2007 Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction
1949 Fiat 500C 'Topolino' Coupe
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 569cc|
This lot is no longer available
The original Topolino - Italian for little mouse - was introduced in 1936 as Fiat's answer to the Austin Seven and like that car, was primarily aimed at bringing cheap motoring to the masses. Designed by the hugely talented Dante Giacosa, the Topolino (or Tipo 500 as it was designated by Fiat) was cute, full of character and proved hugely popular in Italy. In 1948, the original model was revised and became the 500B, with the original side-valve engine giving way to a new overhead-valve design. Developing a heady 16.5 horsepower, the 500B also boasted improved brakes, more refined suspension along with a better gearbox and clutch. A total of 21,000 were produced before the model underwent further development, particularly in the styling department, in 1949 and the Topolino became the Tipo 500C. Built as a two-seater, the baby Fiat was available with a variety of body styles but the most popular was the versatile saloon with full-length sunroof. Today, any Topolino is a rare sight on Australia's roads but they remain very popular with collectors of Italian cars and have a strong following.