Fiat “500 R”, 1975
The New Fiat 500 Convertible was presented on 4th July 1957 in Turin with an extremely long procession of cars which, starting from the Mirafiori factory, wound through the streets of the city: the Turin company had placed huge bets on this new model and the initial impact with the public had to be sensational. Unlike what one might think about a car that went down in history, the New 500 experienced a slow and hard-earned commercial beginning: too spartan, too slow and, above all, with a sales price of 490,000 Lire, too close to its older sister, the 600, which had much more to offer.
Fiat ran for cover and, punctually in November 1957, presented a new, more powerful and more refined version: a few essential improvements that, thanks to the immediate use of the car in races, decreed the beginning of its success. A cult symbol for more than one generation, about 4 million Fiat 500s were produced up until 1975 (Autobianchi Bianchina included) and literally invaded the Italian roads, contributing to the country's economic boom.
It was the ideal car for factory workers and newly qualified drivers as well as those who could already afford a second car for the wife or to use around town.
The model on display at Museo Nicolis is a 500 R: it is the last version of the "little big car" and already had the reduced power engine of the 126, its appointed heir.