Cheaper Than an Old One - 5th September, 2017

The new Fiat 500 is bigger, more powerful, more refined, safer and faster than the original Bambina. But this 2014 Sport model has a price expectation significantly less than a decent vintage one. It’s NZ new with low kilometres and it’s being auctioned tomorrow.

The original 500 hit the streets of Italy in 1957. It was badged the Nuova (new) 500 as it was replacing the old 500 Topolino. By the time its run ended in 1975 Fiat had sold nearly 4 million of them.

New Zealand has an important history with the original 500, too. They were assembled in Auckland and were a very popular seller here. We all knew the 500 as the “Bambina” because that was what the badge said. But NZ was the only place in the world where that name was used. Today, due to the ravages of time and rust, few remain so a good one will cost more than our featured 2014 model.

The new car has a front mounted, water cooled, 1368cc engine and a 5 speed manual/auto gearbox. The old one had a rear mounted, air cooled, 500cc engine with a 4 speed crash manual gearbox. The new one will go from 0-100kph in around 11 seconds. The old one would take a year, and only if there was a tail wind. The new one has airbags, air conditioning, nice stereo, Bluetooth, electric windows, power steering, central locking, traction control... The old one has a sunroof and a heater (and by heater I really mean a basic valve that allows warm air in from the engine bay which is usually accompanied by the smell of exhaust fumes and burnt oil). So the new one wins at Top Trumps but, frankly, nothing can beat the original for character.

So if you’re looking for a sporty city car that’s modern, easy on fuel and is not a Suzuki Swift then this wee Fiat makes a lot of sense. It’s being auctioned at Turners Penrose Tomorrow, More details here.

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