The 500 was always a basic car, so tinder-powered that when launched in 1957 even Italians gave it the cold shoulder. In comparison to rival countries’ offerings, such as the 2CV and the Mini that appeared just two years later, the 500 was out of date almost from the start. Most small cars could offer similar economy and just as much interior space while having that useful extra refinement for long journeys, but none of those rivals were quite as small as the Fiat. It was the ultimate town car, and its tiny dimensions and cheeky good looks soon won an enormous following among minimalist motorists around the world.
The Fiat 500 was a true successor to the Fiat Topolino, or ‘Mickey Mouse’, which had been part of Italian culture since 1936. Replacing the original Nuova in 1960, the D looks very similar to the Nuova, but there are two key differences: the engine size, with the D featuring an uprated 499cc engine producing 17bhp as standard (this engine was used right through until the end of the L in 1973); and the roof: the standard D roof does not fold back as far as the roof on the Nuova, though it was also available as the ‘Transformable’ with the same roof as the Nuova. The D also features ‘suicide doors’.
This lovely left hand drive example in white with red interior is the very desirable ‘suicide’ door model D, which has the uprated engine of 499cc. The interior is presented in good condition and this model has the added attraction of the sliding sunroof. These delightful little town cars are every bit as collectable as more exotic and faster motor cars; most Formula One drivers have one of these to drive every day and not an exotic sports car! Great fun and an opportunity not to be missed.