One of our age old dreams came to fruition this year: to own an original Fiat 500. You will have all seen them many, many times; on trips to
We have always harboured a vaguely obsessive and financially suicidal attraction to old cars, especially the Fiat Cinquecento. But there, sitting forlornly beneath a layer of pine needles in the local carrozzeria forecourt (body shop or panel-beaters), was a Cinquecento with what appeared to be an extension at the back. We had never clapped eyes on one before and almost caused a pile up as we screeched to a halt and pulled in to the entrance. The boss informed us that this was one of the last of the Fiat 500 Giardiniere (estate versions of the usual 500), was owned by a local family of some standing and was, regrettably for my wallet it turned out, for sale… Now, we decided not to tell our parents about this latest dream vehicle too hastily, having grown used to glazed eyes or strained phone silences at the mention of any vehicle that did not run and required “a bit of work”. The stationary (and rusting) 1976 Mercedes camper van, sat in my poor parents’ back garden for years, stands as unwavering testimony to our first youthful foray into classic car buying. Youngsters eh, they just don’t think ahead do they?