Sold for $45,100 at 2011 Gooding & Company. The inexpensive 'Cinquecento' was a massed-produced vehicle that was fitted with several innovative mechanical features, courtesy of long-time Fiat engineer, Dante Giacosa. The Topolino has an independent front suspension, four-speed transmission with 3rd and 4th gear synchromesh and hydraulic brakes. Top speed was in the neighborhood of 56 mph. After World War II, the 500B was given an overhead valve engine, and a more modern front end came with 1949's 500C models. The 500C was available as a two-door coupe as well as a coupe with a full sunroof called the 'cabriolet' and a three-door station wagon. The first wagon, a 500B, was called the 'Giardiniera' and was a traditional Woodie. In 1951, it was joined by the all-steel Belvedere.
This Belvedere model with chassis number 440902, was imported to the United States in the 1970s. It is powered by a 569cc four-cylinder overhead valve engine fitted with 2-barrel Weber carburetors. The 16.5 horsepower produced by the engine is sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. There are four-wheel drum brakes and a live-rear axle suspension.
In 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The car was estimated to sell for $25,000 - $35,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $45,100 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2011
Sold for $52,250 at 2015 RM Sothebys. Sold for $46,200 at 2017 RM Sothebys. In 1952, at the Mille Miglia, a Fiat 500C captured 1st place in the Turismo Nazionale 750 class. This particular example is a Fiat 500C Topolino Transformable that has been treated to a restoration since new. In 1952, the 569 cubic centimeter engine (which was mounted 'backwards,' with the radiator located behind the engine) was capable of producing 16 horsepower. A single Solex carburetor has been fitted to the engine and there is a 6.1 gallon gasoline tank. The top speed rose to 59 mph by 1952, which was aided by a 4.875:1 rear end.
The restoration work was completed in 2010. The exterior was finished in green over black which was original to this car when it was sold new in 1952. Inside, there are two large, round gauges - a tachometer located on the driver's side, along with the fuel, oil, and temperature indicators, which were inset into the face of the gauge. The speedometer is set in front of the single passenger.
This car has a black cloth 'transformable' top. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2015
The Fiat Topolino was produced from 1937 through 1955 with nearly 520,000 constructed. The name 'Topolino' was chosen in honor of Mickey Mouse - the name 'Topolino' means 'little mouse.'
The Fiat Company, Fabbrica italiana Automobili Torio, began in 1899 and formed by Giovanni Agnelli. Very early on, the company merged with Ceirano, a bicycle-maker who had switched to auto production. The first Fiat automobile was built by designer Aristide Faccioli and powered by a horizontal twin-cylinder engine that produced 3 horsepower. The company continued with modest success throughout the years. By the 1930s, the prosperity of the company had increased and entered into a whole new realm of popularity. A contest was arranged by Chairman Agnelli who challenged all to create a design for a new small car that could be a suitable rival for the Porsche 'People's Car.' Oreste Lardone, Fiat's chief designer, produced an example that was powered by an air-cooled engine. On its first test drive, the vehicle caught on fire. Agnelli had been onboard during the fire and upon exiting from the car, dismissed Lardone. Dante Giacosa was given the position and produced designs for what would become known as the Fiat 500.
There were three models produced during its production lifespan. All brought with them minor mechanical and cosmetic improvements over their predecessor. In 1955 the Fiat 500 was replaced by the rear-wheel drive Fiat 600 and became the basis for the next generation of the Fiat 500, the 500 Nuova. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007