The 500 Giardiniera (1960 – 1977)
Output 458,000 units
(including the cars built by Autobianchi)
Launch price: 565,000 lire
The Giardiniera, the station wagon version of the 500, was launched in May 1960. The car had a 499.5 cc engine delivering 17.5 bhp, which took this mini estate to 95 km/h, with fuel consumption of 5.2 litres/100 km. The most important element, technically, was the different architecture of the twin-cylinder engine which was laid on its side ‘like a sole’, as they said at Fiat, so that it could fit under the flat loading surface. This same engine also powered the 126 in the latter days of its life, on the Bis version of the late 1980s which had a rear opening tailgate, and even on the first Cinquecento in 1991, suitably modified and evolved.