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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fiat 500 (1957-1975)


In the 50s, when Europe's roads traveled a lot mikrosamochodów, Fiat unveiled the successor to the immensely popular Topolino. The Italian company does not imitate other manufacturers, whose designs resemble, in principle, enclosed motorcycles. Fiat has created a true small car. Debuting in 1957, a model called Nuova 500 of successfully carrying 4 passengers and 50 kg of baggage. 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine with a capacity of 479 cc with no hassle gave the light, weighing just 680 kg, the car to a speed of 90 km / h.

Produced for nearly 19 years the Fiat 500 has undergone several modifications. Pretty soon received a more powerful 21-hp engine with a capacity of 499.5 cc, first used in a Sport version. In the years 1972-1975 the most recent variation of R (Rinnovata) fueled unit with a capacity of 594 cc and under 23 hp. Over the years, also changed his appearance and equipment.

As with the Topolino Belvedere, which successfully combined the advantages of a small car with pretty large transport capacity, it was decided to construct a similar vehicle based on the Fiat 500 The new model was designed by engineer Dante Giacosa was presented in 1960. The car was named Giardiniera, a gardener. Its original price was 565 thousand. lire. At the end of production in 1977 had already paid 1.72 million lire. Well, the Italian currency is terribly devalued.

Giardiniera driven by the same engine as the 500th model However, to save more space, it has been rotated clockwise by 90 degrees. This solution is used instead of the previously forced the use Weber 26 IMB carburettor Weber 26 OC. The cooling system was similar to that used in other vehicles, such as the VW Transporter. The air is sucked through the vents in the rear pillars and directed special channels on the fan.

New Fiat 500 Porter was about 21 cm longer than its original clearance. From 4 passenger cargo space is about 250 liters, after the rear row of seats and load the car up to the roof increases almost fourfold, and all of the small size of the vehicle. Loading area was located at a height of 60 cm.

Third, the rear doors open to the left. This enabled safe access to the cargo area. The car also had a retractable roof material. This allowed the transport of larger items. Until the end of production Giardiniera front door remained open into the wind, although in a civilian version of their hinges moved to the front edge.

Small "gardener" for many years faithfully served fine Italian craftsmen or farmers. And even today one finds it still carries cargo. Some of their owners work tirelessly to help more than 40 years. Fiat Giardiniery production ended in 1967. Over the next 10 years was still produced in factories Autobianchi.

Popular Fiat 500 in the 70s replaced by a new model of the 126th Italian designers based on his attempt to construct a similar model to Giardiniery. This time I ended up just a prototype.