The Chicago Car Club is interested in classic cars of all makes and models, especially a 1957-1975 Fiat 500. We make the process of selling your 1957-1975 Fiat 500 quick and painless. In just a matter of hours we will have your classic valued and, if you do so choose, turned into money in your pocket. All it takes is a phone call or electronic inquiry to get the ball rolling.
The 500, or “Cinquecento” in Italian, was the most popular car ever built by the Italian car maker Fiat. The second generation of these cars, called “Nuova,” or “New,” were built between 1957 and 1975. It was very successfully marketed as a small, affordable family car. Nearly 4 million of these small cars were built over the course of its 18 year run. It was a triumphant return for Fiat and a symbol of Italy’s post-war recovery.
The Nuova Fiat 500 that was introduced in 1957 was a replacement for the “Topolino” 500, meaning “Little Mouse,” produced between 1936 and 1955. Both were small cars but did not look very similar. The Topolino had a front engine, while the Nuova 2nd generation car had a rear mounted engine with rear wheel drive. When it first came out, the Nuova had suicide doors.
Initial sales were weak, so they introduced to new versions called the “Economica” and the “Normale.” Each of these tiny cars was powered by a slightly bigger engine, which still only produced 15 horsepower. The Normale offered more interior options and the Economica was a bit less expensive.
During the late ’50s, Fiat had racing success with the 500. They took the first 4 places in the Hockenheim 12-Hour endurance race. To celebrate this victory and capitalize on the publicity, they came out with a sport model with a 499cc engine that produced 21.5 horsepower. It added a sporty racing stripe or two tone paint job and a solid roof replaced the canvas top. A 500D version kept the stripes and 499cc engine and also kept the top. It produced 18 hp. The “Giardiniera,” meaning “Gardener,” came out in 1960 with a 4 inch longer wheelbase and a space-saving 90 degree rotated engine. It traded out the suicide doors for regular facing doors. In 1968 they came out with the “Lusso,” or “Luxury” model, which came with features like a revised dashboard, reclining seats and carpeting. The last model, the “Rinnovata” (“Renewed”), had a 594 cc, 18 hp engine borrowed from the Fiat 126. Sales were weak so Fiat discontinued the 500 for many years.
In 2007 Fiat brought back the 500 with modern engineering. Sales have been brisk and the cult following for this small car has added another generation of happy drivers.