1973 Fiat 500K "Giardiniera"
1973 Fiat 500K "Giardiniera"
- 17,250 Miles from New
- Completely Original Paint, Interior, Panels Etc
- A Rust Free Example that has never been welded.
- One Lady Owner from New until 2004
- Now Road Fund Licence Exempt
Fiat had plans for a compact and affordable car as early as 1919, but it was not until 1937 that an actual production car would be launched in the form of the 500 “Topolino”. The Topolino, which translates as the “little mouse” in Italian, became the people’s choice in Italy with production continuing right on through until 1957, when a replacement was launched in the form of the Nuova 500 (New 500). The “new” 500 needs no introduction, it is quite possibly the most iconic car ever made and one that conjures idyllic images of Italy, Italians and “La Dolce Vita”.
There were a number of variations of the 500, most of which were based on the standard wheelbase, however, in 1960 Fiat launched an estate version called the 500 K, better known as the “Giardiniera” (“Gardener”). The new body shape and the practicality of more space were achieved through an extension of the wheelbase and laying the engine on its side under the floor at the rear. The result was a 500 with usable rear seats, a generous boot and a fabric roof that folded right back so that all aboard could enjoy the sounds and smells of open top motoring. Sadly for standard 500 passengers the fabric roof only folded halfway back from 1960 onwards.
This particular Giardiniera is actually one of the rarest examples of the Fiat 500 line up. In 1968 production of the Giardiniera was moved to Fiat’s Autobianchi factory in Desio, Milan. The cars produced here from 1968 until 1977 were badged as Autobianchi’s and called the Autobianchi Bianchina Giardiniera 120. These cars make up just 3% of the total Fiat 500 production and are extremely sought after.
Delivered new on the 28th September 1973, the cars first owner was a Signora Maria Bonera from Rezzato, Brescia. Used purely around town and kept in a garage all of its life this wonderful little motor car was kept by Signora Bonera until 2004 by which time she had covered just 10,000 miles in her Giardiniera. By then in her mid-seventies it was time for the car to go to a new home. The second owner was a Fiat enthusiast from the England who bought the car and drove it from Rezzato all the way back to the UK with no issues.
This example really is one of the most amazing “time warp” cars we have ever come across. It is completely original with the exception of some localised paint work that was carried out last year under strict orders to retain as much of the original paint as possible. The car has never been repainted, retrimmed or even seen any welding in its entire life. One can hardly believe that this car is exactly as it left the factory in 1973, it is in such amazing condition.In recent years originality has finally taken its rightful place at the top of the list of things that collectors and enthusiasts look for, with original and unrestored cars now fetching more than nut and bolt restored examples. This Giardiniera offers its next owner a real opportunity to acquire not only a fun and practical classic, but a beautifully preserved, low mileage example of one of the worlds most loved motor cars.