1951 Fiat 500C Giardiniera
Engine: Spark ignition 4-stroke
Displacement: 34.9 cu. in.
Horsepower: 16 hp @ 4,400 RPM
Torque: 22 lb-ft @ 2,900 RPM
Transmission: 4-speed manual
A Little History
Debuting in 1936, the original Fiat 500A Topolino, literally “little mouse” but soon interpreted as Mickey Mouse for the mouse ear-like headlamps on its front fenders, became Italy’s most popular car. In 1948, Fiat announced the 500B and expanded the microcar’s capabilities with a practical, wood-sided wagon called the Giardiniera, meaning “gardener.” When the 500C was released in 1949 with a refreshed design, Fiat again offered the Giardiniera, but only for two years.
The 500C Giardiniera was completed at the Lingotto factory by Carrozzerie Speciali, Fiat’s in-house coachbuilder. Some of these had real wood on the exterior, others had fiber board or stamped metal panels that could be painted in contrasting colors or treated in the manner of faux timber. As a 1951 model, this Giardiniera featured improvements including semi-elliptical rear springs, an upgraded electrical system, and an overhead valve engine.