Fiat “501 torpedo”, 1920
The 501 was the first car designed by Fiat after the Great War and the first step towards the economy car.
Produced to fulfill the requirements of the average family, the 501 was cheap, robust and easy to maintain. It was successful all around the world thanks also to the wide range of bodies available: torpedo, roadster, landaulet, limousine, saloon, cabriolet, taxi, sports torpedo.
The car shown in the museum, as the other 501 on display, is fitted with a torpedo body; it was probably the most popular version at the time.
The body was slightly modified to widen the rear seats and create enough space for three passengers.
It’s interesting to notice the license plate: VR 921. It is original but probably not the first registration plate.
In fact, until 1927 the registration plate was only numerical: the first two numbers, in red, identified the province; the others, in black, was the car registration number. In 1927 the new alpha numerical system was introduced: the province was identified by letters (on this car VR stands for Verona) and the car registration numbering restarted from 1.