The Fantastic Fiat 500
On Display Now Through March 4th, 2024
Driven by the economic hardship of the times, and with a push to get more Italians behind the wheel, in 1936 Fiat debuted a new low-cost model for the masses: the 500. Fiat’s talented young engineer, Dante Giacosa, had delivered a stylish two-seater runabout for under 9,000 lire ($450 USD in 1936). The 500’s headlamps, perched atop its fenders, reminded many Italians of mouse ears, earning it the nickname of “Topolino”, or little mouse .
The endearing Topolino’s succesor was launched in 1957. The new, or Nuova, 500 had its air-cooled, twin-cylinder engine moved to the rear, to maximize space up front. The new 500 proved to be a stylish and durable city car, and became an legend in its own right.
Lane Motor Museum is proud to celebrate the evolution of that icon of Italian style and engineering brilliance, Fiat’s Fantastic 500!