Bellissimo! Presenting the doughty and dauntless little auto that put postwar Italy on wheels, the Fiat 500. Discover how millions of owners fell in love with the Cinquecento in this original 1960 commercial spot.
There’s not a word of English in this charming 1960 commercial for the Fiat 500, but it’s still totally understandable and enjoyable. Produced from 1957 through 1975, the Cinquecento is one of Italy’s most endearing cars—so much so that Fiat introduced a retro revival version in 2007, in much the same pattern as the 1997 Volkswagen new Beetle or BMW’s reinvention of the BMC Mini in 2001.
The original Nuovo 500 of 1957, spiritual successor to the 1936-1955 Fiat 500 Topolino, was a basic machine with suicide doors, no wheel covers, and a rear-mounted, two-cylinder engine that produced all of 13 horsepower. For 1960, the upgraded 500D (the model depicted in our video below) was treated to aluminum hubcaps, larger taillights, and an increase in output to 18 hp.
Later versions of the 500 received conventional front-hinged doors, fancier interior materials, and front and rear bumper guards. More than four million units were produced in nearly endless variations, including estate wagon and Abarth performance models, before the 500 was discontinued in 1975. This 1960 commercial spot illustrates some of the Cinquecento’s considerable charm. Enjoy.