Written by: Robert Nichols
During the Second World War, Fiat’s offices were occupied by German soldiers and the country was a constant target of Allied bombing. One might expect that those in charge of Fiat would be too consumed with the troubles of war to put any thought into their company. As it turns out, it was during this period that the director and company chairman started to develop a strategy for a post-war vehicle, one that would bring staggering success. The resulting car the most popular Fiat ever made, the Cinquento (meaning 500 in Italian). The 500 was exactly what the company and the country needed at precisely the right time. In a landscape of post-war rebuilding and economic redevelopment, this small and affordable little hatch was just what the doctor ordered. Italian and European populations eagerly responded, buying exactly 3,893,294 models from 1957 – 1975.
The Fiat 500 remained in production for 18 years and then went into hiatus for several decades. In 2011, North America warmly welcomed the charming modern remake of the Fiat 500. The model has since sprouted numerous versions, and has now chosen to reflect on its beginnings even further.
Fiat has introduced the 500 1957 Edition Cabrio, adding to the success of the 2014 release of the 1957 Edition Hatchback. The Cabrio roof features 2 layers and is power operated providing modern function and convenience while replicating the look of the original canvas top.
The 1957 Edition Cabrio is based on the Lounge model. It celebrates its history with three of the original colours: white, light green and celestial blue. Exclusive 16-inch wheels that have a chrome lip and body coloured center caps bear the FIAT emblem and historic FIAT badges on the front fascia and rear lift-gate finish off the retro looks. Complementing the vintage feel is the Ivory interior contrasted with brown leather seats.
On the modern front of the 1957 Edition Cabrio is a sport-tuned suspension, a 276-watt stereo and the 1.4L MultiAir engine. The 500 uses either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. The 1957 Edition offers a driver selectable “Sport” mode, which sharpens up the throttle response, and allows the driver to change gears for improved performance.
The Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio should be available later this year, and Canadian pricing will be released in the near future.