Lot 103

London 2016

1969 Fiat 500 L

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£5,040 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom Flag | London, United Kingdom

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Chassis No.
110F 2066409
  • Restored to its original colours
  • Still retains its original interior

16.5 bhp, 499.5 cc rear-mounted OHV inline twin-cylinder engine, four-speed constant-mesh manual transmission, front A-arm suspension with coil springs, single A-arm rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 1,838 mm

Fiat’s charming little 500, or cinquecento, as it was known in Italy, was a mainstay throughout Europe in the late 1950s and remains so today. Purpose built to provide practical low-cost transportation to the masses, it has become an enduring icon of Italian culture. Despite being purpose built for cost efficiency, the little Fiat’s compact dimensions and fully independent suspension made it a joy to drive, and the cinquecento would come to define its company.

Looking to bring the 500 upmarket, the L, or Lusso model, was introduced in mid-1968. It was easily identifiable by its additional brightwork, radial-ply tyres, revised hubcaps, modernized speedometer with a revised dashboard, and its two-spoke steering wheel. Inside, the 500 L featured revised door handles and switchgear, along with reclining front seats and full carpeting.

The example offered here hails from its native Italy and has been recently restored and refinished in its original shade of white. Its consignor notes that prior to the restoration, no rust or corrosion could be found. Furthermore, the original interior was retained, as it was found to be in exemplary condition as well.

Production of the original 500 lasted through 1975 and over the course of its 18-year production run, nearly four million examples were built. Much like the original Volkswagen Beetle, it is a car that transcends generations and has come to symbolize life in post-war Europe, particularly in Italy. Today, the 500 is cherished for its place in automotive history and European culture, and many can still be found serving their owners as regular drivers throughout Italy and elsewhere. This charming example would surely bring a smile to not only the face of its driver, but also to those who see it out and about.