1970 Fiat 500L

With the reintroduction of Fiat to the United States market in the form of the 500, let's take a look at the car's spiritual predecessor, the (original) Fiat 500, or Cinquecento. Designed by Dante Giacosa and introduced in July 1957, the 500 was Italy's answer to the Volkswagen Beetle. It was designed as a car for the masses and to be simple to maintain and repair. With a 479 cc air cooled two cylinder engine, it produced a paltry 13 horsepower.

By the time the L, or Lusso, version arrived, the engine was pumping out 17 horsepower. This doesn't sound like much, but keep in mind these vehicles weighed slightly over 1,000 lbs. The L included a redesigned dashboard and other interior upgrades. In 1975, the original 500 was eclipsed by the Fiat 126, but this diminutive little car was emblazoned in the hearts and minds of the Italian car buying public. It's a testament to their staying power that you still see Italians driving them around city streets and collectors the world over clamoring for well preserved examples.

This 1970 500L is for sale from a specialist in Boston and is in quite good shape and looks sharp in cream white.

1970 Fiat 500L

This is a very clean, classic Fiat 500 L. This car was hand-picked in Parma, Italy and vetted by mechanics in both Italy and Boston. It comes with a new interior and a clear Massachusetts title. We have been importing vintage Fiat 500s for over 15 years. We take the necessary time and expense to go through each of the cars we import to not only make sure that they run properly when they are purchased but for the long term. Our cars are not the least expensive.

What most people don't realize is that these cars are 40+ old. Even though Fiat manufactured 4 million of them and built them to be driven "into the ground" just because they seem fine and look nice and shiny when you drive them away, doesn't mean that they will remain that way for long. There are several components of the engine, transmission, suspension and brake system that have to be checked and there are almost always worn or cracked parts (most commonly rubber components) that must be replaced for both the safety and long term enjoyment of the car.

Certain areas of these cars are also prone to rust. Rust that can be easily hidden by new "under carriage coating" or painted over. We make sure that all of our Fiats are safe for their new owners and if properly maintained will remain that way for the foreseeable future.

The asking price of $16,000 is a bit dear for what was originally intended as a people's car. These aren't the most ideal cars for long haul travel, so use would be rather limited to around town trips and short jaunts on the highway. The recent service and restored interior certainly makes this an attractive piece, but this car is approaching new Fiat 500 money. What price nostalgia, then?

-Paul

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