In the middle of the 1930s, with Europe on the cusp of war, Fiat engineer Dante Giacosa unleashed the 500, nicknamed the Topolino (little mouse). This was bare bones transportation done in only the way the Italians could do, with a four cylinder engine hanging out over the front axle and fashionable looks that mask just how small this car really is. The Nuovo Cinquecento took the Topolino's place in the mid 1950s and that car became a cult icon, so much so that it overshadowed its predecessor. This Topolino for sale in California is a later model that is ready for someone to enjoy.
1947 Fiat Topolino 500A
s/n 500-102007, Engine no. 500-104614
Charcoal Grey/Cream with Tan Interior
The Fiat 500, colloquially known as the “Topolino” (literally translated as “small mouse” but also the Italian translation of “Mickey Mouse”), was to Italy what the Volkswagen Beetle was to Germany, and the Citroen 2CV was to France. Inexpensive, simple, economical, and robust, the cars competed not with other cars, but with tractors, horses, and two-wheeled vehicles. They sold extremely well, with large numbers built, but only a select few have transcended the decades to exist today, and almost none have been cared for and restored to the level of this wonderful example.
Benefitting from the long term custodianship of the President of the Fiat Owner’s Club Belgium, this charming Topolino is exceedingly solid, complete, and correctly restored. The engine was rebuilt as part of the restorative process, and the car starts easily and runs very well. The brakes supply ample stopping power, and gear changes are very positive in nature. Very recently the fuel system, including the fuel tank, has been serviced. In total, the car operates as it should, and does not appear to be in need of any major repairs at this time. This Topolino shows every indication of having lived a shelter life, always remaining in excellent condition, and is still a matching numbers unit.
Cosmetically speaking, this is an excellent example, with outstanding paint quality in beautiful colors, nice brightwork showing minimal aging, and wonderfully fresh interior door panel and seat upholstery. Other portions of the interior, such as the rear carpets, looks to be original, confirming the well kept nature of this car. The gauges are in very good condition, and appear to be unrestored. The cloth retractable top is in very good condition, and the car sits on newer Michelin XZ series tires. The spare is also a newer Michelin XZ. Atop the luggage rack sits at charming wicker picnic basket.
Included with the sale are extensive records and photographs pertaining to the previous long-term ownership period containing its original Belgium registration booklet, photos detailing the restoration process, records detailing the restoration process, the car’s Topolino Gold Register certificate, an extraordinarily detailed account of its history with many wonderful period photos, letters from previous owners, copies of previous ownership documents, photos of the car partaking in recent and early Fiat Owner’s Club outings, a copy of family Christmas cars picturing the car, as well as the California specialty “Topolino” license plates. Micro cars of this era are always welcome sights at motor car gatherings, and evoke a response simply not garnered by late model super cars, multi-million dollar one-offs, or speed-tuned racecars. “I expect that every mile will be a joy”- the late Martin Swig, Fiat dealer. $39,500.
It's nice to see a Topolino at this level of originality, as so many of these small cars were chopped up into dragsters. Almost $40,000 is a bit high of an ask, but not terribly overpriced. Good examples today can run anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000, with the best examples bringing north of $40,000.