Replacement for FIAT's much-loved 500 'Topolino', the Nuova 500 debuted in 1957. A radical departure from its predecessor's essentially pre-war design, FIAT's new baby featured unitary construction, an opening fabric roof and all-independent suspension while carrying its engine at the rear. The 479cc power unit was an air-cooled overhead-valve twin and the gearbox a four-speeder. The basic 500's austerity was not well received, prompting the introduction of a revised and better equipped version endowed with refinements such as wind-down windows, upholstered rear seat, column-mounted switch gear stalks and hubcaps. Introduced in 1960, the 500D used the 499.5cc engine of the 500 Sport in de-tuned form. In 1965 it was superseded by the 500F, the latter's altered bodywork incorporating front-hinged doors and a shortened sunroof, while mechanical improvements included a strengthened transmission. Maximum power increased to 22bhp and the top speed to within a whisker of 60mph.
Introduced in 1968 alongside the standard 500F, the deluxe 500L, while mechanically identical, came with exterior cosmetic enhancements and an improved interior featuring new instrument panel, seats, and floor covering. An immense success for FIAT, almost 3,000,000 of these adorable little cars had been sold when production ceased in 1975. The 500 remains as popular today as it ever was, and recently was voted 'Sexiest Car' by the readers of Top Gear magazine.
A left-hand drive model, this FIAT 500L benefits from a bare-shell restoration by Board Brothers costing in excess of £15,000. Extensively upgraded, it has been fitted with a low-mileage FIAT 126 engine and gearbox and has a claimed top speed of 80mph (130km/h). New parts fitted in the course of the rebuild include the rear wishbones, springs, shock absorbers and CV joints; inner and outer rear wings; front shock absorbers; brake master cylinder; rear wheel bearings; fuel lines; front windscreen and all rubbers; and the clutch, throttle, starter, and choke cables. Other noteworthy features include a stronger FIAT 126 rear engine mount panel; bespoke interior by The Trim Centre, Nuneaton with blue mohair roof (cost £3,000); powder-coated wheels by Motor Wheel Services (x5); front disc brakes; MPH speedometer; 123 electronic ignition; and a solid state ignition coil. Said to drive beautifully, this excitingly modified FIAT 500 is offered with restoration invoices, current MoT, and a V5C document.