In a small Italian village, there was an old man named Giuseppe who had spent most of his life as a mechanic. Giuseppe was a very skilled man and had a great love for classic cars, in particular for the classic Fiat 500. He loved them so much, because they reminded him of his youth, and because he had learned to be a mechanic working on classic Fiats 500
One day, as he was walking through the streets of the village, he saw an old Fiat 500 parked in a driveway on the side of the road. It was in terrible shape, covered with so many random objects, with faded paint and flat tires. Giuseppe knew he had to have it.
He knocks on the door of that house to ask for information on the unfortunate Fiat 500. A boy in his thirties opens the door for him. He said he didn’t know much about that piece of scrap metal. It had been his grandfather’s, but then it had been parked there for years. He told Giuseppe that shortly thereafter they would come to pick her up to take her to the landfill. Giuseppe asked if he could take her away. The boy happily agreed that he didn’t have to pay a tow truck to have her taken away.
Once brought home, Giuseppe spent the following 8 months restoring her and bringing her back to life. Now, even though there was still some work to be done, that Fiat 500 looked like a true work of art: fresh paint, redone engine, clean interior.
Giuseppe loved his classic Fiat 500 as if it were a member of his family. He used it every day to go to the town square and attended all the gatherings in its vicinity. His Fiat 500 was always the most admired at every event.
Unfortunately, one day Giuseppe fell seriously ill and did not have enough time to complete the final restoration of his beloved Fiat 500. After his death, the Fiat 500 was left in a garage, forgotten and neglected. History, sadly, repeated itself. More years of neglect would follow, making it lose, for the second time, the beauty and splendor that the loving care of its owners had given it.
But one day, a young vintage car enthusiast, Marco, entered the garage and noticed the Fiat 500. It was in bad condition, but Marco knew it was a special car, he knew its history. He decided to buy it and restore it in honor of Giuseppe.
He spent months working on the car, repairing every piece and caring for it with love and attention. In the end, the Fiat 500 came back to life, as splendid as it had been in the 1960s. Marco attended a classic car event in Giuseppe’s village and brought his beloved Fiat 500 as a tribute to the man who had loved it so much.
The elders of the village recognized the car and remembered Giuseppe. Their eyes filled with tears as they saw the refurbished Fiat 500, shining in the sun, in a tribute to a man who had spent his life repairing and restoring classic cars.
Marco knew that the car was much more than just a piece of metal: it was a treasure, a memory of a person he had loved and who had lived his life appreciating the beauty of the simplest things. And so, Giuseppe’s vintage Fiat 500 lived on, bringing joy and happiness to all who saw it.
What you have just read is a fictional story, but which takes its cue from the many stories that, thanks to our work, we have heard over the years. We like to think that for every Fiat 500 that we finds a new owner, there is a Giuseppe who, from up there, looks at his Fiat 500 and smiles, and maybe even a little moved.
Over the years, many Fiat 500s have come out of our garage, and each of them brings with it a wealth of lived stories, and this is exactly what we love about our vintage cars. Their story.
It was July 22, 2017 when I received an email from Rob asking me for a quote for a Fiat 500 R with the following characteristics:
Fiat 500 R model required.
Standard 500R wheels with new black tires. Same for spare.
Color. Green from the Italian flag
White sun roof.
Steering wheel and Speedo pod in white
Seats and door cards in white
Carpet in black
We immediately considered 3 or 4 different types of green, and in the end Rob decided to go for a Porsche green which, together with the white interior, would make an excellent color match. Rob also confides in me that he has in mind the name to give to his Fiat 500: Bambino
At this point, having defined all the main features of the car, I started looking for a Fiat 500 R suitable for this project.
As usual, I looked at the ads in mine area but found nothing that really convinced me, so I started to broaden the scope of my searches. So it was that I found a 1975 Fiat 500 R in Viterbo, near Rome. Almost 500km from where I was.
I called and got some information on the car. The owner’s son answered the phone. He told me that the Fiat 500 had been bought new and had always been their family’s car. The father, a high school teacher, used it to go to school every morning. Once he retired, however, the Fiat 500 R was no longer used.
It was now about 20 years that the car was parked in the barn of their house in the countryside, and they had thought that, perhaps, it was time to sell it and give this small Fiat 500 R the opportunity to get back on the road.
The car was in Giallo Mostarda color, slightly faded with time, dusty and covered with pigeon droppings and feathers, but overall in very good condition. It had never suffered accidents nor, even less, had any work been done on the bodywork. All in all an excellent specimen!
We agree on the price and proceed with the withdrawal.
After a few days the car arrived in the workshop, and we started to disassemble everything. Conditions were better than we thought. The original floor was also in excellent condition. It was not necessary to replace them. It was the first time this had happened. I was almost moved 🙂
We then began the restoration work, restoring everything that needed to be repaired or replaced.
During that time Rob, he sent me tons of emails and messages with the mantra “only the green”. He knew that we had many other restorations underway, and to prevent the times from getting too long, he put in place the mantra tactic: only the green. It worked, because every morning, as soon as I opened my eyes, the first thing that came to mind was the phrase: “only the green”
It took a few months to finish all the work, but as soon as the body was painted and the engine mounted, Rob came to visit us, so that he could view his Fiat 500, before the interior was also assembled.
After so many emails, it was nice to meet Rob in person, a very nice guy. Obviously we took the opportunity to take him to lunch in a restaurant in the area.
The Fiat 500 R is finally finished and ready for delivery. It so happened that, in the same period, work was completed on another 2 Fiat 500s. One red and one white.
What better occasion to reproduce the Italian flag? We took the opportunity, therefore, to take some photos and some videos. Even when the truck came to load them (all 3 were leaving together) we made sure that the order was the correct one, so as to reproduce the exact sequence of the colors of the Italian flag.
In April 2018 Rob receives his Fiat 500 R, and seeing it live, he decides that the name of this Fiat 500 will be “Valentina”. Good choice!
Over time, Valentina “opens” an account of her instagram @valentina_fiat_500, and becomes a little star on the social network, with over 8000 followers interested in her stories and her travels. You can follow her here:
In July 2020 Valentina was selected to appear, together with 2 other Fiat 500s, in a peroni commercial, recorded in London. Undoubtedly a great satisfaction for Valentina, for Rob and also for us who, on that Fiat 500, put a lot of effort into making it the car that Rob had dreamed of having.
Who knows how many other adventures await Rob and Valentina. We will continue to follow them, and we will continue to be fascinated by the passion that Fiat 500 owners put into their cars.
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