Fiat’s multi-million selling air-cooled microcar was a national institution.
Introduced in 1957, the ‘Nuova 500’ became an international sales success as well as a much-loved symbol of Italian culture.
Today, collectors the world over clamour to get their hands on the best examples of what is one of the most loved, cherished and recognisable cars ever made, and there’s a whole industry that has been built up around their preservation.
This one is especially interesting as not only is it a rare early car, with rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors, but it also a largely original example with just 34,500 kilometres on the odometer – a figure believed genuine as the vendor bought it from its one previous owner.
THE HISTORY AND PAPERWORK
One owner for most of its life
Genuine low mileage
Well-loved and maintained
The vendor bought the 500 as it is and reports that it had only one owner in Italy before he bought it as a recommissioned vehicle.
In his ownership, he’s done little but use it – it has been extremely reliable and has needed no major attention.
Importantly, it comes with all of its original book and documents including its original licence booklet and first-ever set of Italian number plates – a charming slice of history that makes this one a bit special.
Smart red leatherette seats
Correct steering wheel and round speedometer
Factory rubber mats
The cabin is extremely cute, with its distinctive two-spoke steering wheel and painted metal dash, punctuated only by its round speedometer (later cars had an oblong one).
It’s wonderfully basic, with red leatherette seats that look more like primary school chairs, and utilitarian rubber mats where posher cars got carpets. The door cards are in excellent condition
The slide-back fabric roof is a lovely feature and it gives the cabin a wholly different, more spacious perspective, perfect for those long summer days. Open or closed, this is a car whose interior is brimming with character.
White paint in good order
Sliding fabric roof
Repainted a few years ago
Very solid on top and underneath
Having lived all of its life in a Mediterranean climate, the 500 is remarkably solid and has been wax-protected underneath, with no evidence of any structural corrosion.
It is pretty smart overall with no immediate or obvious body concerns. The panels are all straight, all of the trim and badges are correct and it sits well on its tiny wheels – a happy little car in very sound order.
Original engine with genuine low miles
Starts and runs well
The air-cooled twin-cylinder engine in the 500 is simplicity itself and is backed up by a huge network of specialists and spare parts suppliers across Europe, which makes it a really easy and enjoyable classic to own.
According to the vendor the 500 runs and drives very well indeed, with no known issues. He has used the car regularly and describes it as extremely reliable.
This is a terrific example of the more collectable early Nuova 500s, in smart order throughout and in charming, loveable and largely original condition.
It’s a wonderful car to own and enjoy and has immense character.
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1962 Fiat Nuova 500 D
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