One–Off Zambesi Fiat

Zambesi is one of New Zealand’s most influential and longest running fashion labels and has long been at the cutting edge of men’s and women’s fashion. In 2012 they teamed up with Fiat NZ to create a one-off, special edition Fiat 500, or the Z 500. Now this special car is for sale and you can buy it. 

When it comes to style the Italians know a thing or two. They are often at the forefront of fashion and their cars are frequently very beautiful. And it’s not just supercars, even some of their everyday commuter cars are a statement of style. The original Fiat 500 is considered a design icon and the current model uses the old car for its styling cues, creating one of the most recognisable cars on the road today.

Fiat has history in NZ when it comes to fashion. From 1966 into the early 1970s Fiat sponsored the Miss NZ beauty pageant with Bambinas and Fiat 850 Sports gifted to winners. One of those Fiat 850 Sport Coupes, with a one-off factory gold paint job, sold on Trade Me recently for $17500.

And then there’s Zambesi, one of NZ’s most celebrated fashion houses that have been in business for 40 years and have a large and loyal following. They are NZ fashion royalty.

In 2012 Fiat and Zambesi collaborated on a one of a kind Fiat 500 that was auctioned to raise money for breast cancer research. Zambesi’s Neville Findlay said at the time “I wanted to keep the car equally appealing to both male and female bidders while retaining subtle styling for the personalisation, inside and out. That's why I opted for restyling the body rather than going over the top with graphics.” The result was very striking and the Fiat 500 Sport was transformed with a body kit that included an aggressive reworking of the nose of the car, sporty rear end, special Zambesi branded wheels, and logo stitched front seats.

Today the car has travelled just 37,000kms by two owners and no longer has the original matt black bonnet and “Z” logo (see archive photo) but otherwise it’s all there including the Z 500 personalised plates.

This piece of NZ fashion/motoring history is being auctioned at Turners Dunedin with an estimate of $10,500-$11,500. A future NZ classic? More info here.

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