The Fiat 500, or “Cinquino“, as it was called at the time of its promotional launch from the Mirafiori factory in Turin, is a symbol in the Italian industrial production, marking the history of Italy during the economic miracle. Since then, it has become one of the icons of the Made in Italy, thanks to its evocation of a vintage look, and also because it has been re–launched with new models to better respond to the current market, recalling the historic vehicle but with a modern and attractive restyling.
Historical and social context
The debut of the legendary Italian Fiat 500 took place in the summer of 1957, and it coasts 490,000 Italian liras (soon lowered to 465 thousand Italian liras). During this period, in the international context, the spacecraft Sputnik by the Soviet and the dog Laika on board aimed at the conquest of space, the major European states signed the Rome treaties establishing the European Economic Community, and after two years John Kennedy was elected President of the USA. On the other hand, in Italy there was the economic boom thanks to the transition to the industrial economy; a common worker earned around 40,000 Italian liras a month, the Italian TV proposed “The Carousel“, “The Musichiere” by Mario Riva and “Lacia o Raddoppia” with Mike Buongiorno, and AC Milan won the Italian championship.
The birth of the Fiat 500
On 2 July 1957 at the Sporting club of Turin, took place the official presentation of the Italian car 500, associated with the slogan: “The great little car of work and savings.” A lot of famous attendees were at the event: the Fiat CEO Vittorio Valletta, the deputy Giovanni Agnelli and Gaudenzio Bono, the press officer Luigi Pestelli, the designer Dante Giacosa and various personalities, including the F1 driver Nino Farina. Some models of the Fiat 500, all grays, were exposed by the pool, accompanied by the Fiat mechanicals all in white suit. The very first car included only two seats and a rear bench that can carry about 70 kilograms. After a few months, however, at the Turin Motor Show in 1957 it was changed for four people, thanks to the addition of a padding large back seat.
The evolution of the Fiat 500 up nowadays
Versions sport and convertible (1958 – 1960): Sport model, it’s back to a two-seats version, and the body was in two colors and sometimes with a red band at the bottom.
Fiat 500 Giardiniera (1960-1977): designed for families, born the station wagon model, with four seats and a capacity of 40 kg in the trunk.
500 D, F, L, R (1960-1975):it was a series of Fiat 500 aesthetically more refined and bigger in displacement. They were characterized by reclining seats, no external hinges at the doors and much more elegance.
The new Cinquecento (2007 – 2015): 50 years on from the launch of the first model, the new model of the Fiat Cinquecento was inaugurated in Turin.
The magic of the most famous Italian four-wheeled continues to make us dream!