Fiat, formed in 1899, grew to be one of the largest car builders in the world. Although the Italian company is best known for its small cars and sport coupes, it has actually designed and built more products than General Motors.
The Topolino (Italian for 'little mouse') was built from 1936 to 1955 as models 500, 500B and 500C. The 500B was built in 1948 and 1949, with 21,200 produced. Approximately 1,000 Topolino's were imported to the United States, and about half of them were 500B's. They were powered by a 569cc (36 cubic-inch) 4-cylinder overhead valve engine producing 16 horsepower. It was advertised as capable of 60 miles per hour and 60 miles per gallon. The original selling price was just over $500.
The car displayed here was acquired by the current owners fifty years ago, in 1957. The restoration project was put on the back burner while parts were acquired and fabricated, but the ground-up restoration began in earnest in 1992 and was completed nine painstaking years later. The entire project was a family affair, with sons and daughters fully involved. This little piece of Italy, now painted Ferrari red, is enjoyed daily.Also photographed at :