Fiat is an Italian automobile manufacturing company that traces its roots to 1899. Fiat is the third largest automobile manufacturer in the world and the largest in Italy. Best known for compact, sporty cars such as the iconic Fiat 500. The Fiat 500 was originally built from 1957 to 1975. In 2007, following the purchase of 20 percent of Chrysler, Fiat re-introduced the Fiat 500 to the United States. Maintaining and restoring these delightful little Italian cars is a pleasure with a Fiat 500 service manual.
The original Fiat 500 used a rear mounted 479 cubic centimeter air cooled two cylinder engine that produced only 13 horsepower. At just over nine feet long and a tad over 1,000 lbs, the Fiat 500 was a truly tiny car. Intended for use in European cities with roads more appropriate for horses than horsepower, the Fiat 500 was a huge success as a city car. Today, the term “city car” is often used to describe small, practical cars and was popularized by cars such as the Fiat 500.
By 1975, Fiat had earned poor reputation for build quality and many of the company’s cars were prone to rust. Since the Fiat 500 was an easily affordable car, many were driven very hard and discarded at the end of their life. Sadly, despite a production run totaling nearly 4 million cars, original Fiat 500 vehicles in good shape are uncommon in Italy and very rare in the United States. Now a true collectors item, restoring, repairing and maintaining these stellar city cars is important for historians, car nuts and enthusiasts that love the ease of service, nimble handling characteristics and quirky, Italian styling.
In the early 2000’s, American automobile manufacturers began to produce cars stylistically based on classic, vintage and historic automobiles. Lead by Dodge, the retro-style movement has gathered a head of steam and shows no signs of slowing down. In 2007, Fiat unveiled the New Fiat 500. Now a significantly larger car, but still small by modern standards, the car evokes the spirit of the original, while being a totally modern vehicle. The new power plant, an inline, four cylinder that produces up to 143 horsepower in the Abarth-tuned sports model, was awarded as the international engine of the year in 2010.
Whether it’s a vintage Fiat 500 that needs major restoration work, or a fully modern Fiat 500 city car needing regular service, the do it yourself mechanic will find the Fiat 500 repair manual essential.