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Fiat 500 hits a 1.5 million milestone

11 November, 2015

Fiat produced just over 3.4 million of their classic 500 ‘Bambina’ cars between 1957 and 1975, and on November 10, the 1.5 millionth example of their modern 500 rolled off the lines at Fiat’s Tychy plant in Poland.


Confirming the popularity of the new 500, that impressive figure has been achieved in just eight years and four months following the car’s initial launch — and, today, the Fiat 500 is now for sale in more than 100 countries around the world, from Japan to North America and, of course, New Zealand. Interestingly, the UK accounts for more than 240,000 of the total number of 500s sold in Europe.

Check out the latest edition of New Zealand Classic Car for a full feature on a fully restored 1963 Fiat 500D.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.