"The Fiat 500 was produced between 1957 and 1975 with limited production of the Fiat 500 K estate continuing until 1977. Despite its diminutive size, the 500 proved to be an enormously practical and popular car throughout Europe capturing the hearts and minds of the public. Launched as the Nuova 500, it was marketed as a cheap and practical town car. They only measured three metres long and were originally powered by a tiny 479cc two-cylinder, air-cooled engine, the 500 redefined the term 'small car' and is considered one of the first city cars.
Frixos Demetriou was a successful casino owner in Cyprus and the owner of the Olympic Gaming Club in London. While in Milan his flight to Athens was diverted, he spotted an unusual looking car by the airport and on enquiry discovered that it was a Fiat 500 Gamine Vignale. The Gamine was a small two-seater roadster produced by Carozzeria Vignale from 1967 to 1971, based on the Fiat 500 platform using the two-cylinder air cooled engine from the 500 Sport. Demetriou was looking to diversify his business interests and sensing an opportunity he returned via Turin, securing the rights to sell Vignale products in the UK. He bought 200 cars upfront, paying with cash and committed to buy the next six months production if Vignale would manufacture the car in righthand drive form. The Gamine two-seater was well received, becoming trendy with the Chelsea set - even nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow owned one.
Originally registered on 1st October 1973 this genuine UK righthand drive Gamine example has been fully restored and as such presents in good condition throughout. Mechanically this example appears to have benefitted from significant investment, the 499cc engine started immediately when requested and ran very well. The bodywork and trim was taken care of by a respected London based restorer, the red coachwork is to a very high standard as is the beige leather trim. Often described as a ‘Noddy car’ this Fiat 500 Gamine by Vignale is supplied with a V5C registration document and a current MoT test certificate valid until 8th November 2019.