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Driving A Nation Forward

Seeking to boost mobility and car ownership, the Italian government struck an innovative deal with the country’s most important car manufacturer. Politicians pledged to invest in fast highways connecting up the important cities of the long, thin country, if Fiat committed to building a new car that was affordable to almost everyone.


Designed by Dante Giacosa in 1957, the Nuova 500 was a tiny four-seater with an air-cooled, two-cylinder engine in its stubby tail. This compact four-seater captured the public’s imagination, and its low purchase price and running costs meant that even those more accustomed to owning scooters finally had the realistic prospect of trading up to four wheels.

The little car was intrinsic to a consumer boom in 1960s’ Italy that transformed the country, and Fiat succeeded in producing one of the first city cars able to navigate the country’s narrow streets—its racing potential was later spotted by Abarth. From a slow start, the Fiat Nuova 500 became a huge success, and went on to sell more than 4 million examples.

A film crew working for Fiat attempt to portray the new-found freedom available to owners of the Nuova 500.


It is a quote. The Classic Car Book – The Definitive Visual History 2016

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