The Fiat 500, known in Italy as the cinquecento, was a “people’s car” produced by Fiat company between 1957 and 1975. Launched in July 1957, designed by Dante Giacosa, the Nuova 500 was a successor to the Fiat 500 Topolino models A, B C – Topolino meaning “little mouse” and marketed as a low cost town car.
Fiat 500 F (1965 – 1968)
In March 1965 saw the introduction of the F. Out went the suicide doors (due to safety) sadly for the men who then went onto complain they couldn’t look at girls legs as they got in and out of the cars!). Also the silver trim on the bonnet and the doors disappeared. The rear lights where more square and the windscreen larger to improve driver visibility. The speedo was also modified up to 120 km/h showing less numbers than the D (The horsepower was 19). Rear badge ‘nuova 500’ in joined-up letters and rubber mats.
Fiat 500 L or Lusso – (1968 – 1972)
While the F and L are mechanically very similar, the key differences were the bumpers. The L has an extra chrome nudge bar at the front and two at the rear, a more modernised interior (seats and pleated door panels), a new black steering wheel, an almost square instrument panel with plastic revised dashboard, speedometer up to 130 km/h, reclining seats and carpeting. The rear badge FIAT 500 L was in capital letters set on a silver mount.
Fiat 500 R or Rinnovata – (1972 – 1975)
Had a larger 594 cc engine, out 23 hp (similar to the fiat 126) and a syncromesh gearbox. The unique chrome nudge bars, as seen on the L models disappeared and Fiat mixed and matched the interior with the F model.