An Iconic Italian Classic

An Iconic Italian Classic

An Iconic Italian Classic

Designs for an inexpensive and economical car for the masses were a main consideration of Europe’s car manufactures in the post-war years. Germany had the VW Beetle, France the Citroen 2CV and the UK had the Morris Minor 1000.

Italy turned to Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino and FIAT’s designer Dante Giacosa to come up with a design for a small, affordable car. Giacosa came up with a petite car capable of maneuvering around the busy streets of Italy with ease. The FIAT 500 or ‘Cinquecento’ as it was originally called, was born.

Introduced in July 1957, the FIAT 500 was just over nine feet long and had a 479cc two-cylinder engine mounted in the rear with a fold-back canvas top. Other variants were introduced later such as the FIAT 500 Sport which featured a 499cc engine delivering 21.5 horsepower, a full metal roof, cream paintwork and a red ‘go-faster’ stripe.

Early models had rear hinged doors which became known as ‘suicide doors’ as they were easily ripped off if accidentally opened while the car was in motion. Thankfully they were replaced by conventional front hinged doors with the introduction of the FIAT 500L in 1965.

Between 1957 and 1975 the small city car proved to be very popular and around four million were produced before production came to an end.

To celebrate this iconic Italian classic, GalaxyXtra has produced this beautiful ceramic mug with a faithfully illustrated wrap-around design in six colours, which is proving every bit as popular as the original Italian city car by visiting here

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