500 R 1972 to 1975
Fiat500 R 1972 to 1975
Fiat's brilliantly packaged family car. Built from 1957 to 1975.
The original standard tyre was a 125-12. The modern version of this sizing is a 125R12 radial.
The Fiat 500 debuted at the 1957 Turin motor show, with a 479cc 15bhp engine, suicide doors and a roll-back sunroof. Buyers could choose between Economy and Standard editions, the latter featuring hub caps, an upholstered rear seat, a boot badge and drop windows in the doors.
In 1958 the 21.5bhp 500 Sport arrived with no cloth roof (to stiffen the bodyshell); within a year there was the option of a shorter cloth sunroof. For 1960 there was an increase in engine capacity (and power) to 499.5cc and 17.5bhp, and the 500 Giardiniera (estate) went on sale; the latter stayed in production until 1977, although later cars were built by Autobianchi rather than Fiat.
The Fiat 500F debuted in 1965, with front-hinged doors, a larger windscreen and an 18bhp engine, then in 1968 the Lusso, or 500L, arrived with extra trim inside and out, radial tyres and a fuel gauge. The big news for 1972 was the 500R, powered by the same 23bhp 594cc engine as the new 126. The last Fiat 500 saloon was made in 1975, with nearly 3.5 million made plus another 327,000 or so Giardinieras.