So it has been a long cold winter. I have been amusing myself waiting on the delivery of my new baby. Let me explain. Some 9 months ago I put $500 down for the opportunity to buy one of the first 0f 500 Fiat 500’s being brought to the US after Fiat’s 27 year absence. No I don’t know why I did this. But since I really did not care one way or the other, of course I was one of the lucky stiff who gets one of the Prima Edizone.
I was selected to get #183. I believe that Jay Leno got #3 and his wife got #4 but I doubt that was by chance. Numbers 1 and 2 got auctioned off for charity at many tens of thousands of dollars. Number 500 goes to a museum.
So I waited. Then I started getting emails telling me that my engine was being built in Detroit. Then an email telling me my seats were being installed in Mexico. Then an email with a picture showing my car on the train going north. Then silence.
So the owner of #241 found them in a rail yard in Benecia. After many calls to the Fiat hot line and the Fiat (Chrylser) dealer in Concord I found out that they had my car but were not yet licensed to sell them. More waiting. I had never seen this car at this point much less ever driven one of these. So on a rainy day with nothing else to do I thought I would go to Concord and see what I could find out. I found out that they had a few Fiat 500’s there-just not mine. So I went off for a test drive in a pre-production one to see if I like it. It was kind of fun. As I was pulling back into the dealer lot, a truck with just one more Fiat 500 pulled in. And it was #183-mine!
After a quick clean up by the shop and some paperwork I left with my new baby.
Now I am not actually a giant in this picture. The car is really small. A bit smaller than a Mini Cooper which is about the closest thing to it. While small in stature it has an impressive list of equipment; continuously variable valve timing on the engine (this is why I bought it), blue tooth, run flat tires, climate control and some badges that make it different from any other than the other 499 of the Prima Edizone.
So my new baby is in the garage and amazingly the color matches the floor color in the garage. I love it when a plan comes together.
Today I took it out and ran it through the twisty foothills and it is a kick to drive. With a standard 5 speed transmission and its little micro engine it keeps one busy with gear changes. It is an acquired taste. It does get a lot of thumbs up since there are not many on the roads as of yet. Either that or they think it is the clown car and the circus is in town. I prefer to think of it as the world’s smallest bus.
Not quite sure what I am going to do with this thing. But at 40 plus miles per gallon I will be getting good gas mileage doing it.
So what could possibly go wrong with an Italian designed car built in Mexico with an engine built by disgruntled UAW workers in Detroit?