During the Second World War, Fiat’s offices were occupied by German soldiers, and the country was the target of allied bombing.
One might expect that those in charge of Fiat would be too consumed with the troubles of war to put any thought into their company.
Actually, it was during this period that the director and company chairman started to develop a strategy for a post war vehicle.
The result became the most popular Fiat ever made, the Cinquento (500).
The Fiat 500 was precisely what the company and the country needed at exactly the right time.
With the threat of war gone the work of rebuilding the country and its economy began. The 500 was cheap and efficient, perfect for the general population who responded buying exactly 3,893,294 500’s from 1957 – 1975.
The Fiat 500 was in production for 18 years and then went into hiatus for several decades.
In 2011 North America warmly welcomed the charming remake of the Fiat 500. The brand has since sprouted numerous versions, but has now chosen to reflect on its beginnings.
For 2016 Fiat has introduced the 500 1957 Edition Cabrio to add to the success of the 2014 release of the 1957 Edition Hatchback.
The Cabrio roof features 2 layers and is power operated making it modern in function and convenience while reflecting the look of the original canvas top. The roof can be retracted at speeds up to 60 mph as far as the rear spoiler. At 50 mph or lower if you press the roof button again it tucks away behind the rear seat head restraints.
The 1957 Edition is based on the Lounge model. Helping the 1957 Edition celebrate its roots will be 3 of the original colours: White, light green and celestial blue.
Exclusive 16-inch wheels that have a chrome lip and body coloured center caps sport the FIAT emblem and historic FIAT badges on the front fascia and rear lift-gate. Complementing the vintage feel is the Ivory interior contrasted with brown leather seats.
On the modern front, the 1957 Edition has a sport tuned suspension, a 276-watt stereo and the 1.4L MultiAir engine.
The 500 uses either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic, and is capable of delivering 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. The 1957 Edition offers a driver selectable “Sport” mode, which sharpens up the throttle response, and allows the driver to change gears for improved performance.
The Fiat 500 1957 Edition starts at $24,700, which is only $1,900 more than the base 500C Lounge model, and will be available this spring.