The iconic Fiat 500 is celebrating its 60 birthday using a fascinating mix of history and the latest in high-tech internet communication.
In a very Italian manner the company has also mixed in its celebration with other iconic events. The events began on St Patricks Day, March 17th with a major event a the Geneva Motor Show, and will finish on America’s Independence Day, July 4th – because the Fiat 500 was presented in Turin on that day in 1957.
The Fiat 500’s 60th anniversary will include tours of Europe’s loveliest squares, involving fans and collectors of Fiat 500s from the past and present. Almost six million cinquecentos (Italian for 500) have been sold to date so the events seem sure to gather plenty of participants and supporters. All with tales to tell and dreams to share.
That’s the history part of the celebrations, the really fascinating thing, particularly if you’re in Australia and a long way from the European parades, is the 500foreveryoung.fiatpress.com website.
To quote the very Italian press release, “We are going to tell you her story, which is our collective history, through information, anecdotes, curiosities and unpublished short stories, which we will place in five (5) virtual spaces, 5 rooms that are representative of her background.
Visiting these rooms is like travelling through time, a historical journey through the design process of a car which can face the challenges of today’s world, without compromising her individuality.”
A new “room” will go online at the start of every month, sharing a different era in the Fiat 500’s life. Visitors can access multimedia contents through objects which reflect the changes in the times and society. These will include a radio playing the music of the period and a TV showing video material of the time, including commercials.
A photo album can be scrolled through to view the events of the specific time while the typewriter will give access to a series of documents. The multimedia archive can be downloaded using the press kit download function.
The first episode of the web series, set in 1957-1968, starts in Dante Giacosa’s office in Turin, where the car was designed. The site gives you access the car’s technical drawings. On the desk are several magazines, including the first edition of Ilustrato Fiat [Fiat Illustrated], the designer’s private filing-cabinet offers stories and anecdotes, a model of the Fiat 500, and postcards showing the 500 across the world are also accessible.
The office is completed by framed photographs of Giovanni Agnelli and Vittorio Valletta at Mirafiori. After clicking the keyword “Fiat 500”, visitors will be able to download a document about this Italian design masterpiece.
In our home we are looking forward to seeing the 500C by Gucci segment. One of these graces our garage and my wife Julie just loves cruising around the Gold Coast with the cabriolet top wide open.