1973 FIAT 500R

EN­GINE 594cc/2-cyl/OHV POWER 23hp@4800rpm TORQUE 29lb ft@3400rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 65mph 0-50mph 24sec ECON­OMY 35-45mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed man­ual MoT 12 months from sale ODOME­TER 7079 miles (11,394km)

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING - Nick Larkin

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Be­ing a later car, this Fiat has a 594cc en­gine which, al­though only 95cc more than the ear­lier unit, feels quicker and de­liv­ers a hap­pier driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. The car also has a syn­chro­mesh gear­box, al­beit with a rather notchy gearchange. In fact this Fiat feels al­most as chuck­able as a Mini – and there’s just enough power to go for those gaps in the traf­fic. It takes a while to build up a head of steam; but once there it’ll thrash along at 50-55mph. This ex­am­ple has the feel of a car that has been used reg­u­larly and well main­tained.

BODY­WORK CHECK

This car seems ex­tremely solid in­side and out, and we found noth­ing that should ring any alarm bells with a po­ten­tial buyer. The paint­work no longer gleams but it’s still in very good con­di­tion, with just a few mi­nor stonechips to at­tend to – and the Fiat badge on the front has some faded paint. There are cer­tainly no runs or over­spray, and the colour suits the car re­ally well. The chrome – what lit­tle there is of it – is in very good con­di­tion, as are the wheels and tyres.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

Ev­ery­thing is ba­sic but highly func­tional – and re­ally cuts it as a fine piece of de­sign. The cabin is re­mark­ably and pleas­ingly orig­i­nal and again in ex­cel­lent or­der, even down to the door cards and rub­ber mats. All the (ad­mit­tedly min­i­mal) switchgear and in­stru­men­ta­tion be­haves as it should. the in­te­rior paint­work is good and the vinyl seats are free from rips or signs of re­pair. They’re more com­fort­able than they look too. The fab­ric sun­roof looks to be in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion with no leaks.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The car starts in­stantly and there are no omi­nous sounds from any me­chan­i­cal source. It’s recently been treated to many new parts, in­clud­ing front brake shoes, wheel cylin­ders, seat­belts, ig­ni­tion coil, air fil­ter, fuel fil­ter and spark plugs. The tiny en­gine isn’t pre­pared to show stan­dard but is ex­tremely clean, with­out the slight­est hint of con­tam­i­na­tion or dam­age. The gear­box and sus­pen­sion both work fault­lessly.

THE CCW VER­DICT

The car was im­ported from Italy in 2014 and, like many clas­sics com­ing into Bri­tain from that coun­try in re­cent years, it doesn’t have a big his­tory file. How­ever, it’s patently ob­vi­ous that it has al­ways been looked af­ter. Much as we’re sure ev­ery­one loves the chal­lenge of double-de­clutch­ing, the syn­chro­mesh and larger en­gine of this rel­a­tively late 500 are ma­jor ad­van­tages. Given the car’s seem­ing ex­cel­lent con­di­tion and re­li­a­bil­ity record, plus the fine colour, we can rec­om­mend it whole­heart­edly. And don’t let the left-hand drive put you off – it’s not a prob­lem in a car of this size. And let’s face it – you won’t be do­ing much over­tak­ing any­way.

ASK­ING £7995 PRICE

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