1972 FIAT 500

Background

The Fiat 500 was produced between 1957 and 1975, though the limited production of the Fiat 500K estate continued for a further two years. It was designed by Dante Giacosa, a talented man without a doubt.

Although diminutive in size, the 500 proved to be ever so popular throughout Europe, especially with city dwellers who were able to nip through tight back streets and park in the smallest of spots.

The 500 is undoubtedly one of the most instantly recognisable cars on the planet and even with over 3.8 million built during the 18-year production run, they are now a comparatively rare sight on the road.

The early cars were very simple in their nature, with the aim of keeping costs low and accessibility high. Powered by a 499cc air-cooled two-cylinder engine, the Fiat 500 is often cited as the first successful purpose-built city car.

Such was the car’s success that is spawned all manner of variants. From the sports-focused Abarth models to the stretched-out ‘Giardiniera’ estate cars, the 500 sits up with the likes of the Volkswagen Beetle and the Austin Mini as one of the true icons of automotive history.

The Vehicle

We are delighted to be offering for sale a much loved 500, manufactured in 1972. Presented in vibrant Coral Red with a contrasting tan interior and featuring the roll back canvas sunroof.

Our seller bought the car four years ago as a 50th birthday present for his wife, lucky lady. He found the best example he could, and it joined an extensive car collection, all well kept in a dehumidified garage.

The previous owner had carried out a full body respray in 2010 with an interior refurbishment following in 2016.

A replacement 650cc engine with synchromesh gearbox was fitted, making the 500 far more driveable in modern traffic.

Our seller continued the good work replacing much of the braking system and suspension and generally sprucing up the car’s underside. His aim was to make sure that the car was the best that it could be. We think he succeeded and if you pay us a visit you will most likely think so too.

The odometer reads just 18,163 and it is quite possible that this is the genuine mileage. The MoT history confirms a reading of 16,467 in August 2000 and our seller was told that the car was laid up for extensive periods of time in the 1980s and beyond. We will leave it to you to decide.

With little use, and a raft of other exciting cars at their disposal, the 500 is now offered for sale.

On the Outside

The Coral Red paintwork is simply splendid. Whoever carried out the respray in 2010 clearly new their craft. Glossy, bright and with a great depth of colour we can find little if anything to criticise and we do try!

Panel gaps and shut lines all look neat and even too.

The black sunroof is in excellent condition and can be opened in an instant, ideal for the UK’s variable climate in which a rain shower is never far away.

There’s lots of shiny chrome and we suspect most of it has either been replaced or redone. We do note that the exterior door handles are in more untouched and original condition.

The diminutive wheels have clearly been refurbished, with sparkling hub caps and excellent tyres finishing them off.

On the Inside

The 500 is a packaging marvel, with seating for four. There might have to be a bit of give and take legroom wise, but children will love the back seats. Plenty of glass ensures a bright and airy interior, as does the expanse of body-coloured painted metal.

The previous owner restored the interior some six years ago and chose to fit ‘F’ specification seat covers and door cards. Tan in colour, they contrast beautifully with the Coral Red.

Carpets too were renewed and appear to have been well fitted.

The rest of the interior is a simple one and all the better for it. Ahead of the driver sits the speedometer, set in a minimalistic dashboard with few switches. There is little to distract the driver from the simple pleasure of just driving, something we applaud.

Luggage space is shall we say modest, the front compartment also housing the petrol tank and spare wheel. A little shopping or a couple of squashy bags will fit if a weekend away is on the cards. However, the rear seat back folds forward leaving a flat platform, ideal for suitcases for those that simply cannot travel light.

Underneath

In his quest to create the best Fiat 500, our seller put his efforts into refurbishing the car’s underside. Lucky enough to boast his own workshop and tame mechanic, all the mechanical components were taken out.

The underside was completely repainted, and the suspension system overhauled. Out went tired old bushes and shock absorbers…

The brakes were overhauled too, and everything put back together with the utmost care and attention to detail.

As already mentioned, the car is fitted with a replacement 650cc engine and whilst not hugely powerful, there isn’t a great deal of weight to haul around. As such, the 500 now keeps up with modern traffic quite nicely and according to our seller is a pleasure to drive.

As one would expect, the engine bay presents well with all the signs of a properly maintained car.

There are plenty of pictures in our gallery for your delectation which we suggest you spend some time viewing.

History Highlights

Although exempt by way of age, our seller has MoTed the car during his ownership for peace of mind. The last test was carried out in January of this year and there were no advisories. It was the same story in recent years. An old certificate confirms puts the mileage at 16,467 in the year 2000, so this lovely car has clearly led a gentle life.

In amongst the paperwork for the car are invoices for new parts fitted during the car’s restoration in 2010. Some new panels, a nearside sill, some window frames, door rubbers – you get the idea. Motobambino, a Fiat 500 specialist parts company in Manchester was the source.

There is also an invoice from 2015 from Proietti, a London family run business established in 1965 and specialising in Italian cars. They modified and fitted the 650cc engine to the 500.

Last, but by no means least, is the invoice from 2019 from Ricambio International, another Italian car specialist. In the sum of £665.40, it details all the shiny new parts lovingly fitted by our seller.

Also included in the sale are various workshop manuals, the 500’s handbook and an authoritative history of the marque from classic car doyen Malcolm Bobbitt, a personal friend of ours.

What We Think

There are always Fiat 500s for sale on the open market at any one time. However, we challenge you to find one as good as this one.

The subject of a painstaking restoration by its last two owners, and properly stored in a dehumidified garage when not in use, the car is ready to roll and enjoy this summer.

Pack up a picnic, roll back the roof and head off into the countryside. Get used to the many admiring glances and to drawing a crowd when parked up. This is an eye-catching car without a doubt.

We confidently expect the funky 500 to attract a lot of interest and we expect a sale price of between £10,000 and £15,000.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

mark reynolds

  • Location: The Market HQ Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 18000
  • Gearbox: manual
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Estimated Price: £10,000 - £15,000

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