Why a Fiat 500 exhibit, here and now? Well, we have a number of interesting Fiat 500s and variants, with several examples of the 500 since the mid-1930s. Why now? As you may know, the American auto industry fell on hard times a few years ago, and Chrysler was in real danger of going out of existence. Fiat saw an opportunity to reenter the North American market by partnering with Chrysler – a potential win-win for both. Chrysler would get an infusion of much-needed cash plus some fresh small cars, and Fiat would gain a new foothold here with an established dealer network. Fiat had abandoned the US market in the early 1980s, but has remained a huge, successful, diverse manufacturer elsewhere. Fiat’s immediate plans are to bring the New 500 here in the spring of 2011, and other models will surely follow.
Featured in our newest exhibit are the following cars:
- 1936 Fiat Topolino 500A
- 1954 Fiat Topolino 500C
- 1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile
- 1966 Fiat Cinquecento
- 1966 Fiat Nuova 500F
- 1967 Ferves Ranger
- 1970 Autobianchi Bianchina Giardinera
- 1972 Fiat 500K Giardinera
- 1980 Santaandrea Formula Monza 875
- 2008 Fiat New 500
A detailed look at the Fiat 500 can be read on the museum blog in the article The Fiat 500 Family Tree written by museum manager, David Yando.