I almost never find anything for a Street Parked post. Yet, here I am on Vashon Island, and I stumble on this Fiat 850 Abarth at a gas station! It was just tucked over on the side of the road, so I pulled a quick U-Turn to grab some pictures.
I saw this charming little wagon while strolling through Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood. Today’s subject is a Fiat 500 Topolino Belvedere made some time between 1951 and 1955. This is the original, original Fiat 500. The car my brand new 500 Abarth was styled after was called the “Nuova 500″, or “New 500″. This car was the first mass market Fiat sold to every Italian, starting in 1936.
Fiat popularity is experiencing a groundswell in North America with sales growing each month. The diminutive scamp 500 is the only model currently on sale here in North America and is available in an array of flavors, from econo grade Pop to chic Lounge and jaw droppingly fun Abarth. In the next year or so, Fiat will be adding this car, the Panda-esque 500L, to its North American line up. I predict the 500L will sell well as Fiat does a really good job building four door hatch/wagon things. The thing that mystifies me is why is this car disguised?
It has already been revealed in all its Panda-like glory to the public at the Geneva Motor Show. Could they be trying to hide the differences that the North American version will have? Perhaps, but this car appears to be a Euro-spec 500L due to the lack of amber and red side reflectors. To add fuel to the mystery, this car was parked in the garage of the building that houses Edmunds Inside Line‘s offices in Detroit. What’s going on here? Is Fiat just teasing us while they prepare a special edition Abarth 500 convertible for me to buy?
More pictures after the jump. Caution: awesome Italian interior styling ahead.
Go to Fiat USA’s Facebook “Drive For The Fans” page and pick my team: Bad Boys. I will drive flat out to win you a chance at 500 Abarth hoonage, because flat out is how I drive.
Be sure to pick team Bad Boys by Wednesday April 25, the other teams won’t drive flat out like we will.
Fiat is holding a contest to select the first group of people to attend the premier Fiat 500 Abarth Driving Experience. If you are selected, you’ll get an all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas where you’ll be taught how to hoon the Fiat 500 Abarth in autocross and open track environments. There is also a lapping competition involved, in which I suspect readers of StartingGrid are likely to perform well. Sounds like a blast to me, where is my Elvis cape?
The Fiat 500 has been on sale in the United States for just under a year. The 500 has been reviewed well and is selling at a good pace. Nearly every reviewer has made mention of the coming Abarth model and what the addition of 69 horsepower will do to an already fun to drive car.
Regular readers of my posts (both of you) know that I like Fiat 500s and am considering buying one. Now, thanks to our friend FIATALY, we present these shots of the new North American version of the Fiat 500 Abarth. View FIATALY’s facebook page for all sorts of interesting Fiat 500 stuff!
A bunch of motorsport friends and I have lately been discussing the new Fiat 500. Among my wife’s and my plans for the weekend is to go test drive a brand new Fiat 500. We have our eyes on a little commuter car and a Fiat 500 Abarth just might fit the bill. Fiat 500s are ubiquitous in Italy, where they are called “Cinquecento”. Make the jump to see a few Cinquecentos (say “Chin-kwah-chen-toe”) from a recent trip to Italy.