This 1972 Fiat 500 is an authentic slice of classic Italian style, presented in very good condition, and with an uprated powertrain. It is fitted with the 652cc engine from a Fiat 126, along with the four-speed manual transmission, benefitting from the usefully higher power and torque outputs over the standard 499cc motor. The odometer indicates 68,032 miles, which is believed to be the correct mileage from new.
An original right-hand-drive UK market example, this Fiat 500 was first registered in May 1972. It benefits from an older refurbishment, as the paintwork has certainly been refreshed, and the interior trim is in great condition. The seller, a keen collector of charming small cars, has owned this example for the last four months, but is now offering it to another enthusiast so he can dedicate more time and resources elsewhere.
The bodywork of this Fiat 500 is straight and solid, with good shut lines around the doors, engine lid, and bonnet. It is finished in a vibrant yellow hue, which has the appearance of an older respray. There is a good deal of depth and shine, but a few blemishes as well. Some chips in the paint are visible around the lower body, as well as one or two small dents, and minor bubbling along the bottom of the passenger door and offside rear pillar.
All of the exterior chrome is presentable, with only a few chips and pitting marks. The light lenses are complete and undamaged, though some of the rubber seals around the fittings and windows are aged and starting to crack. Its folding fabric roof is in great shape, with no rips or holes, and fits snugly when closed. The car rides on a set of 12-inch Abarth-style ‘Mille Miglia’ alloy wheels, which are all in very good order.
In the cabin, the car remains highly original. The front and rear seats have all been recently re-trimmed in black vinyl, and the upholstery remains in superb condition. Its door card panels are finished in matching ribbed black vinyl, and have the original plastic door pulls, metal window winders and door release handles.
The body-coloured painted dashboard is accented by the two-spoke steering wheel in contrasting white, with the same finish applied to the cowling around the standalone Veglia Borletti speedometer. The row of toggle switches across the dashboard is present and correct, and the steering column stalks are undamaged. All of the electrical functions work as they should.
The engine bay of this ‘Cinquecento’ is clean and tidy, and the original chassis stamping remains visible, along with the metal identification plate. An upgrade to Fiat 126-specification engine and gearbox is a tried-and-tested route for enhancing the performance of a standard 500. The conversion in this car has been done neatly, and the car reportedly drives very well indeed. Its last scheduled maintenance was carried on in February 2020, which comprised renewal of the engine oil and oil filter.
While the car is eligible for exemption from the annual MOT requirement, the most recent test was carried out on 7 March 2018 at 64,785 miles, which resulted in a clean pass with no advisories whatsoever. The alloy wheels are shod in a set of Hankook Centum tyres in size 145/70 R12, which remain in very good condition with plenty of tread.
This Fiat 500 is a smart example of a classic design icon, and benefits from its original right-hand-drive layout to better suit a UK buyer. It is also eligible for exemption from London’s ULEZ charge. The seller describes it as a great little car that runs well with no faults, and there is no doubt that it packs bags of Italian charm into its compact footprint.