1963 Fiat 500

Giardiniera / Giardinetta

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1963
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    302
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Blue
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

The Station Wagon version of the iconic Nuova 500, namely the Giardiniera, arrived in 1961 as the successor of the famous 500C Belvedere. The 500's mechanicals proved perfect to carry on the necessary modifications to create a utility station wagon. Thanks to a redesigned cooling system and the horizontal repositioning of the engine, known in this version as the Type 120, (or as Fiat called it "a sogliola", meaning "sole style"), allowed to have a bigger and flat cargo space in the back. To increase the space, the whole car had bigger dimensions than the regular 500, resulting in a wheelbase of 1,940 meters, a height of 1,354 meters and a width of 1,323 meters. Also the Giardiniera benefitted from stronger suspensions, better suited to carry more loads and the Fiat 600's brakes. Also, giving the redesigned rear section, the air intake was redesigned and repositioned in the two rear C pillars. Performance remained unchanged from the regular 500 as the Giardiniera could reach a top speed of 95 kph thanks to its 17,5 hp twin cylinder engine.
Although such a model never had any competition history for obvious reasons, its engine with the distinctive flat layout proved the ideal for Carlo Abarth for his entry-level Formula Monza single seaters.
The Giardiniera was a working man's automobile and could transport 4 people + 40 kilos of luggage or 2 people and 200kilos of cargo. Also the rear seats could be folded to increase cargo space this 500 was particularly successful with craftsmen and families looking for a cheaper station wagon. It was produced in Fiat's plant in Turin, Mirafiori, until production was shifted to the Autobianchi's factory in Desio in the province of Milan until end of production in 1977.