500

The Fiat 500 in the News and in Popular Culture

The Fiat 500, designed by Dante Giacosa, was a long running and popular car model for Fiat, staying in production from its original launch in 1957 right up until 1975. A limited run of the Fiat 500 K estate also stayed in production for another two years, up until 1977, and in 2007 the company launch the new Fiat Nuova 500 to celebrate the car’s 50th anniversary.

When it was first launch the Fiat 500 was a ground breaking car. At just 3 metres in length it succeeded in redefining the way people thought about small cars, and is generally considered by many people to have been the first true city car.

Over the years this innovative and popular vehicle has been in the news many times, and has played a significant part in popular culture.

Back in 1995 a British band called Lush wrote and recorded a tribute song to the Fiat 500 car. The song was simply named ‘500’ and was released in 1996 on the band’s final album, which was called ‘Lovelife’. Later that year the band released their final single – a remixed version of ‘500’ called ‘500 (Shake Baby Shake) which reached an impressive position of 21 in the UK singles chart.

In the movie Big Blue the world champion free diver Enzo Molinari and his brother Roberto drive around in an old banger Fiat 500 hauling a trailer packed with their diving equipment. The car, along with the two actors, later featured in a series of Japanese television commercials for a fuel brand.

Staying in Japan, the animated film ‘In The Castle of Cagliostro’ features the master thief Arsene Lupin III and his accomplice escaping in a Fiat 500 after a robbery at the casino of Monaco. Several remakes of this film, including a 1970’s television series, have also featured the Fiat 500.

In 2006 the popular animated movie from Pixar called ‘Cars’, in which all of the characters are cars, included a character called Luigi who was a 1959 version of the 500.

The car also features heavily in the movie ‘The Rum Diary’, in which it is driven throughout most of the film.

It also features in the video for a song called ‘Papi’ by Jennifer Lopez, and proving that the car still holds a special place in the popular imagination right up to this day, despite its age, a 2012 BBC television show called ‘Two Greedy Italians’ shows the chefs Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio driving around in a Fiat 500.