Replacement for FIAT’s much-loved 500 ‘Topolino’, the Nuova 500 debuted in 1957. A radical departure from its predecessor’s essentially pre-war design, FIAT’s new baby featured unitary construction, a full-length opening fabric roof and all-independent suspension while carrying its engine at the rear. The 479cc power unit was an air-cooled overhead-valve twin, the first such used by FIAT, and the gearbox a four-speeder. The basic 500’s austerity was not well received, prompting the introduction of a revised and better equipped version endowed with refinements such as wind-down windows, upholstered rear seat, column-mounted switchgear stalks and hub caps for the wheels. Introduced in 1960, the 500D used the 499.5cc engine of the 500 Sport in de-tuned form, but nevertheless brought with it a small gain in horsepower.
This particular Fiat 500L has recently been restored in Italy by the well-known specialist Antonio Cassella of Bergamo. The body was stripped to bare metal and repainted. Mechanically, the engine was overhauled in 2015.