CC’er AmazonRay was in Italy a while back, and sent me pictures of this Fiat 500 Giardiniera, the station wagon version of that little dwarf. When I say “sent me pictures”, I mean that in the old-fashioned way, as in prints in the mail. My scanner is not very good, so excuse the quality. But this is a car we have not seen yet at CC, so we’ll take the Giardinera any way we can, even with a new 500 intruding into the shot. That just goes to show how tiny the original was.
The Giardiniera was the longest-running model of the 500, produced all the way through 1975, although the very latest versions actually carried Autobianchi badging, where most of these were actually built.
The 500’s 17hp 499cc air-cooled twin had to be laid flat to make it work as a station wagon. That certainly improved its utility. If there was a modern Giardiniera version of the current 500, I know someone in my house here who would be all over it. The current 500 just doesn’t have enough room in the back for the occasional bale of straw, a big dog or…Come on Fiat, the 500L just doesn’t cut it, cuteness wise. And we all know that’s what really counts.