1960 Fiat 500
Sale price: $29,500.00 make an offer
Sale type: Fixed price listing
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1960 Fiat 500 for sale
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The Fiat 500- or as it's more commonly known. the ‘Cinquecento'. is one of the most recognized and loved vintage cars ever made. It is certainly among the handful of automobiles that helped to define motoring in the 20th Century. The Ford Model T put personal transport within reach of the average citizen of the USA after WWI and the Cinquecento's predecessor. the landmark Fiat 500 ‘Topolino'. began to do the same for Italy in the years immediately preceding WWII.
Designed by the brilliant and innovative engineer Dante Giacosa. the space utilization of the Topolino was remarkable and the amount of room available for the passengers in such a small car was unprecedented. After the war. the 4-cylinder. 500cc Topolino was further developed but it was soon realized that an even smaller. more economical car was needed to move more people from scooters and bicycles into automobile ownership.
The Fiat ‘Nuova 500'. or ‘New 500' was introduced in July 1957 and built until 1975 in 5 series (Nuova. 1957-1960; D. 1960-1965; F. 1965-1972; L. 1968-1972; R. 1972-1975) with over 4. 00. 00 sold. At its launch. the 500 was powered by an air-cooled 479cc two-cylinder. 13hp engine. Initially planned and offered as a very spartan transport device. the first Nuova 500s lacked opening door windows. a rear seat or an ashtray.
The feature set was improved in December of 1957 when the engine was enhanced to develop 15hp and a ‘Normale' model was introduced with a back seat. roll-down windows and column-stalk lighting controls. The 500 moved further forward with the launch of the ‘D' model in 1960. The most important advance was a further boost of power with a 499cc / 17hp engine.
On offer here is one of the rarest of all 500 models. an early 500D 'Tetto Apribile' or open top. It retains many of the details of the initial N model. but with the 'larger' engine. Only 20. 00 were made before modifications to the vent windows. dashboard and other trim were made in late 1960. The ‘tetto apribile' or ‘open top' was the deluxe model. above the ‘trasformabile' with its fully-opening top. Later in 1960. the ‘D' received padded sun visors. revised vent window hinges and latches and finally an ashtray- none of which can be found on this car. Interestingly. because the noise level was lower with the solid rear roof section. the 'Tetto Apribile'. which had the smaller folding opening was a more expensive and higher level model than the 'Transformabile'. which had a fully-opening soft top.
The full ownership history is known from new- it was delivered in Rome. Italy to Nicoletta Ferrara on January 13. 1960 and registered with the plate Roma 377405. It was then sold to Alberto Quaglietti of Ascoli Piceno. Italy on August 29. 1966. The registration number was then changed to AP 63713. to reflect its new residence in the region of Ascoli Piceno. Mr. Quaglietti took the car off the road in 1983. and cancelled the registration so as not to be liable for road taxes. A young relative from Rome discovered the 500 in 2014 and convinced Quaglietti to allow him to restore it. The work was completed in 2015 and the Fiat was purchased by a noted Italian collector car dealer and restorer based in Italy and the UK. Mondan Cars. Ltd. I purchased the car from Mondan last year and imported it to the USA. From new. I am the third registered owner.
This 500 has been restored to as-new condition in the most sensitive and correct manner possible. Unlike some over-restored examples seen at auctions or quickly refurbished examples of cars in poor condition. this is a well-cared for. lightly used vintage Fiat that displays all the charm and delight it must have when Signora Ferrara first drove it from the dealer in January 1960. It retains the original engine as indicated on the chassis ID tag. Care was taken to preserve original items such as the window glass and as much original trim as possible.
The paint has the correct amount of light ‘orange peel' expected. the polished alloy trim is clean and original. not the reproduction chrome pieces so often seen. Some scratching can be seen on some areas of original trim but it does not distract from the overall presentation. The correct rubber mats line the floors. with a set of period-type blue over mats for added dash. The wiring loom has been completely replaced. the engine rebuilt. brakes. wheel cylinders and steering serviced. New upholstery of the correct type vinyl in two-tone layout has been fitted and the new correct vinyl opening sunroof is perfect.
Riding on tubeless bias-ply 125-12 BF Goodrich whitewall tires. this Fiat 500D handles as it did when new- a road experience that involves the driver at every moment. adding to the fun. The 17hp the engine puts out is certainly not going to win you many- well. any- stop light grand prix. but with a weight of around 1000lbs. once the little Fiat gets going. you can keep up with city traffic quite well. The four-speed gearbox shifts well through the long handle and the engine is flexible enough that 1st gear is really only necessary from a complete stop. There are 67. 04km (42. 94mi) showing on the odometer as of the listing. It may be actual. although there are no records to prove this.
As a very rare variant with the most desirable ‘suicide' doors. a fully known history from new and superbly presented. this should not be confused or compared to a 1970s. plastic trimmed. used up car with a quick cheap re-spray and a set of ill-fitting seat covers. If you are an enthusiast with taste and knowledge. you will soon see that this Fiat 500D stands well apart from most others of its type.
I welcome a thorough inspection to prove the point.
Terms: This car is a stunning example - however it is a 57-year-old automobile. The best effort has been made to accurately represent it. The vehicle is to be purchased AS-IS. WHERE IS with no warranty expressed or implied. The buyer is responsible for all transportation arrangements and costs. The listing may be discontinued at any time should the vehicle be sold through a local notice. Payment must be via bank-issued cashier's check or wire transfer. A $500 deposit is due within 24 hours after making an accepted offer. Balance must be settled within 7 days. Please ask all questions before entering into a contract to purchase the vehicle.
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