Automakers love putting out tributes to past cars. All they have to do is slap on some new bodywork, a few interior changes, and a much larger sticker price. Normally these things kind of piss me off, but Fiat’s 500 “1957 Edition” – or Cinquecento, in Italian – is a different story.
Practically speaking, this special package is still a rip-off. You aren’t paying for a technically improved car, the Cinquecento features the running gear from the standard 500 and the suspension from the Abarth. Essentially, then, you are paying for design and nostalgia. But here, you actually get a lot of both.
The car is offered in some of the same shades as the original: Bianco, Verde Chiaro and, Celeste – otherwise known as white, light green and “celestial” blue. These colors aren’t for everyone, but if you are like me they remind you of the kitchen appliances in your grandmother’s house.
There are other retro touches; the wheels, for example, are designed to evoke the flying saucer hubcaps the original Fiat 500 rocked. All the insignia use the historic Fiat emblem, and the body trim tries to recapture some of the funky details from its forebear.
Unsurprisingly, the interior features throwback leather bucket seats. They look a bit odd against the modern materials featured on the dash, but I still like them. The door panels, steering wheel and even the frog around the gearshift have been designed to match the new – or should I say old – seats.
It’s these touches that make me like the Fiat 500 Cinquecento more than the average tribute car. They give it a sense of really being from a different time. I don’t know that it is worth the money, but I am glad that it got made if for no other reason than it is hilarious to see how enormous the current 500 is compared to the original.
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