Cars of Coolhaven

An exploration of extraordinary cars in an ordinary neighborhood

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Fiat 500 K or Giardiniera

January 7th, 2008 by Rolph · 6 Comments

Wheeh, finally I spot my much desired Giardiniera! On a rainy day in January, this orange little wonder was parked only one street away from my girlfriend’s house. A car that makes you ignore the rain (and a nice little bit of hail…) and just start taking pictures. Cars like these really crack me up, first they design something that is as tiny and efficient as possible, and then they start to extend it again to make a… ‘big version’. Despite its diminutive size, the 500 proved to be an enormously practical and popular vehicle throughout post-WWII Europe. Besides the tiny two-door coupé, it was also available as this Giardiniera station wagon or estate; this variant featured the standard engine laid on its side, the wheelbase lengthened by 10 cm which yielded a usable rear seat, a full-length sun roof, and larger brakes from the Fiat 600.

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Again a car with suicide doors, maybe one day I will complete the hunt for all models ever made with these reverse doors 😉 The Giardiniera is the only model to continue to sport this door type into the 1970s. The engine is laid under the floor of the boot to create a flat loading surface. The roof on this model also stretches all the way to the rear, not stopping above the driver and front passenger as it does in other models of the same period.


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Tags: Fiat · Nice cars

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jan // Jan 8, 2008 at 13:42

    it isn’t that much longer. nice spot

  • 2 Rolph // Jan 8, 2008 at 15:09

    Yeah, I was on the lookout for this shooting brake LOL for some time now. Now the hunt is open on a ‘nuevo‘, the first series of Cinquecento with a whopping 13 bhp engine 🙂 and a sun roof all though to the back of the car… And I wouldn’t turn my back to a Jolly either. But those will be impossible to run into in the Netherlands, I think…

  • 3 Rolph // Jan 20, 2008 at 22:17

    A nice overview of the Fiat 500, with some nice pics of the different versions at

    http://www.autoblog.nl/archive/2008/01/20/klassieker-fiat-500

    in dutch, though…

  • 4 Rolph // Jan 20, 2008 at 23:54

    The Topolino is very high on my wish list as well!

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/33/50543473_cfbc8c07a8.jpg?v=0

    Nice site in German, with lots of pics and schemes:

    http://www.zuckerfabrik24.de/fiat/fiat500A_1.htm

  • 5 Edwin // Jan 28, 2008 at 13:14

    Wow funny little car. So it is obvious that we can expect a new Fiat 500 ‘Clubman’ as well 🙁

  • 6 Rouge Neck ;-) // Mar 22, 2008 at 2:07

    LOL this is the car of the century! I want to have one, I want to import these, it is “#%& brilliant!! Add a leather pouch to store it in, so that it does not leave oil marks in your coat, and you´ve got the perfect subway traveller´s car bwahahah!!!

    Damn what a car!! and the best part, this isn´t SNL. This is a car!!

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