St. John's | Lot 105
1970 Fiat 500L "Cinquecento"
$15,400 USD | Sold
| Plymouth, Michigan
27 July 2013
- From the garage of Jean Jennings, of Automobile Magazine
- Featured in Automobile Magazine and “Jean Knows Cars”
- Offered with signed magazine articles and spare parts
- The car is small—the fun is limitless
16.5 bhp, 29.2 cu. in. overhead-valve inline twin-cylinder engine, four-speed constant-mesh manual transmission, A-arm front suspension with coil springs, single A-arm rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 72.4 in.
In the end, the car hobby is about having fun, and there are few better ways to have pure, unadulterated, suddenly-five-years-old-again fun than a Fiat 500. Jean Jennings, editor in chief of Automobile Magazine, agrees. A self-professed lover of “little cars,” who once raced a Renault LeCar, Jean fell in love with the famous “Cinquecento” while visiting General Motors designer Bob Boniface’s father, Ray, at his Ohio home. Seeing the enjoyment that Mr. Boniface received from his 500s, she asked him to find her one, and he located this car in Italy and imported it for her. Jean had given the “Cinquecento” to her husband as a 49th birthday present. It was prominently featured in two of her columns in Automobile Magazine, in the September 2002 and October 2004 issues, and she compared it to the new Fiat 500 in a video on her website, JeanKnowsCars.com.
Jean speaks of the car with the passion familiar to her readers. “It is basically original; I believe it even has original paint. In its cream over black, it’s so cute and so fun. I’ve taken over 50 kids for rides in the car on the dirt roads around our farm. I have tons of pictures of them climbing through the sunroof and hanging from the windows. It has given us the least problems of any vehicle I’ve ever owned, except for a little cotter pin in the throttle linkage, which we had properly repaired by our local mechanic. It is so much fun, but it is not fast. It needs to be in the city; it is happiest at 40 mph but will travel at 50. In the country, where we live, it piles up traffic in short order. It’s time for this one to go to a new home.”
Jean Jennings will be proudly presenting her beloved “Cinquecento” in person at the sale, and she will sell it complete with signed copies of the Automobile Magazine articles in which it was featured, as well as a small collection of spare parts. This is a special opportunity to acquire an automobile with boundless spirit and unlimited smiles-per-mile, owned by one of the automotive world’s most trusted and enthusiastic authorities.
“It’s a joyous little car—about one half the size of a loaf of bread. We have four big dogs, and it will comfortably hold one human and one dog.”