In a post war world, the market demanded economy cars that were reliable and inexpensive to run. The first model, a front engine 2-door coupe was released in 1949; however, it wasn’t until 1957 that the popular rear- engine model became available. Thanks to its diminutive size the Fiat proved to be enormously practical and successful on the European continent. Tuning company Abarth, famously produced sport model, they managed to squeeze extra power from the engine and optimise its potential. Sadly, production of the 500 ended in 1975; however, in 2007 on the 50th anniversary of the rear-engine Fiat 500 the company released a new model featuring a distinctive “retro” style.
Karl Alberto Abarth was born on November 15 1908, in Vienna, Austria, under the astrological symbol of the scorpion that would later become the company’s famous logo. In 1958, Abarth created the masterpiece that spread his name around the world, the Fiat 500 Abarth. Although the car featured near-standard bodywork, the 479 cc engine’s compression ratio was increased (from 6.55:1 to 10.5:1), a Weber 26 IMB carburettor was fitted, and the intake and fuel systems were optimised. Together with a tuned Abarth exhaust, power was now up to 26 bhp (from 13 bhp). The cars diminutive proportions belie very clever packaging and the little car could carry four in comfort. It’s a quirky car to drive, with an air-cooled, 600cc, twin-cylinder, rear mounted engine and a non-synchromesh ‘crash’ gearbox, like a true vintage.
Abarth had proven that small runabouts could be used as the basis for fast and reliable racing cars, and for them, a new phrase was coined: “small but wicked.” The relationship between the companies was solidified when Fiat financially rewarded Abarth depending on the amount of racing victories achieved. After notching up an incredible run of victories the Fiat-Abarth partnership become known across the world and their relationship continues to flourish in the modern Fiat Abarth range.
Extensively modified, this charismatic little car lives up to the promise of its outward appearance by delivering a scintillating sensory package of old school motoring pleasure. The, now bored out to 700cc motor, ported and with special pistons as well as a lightened flywheel, certainly produces the goods. With the rasping exhaust note turning as many heads as the careful facsimile of Abarth styling, smiles per mile are guaranteed. Running on new alloy wheels with fresh tyres, backed up by new disc brakes, the car is ready for the road and available for immediate delivery.
The Fiat 500 has become one of the most endearing cars of all time. Today it’s impossible to drive a classic Fiat 500 without attracting admiring glances, especially in this striking green example with matching interior detail. The interior is upholstered with pristine black leather and the contrasting white steering wheel will ensure your vehicle will stand out.