Curbside Classics On The Streets Of Rome: Oldies, Oddities & Goodies, Part 1


Last week I visited Rome (Italy, of course) with my wife. The best way to forget you’re on a romantic trip is to concentrate on the cars around you, so I did.



I’m kidding, of course – it was very romantic, thank you, and I recommend it to any couple. With your permissions, I’ll skip further relationship advice and move on to the CCs found on this trip.

Because of the vast amount of photos, I’ve divided this post into two parts- this one will concentrate on the more common CCs one can see on the typical Roman street, such as the Fiat Panda at the top of this post. Here are some more:


I promise these are all different Pandas, shot in different locations.

When I was growing up, the Panda was something of a joke- not the car itself, but its perceived image at the time, of something small, uninspiring born to do an A-to-B job through the smallest of alleys.

Fast forward thirty-five years, and it’s suddenly sooo cute. And so simple, it’s genius- anyone can fix it. Plus, you can understand why so many of them are still around in Roma, where the narrow streets are REALLY narrow.

Fiat has tried to replicate the Panda with several models, such as the Cinquecento and its successor, the Seicento:


The streets are littered with these. If you look hard, you can even find the bigger Supermini Fiat- the Uno:


Curiously, considering this is Fiat country I would expect to find more, but they are somewhat rare.


This one is the Uno-based Fiorino, still at work.

The Fiat minis are kept company by hordes of Lancia Ypsilons, mostly the first and second generations:


They all look incredibly neglected, like their owners have given up on them. First gen. look so ugly, they’re starting to appeal to me.


A car that could be called a predecessor to the Ypsilon is this, the Autobianchi Y10. It was sold under the Lancia moniker in different countries for marketing reasons , but in reality it is the last “true” Autobianchi. These are beginning to be very rare. This is also a car I remember, growing up in my teens during the Eighties. And do you recall the “Fila” model?


All these cars are, of course, spiritual grandchildren of the legendary Fiat 500, of which one can witness quite a few roaming the streets.


Some Minis were also present, generally not in the best of condition.


You could see more and more Japanese and Korean small cars, holding their own to the Italian brigade. The Nissans looked bit-up, but the rest were quite preserved.


Many nasty\dull Aixam micro-cars were all around. Yes, I know they make sense facing the narrow streets of Rome, but come on- surly motoring can do better than this (Ahem, Panda).


Here’s another, the Ital Car. also note the Smart, of which there were plenty to be seen.


Small and narrow streets mean small Service vehicles, such as this- you know this one.


Modern equivalents of the Ape. The top one was electric.

Italy also means Alfa Romeo:



This 156 was absolutely pristine- I just had to post it on its own.


Fiat styling at its best- well, at least it’s different, not generic like the rest of its class. And it’s very clever inside. Later Honda “stole” the idea and called it the F-RV. Also, note the BMW i3 parking behind it- not common at all (yet?).

And now for some big(ger) cars:


That Fiat Ducato is about as big as you can get driving in Rome.

I’ve also included some classic motorcycles:



But be careful- Motorcycling is dangerous…

And now for some police cars. Those were all around the sites of Rome, presumably because of an ISIS threat, or maybe just to reassure tourists. All kinds, shapes and manufacturers were present. Polizia, Carbinieri and army:



And not just Italian cars, as this photo exemplifies. I saw a brand new Polizia Seat Leon and more.

I’ll finish off this post with a photo that is so CC- could these two cars be more different, one from another?


The second part will feature yet more obscure and rare cars, stay tuned.