Monday, 5 October 2015

Fiat-Abarth 595

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The Fiat 500, the cheeky little poppet that mobilised post-war Italy, had an impressively long production run. Debuting in 1957 as the Nuova 500, it was then revised as the 500 D in 1960, passing variously through the letters K, F, L and R before the machines finally ceased churning them out in 1975. In that time, almost 3.9m of them found homes.
The one you're looking at here is a 500 D (with suicide doors and a roof that folds further back than its predecessor), from 1963. Furthermore, it's an official Abarth 595 - the tuning firm increased the bore to up the swept volume to 593cc, raising power from 17 to 30bhp; it was now able to top 60mph, which was pretty racy in something so small...
It's dripping in period details too - the 130km/h speedo, the engine cover prop to improve cooling, the oh-so retro scorpion badging that Fiat are so keen to appropriate for their modern 595s and, of course, that lipstick-red interior. Ineffably cute, and probably the most fun you can have with 30bhp.

Spotted at Joe Macari - more photos here.

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