Turin license plates.
In same family ownership since new! With original license plate Torino, TO-59233. Serial Number 3245TO. First registered in 1940. Totally restored in bi-coloor Beige and Black, aoriginal paint scheme. Originally the car was blue. Interior redone in red artificial leather, originally was in fabric. Soft rag top redone in original fabric. New sunroof. Engine, 500 cc, 8 hp, overhauled in 1998, driven 800 km after overhaul. Electric starter. Original Pirelly White Star Tires, installed new 800 km ago. Original documents available. Registered in Italy. Never in an accident. Approved by the ASI (Auto Storiche Italiane) registry with certificate.
At almost $20,000, this is big money for a supermini, but the historical significance of this car has me thinking that this is a fantastic value for a restored and documented example of Italian engineering ingenuity. Overall, this is a great example of a milestone car overlooked, even by some hardcore automotive enthusiasts.