£8,995 As stated
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Introduced in 1936, the Fiat 500, commonly known as the Topolino (little mouse), was one of the smallest production models in the world at this time and was aimed as a city car for Italians young and old wishing to step up from the traditional scooter. It was a proper car though with 569cc side valve, water cooled 4-cylinder engine mounted over the front wheels and 4-speed gearbox. The first model, designated the 500A, ran from 1936 to 1948 and came as either a 2-door saloon, convertible (roll-top roof) or a 2-door van. Weighing just 550kg, this little car with just 13bhp soon became hugely popular with an upgraded 500B appearing in 1948 as a one-year-only model offering identical styling but 16bhp and the option of a useful 3-door estate. In 1949, the completely redesigned 500C entered production benefitting from the more powerful engine and offering all four variants seen previously. Production ceased in 1955 with the iconic Nuova 500 appearing just 2 years later. In total over 520, 000 examples were built over a 19-year run with exports going worldwide.
Our car was built in Turin in May 1954 and being a RHD model was destined for the export market finding its home in South Africa. Unfortunately, we know little of it`s life before the late 1980`s. By this time, the Topolino was in the hands of an Italian musician living in Greyville, Durban and from the file of paperwork we have it was this gentleman who ultimately restored the car during the early 1990`s. The car was sold in 1995 - we have a copy of the advert - and was evidently bought by a businessman with an expanding collection of classic cars. In 2004, the Topolino was sold again to a lady in Pinetown, who subsequently became a leading light in the local section of Fiat Club Africa. Importing sundry parts and spares from a Swiss-based specialist, she detailed the car to the standard seen today. In 2016, the car was sold as part of a consignment of classics to a UK-based company arriving in Southampton in the Autumn of that year. It has remained in dry, containerised storage until just 4 weeks ago. Since acquiring the car, we have undertaken light recommissioning to include the replacement of basic ignition parts and overhauled the braking system.
The photographs tell the story. The car is an absolute gem with virtually blemish-free paintwork and a nicely presented and completely retrimmed interior. The underside not surprisingly is as good as the top and entirely rust-free. Turn the ignition on, pull the starter and the little 4-pot fires up instantly. On the road, the little Topolino is a joy with easy gear selection and good brakes. My test run yesterday was full of sunshine and the 6 miles I covered across the downs of West Dorset saw an increasing smile-factor as the car potted along happily at around 35-40mph. It would be the perfect Sunday car for short runs out to the country or local coast with room for 2 people and a hamper. And you’re not likely to see another! Alternatively, it would make a superb promotional vehicle for a restaurant or high-end fashion store.
The Topolino comes with an extensive file from it`s life in South Africa, covering the period from the late 1980`s to 2016, a Nova Certificate from HMRC confirming that all import taxes and duties were paid for in November 2016 and a few spares. It currently is unregistered in the UK and still wears its South African plates but we will happily assist the buyer with the application for first UK registration. Naturally the car is both MoT and tax exempt.
A very rare and endearing little car ready for it`s next adventure.
Shore Classics is based on the West Dorset coast within easy proximity of both Weymouth and the County town of Dorchester. As classic and vintage dealers, we offer full brokerage facilities. So if you require some help and guidance with selling your classic car or motorcycle, just give us a call today.
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