Category Archives: Fiat 500 News

Visit to Somerset – NMCR

Having been before and found these very interesting Janet and I decided to attend this year’s National Micro Car Rally (NMCR) being held in Somerset.

It was also convenient for accommodation as my sister and husband live near Ilminster which is 10 miles away from the event, which was being held at Steps Farm in the small village of North Newton.

The definition of a micro car is a vehicle with an engine size up to 700cc and no more than 3 cylinders so Fiat 500’s are eligible. Having previously been in one of our 500’s we decided to go in our 1964 Fiat Neckar Weinsberg which is a rare derivative of a 500. The event was well attended with micro cars coming from all over England and even France and Holland.

This being a 4-day event we decided to only go on Saturday, which was a run out day and Sunday which was a static display.

The cars were arranged in various categories and makes.  We were put in the metal category. The 500’s had their own class as did the Messerschmitts, Isettas, Bonds, Trabants, Reliants, Trojans etc.

There was also a plastic class as a lot of Micro cars are made of fibre-glass and other materials. We spent an enjoyable Sunday out on the site catching up with friends we have met over the years.

In the late afternoon the awards were announced and our car was awarded the best metal unusual Micro car and also the last award of Best in Show (People’s choice).

So altogether a most enjoyable event.

                                                                           Roger & Janet Westcott

DELAPRÉ ABBEY – CLASSICS ON THE LAWN SUNDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER 2019

This is the second year that Delapré have held a Classics on the Lawn event and very well attended it was too. A wide selection of over 150 cars with no less than 17 Fiat 500s lined up in a commanding row at the top of the show on what was to turn out to be a lovely sunny day.

The Abbey only opened to the public last year. The site was originally a small Cluniac Nunnery 900 years ago but the Nuns found themselves in the spotlight when the body of Queen Eleanor was laid in the Abbey’s church on the journey back to Westminster Abbey, an event marked by the building of one of the famous “Eleanor crosses”.

Nearly 200 years later, a more violent event would disturb the nunnery’s quiet life – the Battle of Northampton. In July 1460, the armies of York and Lancaster met across the fields near the Abbey in what was to be one of the turning points in the Wars of the Roses.

On December 16th 1538, nearly 400 years of quiet devotion at Delapré Abbey came to an end as Henry VIII laid waste to the churches and monasteries of Britain, evicting nuns and monks, taking their goods and possessions for himself and selling their lands to merchants and gentlemen.

The generations of two families then occupied the Abbey up until the 1940s at which point it fell into the hands of the local authority who decided that they wanted to demolish it to build a housing estate. However, they hadn’t reckoned on some formidable objections from locals and in the end, they agreed to use the Abbey for the county records office so at least the public could enjoy the parkland. When, in the late 1990s’ the records office was re-located, the Abbey was again threatened with destruction.

Once again it was the determination of the local people that would help save the Abbey this time, campaigning to restore the building to create a venue that could be enjoyed by all. The Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust was formed and working together with Northampton Borough Council, plans were made and with the Heritage Lottery Fund’s help, a major restoration project began that would see the house transformed and brought back to life.

In 2018, after extensive restoration works costing over £5 million, this much-loved building was finally opened for everyone to enjoy. As exhibitors, we were given a free Abbey tour and there were pleasant walks through the garden and woodland. The café ensured that we were well fed and watered!

It was great to see such a strong club turnout with some new faces and lots of youngsters which seems to be more of a regular feature these days. As ever, we were the stars of the show, due in great part, to the artistic flair of Amy who once again made sure we were perfectly colour coded!

A nice way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon and let’s hope it becomes a regular feature of our calendar.

Mandy Edmonds

October 2019 Newsletter

The Fiat 500 Club UK magazine for October 2019 is now available to members.

Contents: Visit to Somerset – National Micro Car Rally; AGM, SGM and Winter lunch details; Company Limited by Guarantee & Notification of SGM; Delapre Abbey Classics on the lawn, Sunday 1st September 2019

Members can access this issue in the ‘members only’ Magazine section HERE but only if you are registered. If you are a member, but can’t get access you can register for your access code when you are asked for your username (at the bottom of the screen) – please have your valid Membership Number ready. Please note, we do check this before accepting registrations and it could take up to a week to get access approved.

Out and about in Scotland

I have enjoyed a great few months being out and about in Scotland with my wee car.  This year my boyfriend Derek has finished his ‘freshen up’ of his 1971 Fiat 500 Giardiniera so he was able to join me at some events with his own car. Our first outing together was over the Easter bank holiday weekend where we decided to have a run around Stirlingshire and the Trossachs. It was lovely weather and we covered a lot of miles in the cars just driving about and turning a lot of heads when we passed through the towns and villages.  

Our first car show outing was to Bridge of Allan near Stirling. It was a brilliant day out with over 600 cars on display and the sun was out all day, perfect car show weather. It was also nice to meet Paul and his family who is also a club member and decided to visit the show. It was good to have a chat to him and see some photos of his 500. Derek’s car was awarded runner up in best of show which was a lovely surprise as there were so many cars on show. 

Our next trip was to the Scottish Italian day at Hopetoun House near Edinburgh. Unfortunately, the weather was not too good as we woke to grey skies and pouring of rain nevertheless, we decided to head to the show as we are used to the rain!  I was also taking along my Abarth 595 (every day car) as the show was open to all Italian cars regardless of age.  Despite the weather there was a good turnout of cars, we were the only two classic 500’s along with lots of modern Fiats, Alfa Romeo’s and a collection of Italian supercars. It was also good to meet with another club member, Mike and his wife and see photos of their 500.  It rained for most of the day but still had a great time out in the cars.

In June we had a busy few weekends with the cars and covering a lot of miles, including a 120-mile round trip to Lauder in the Scottish Boarders (where it rained) and then up to Tayside to a car show at Errol, then to Dunfermline in Fife. There has been a lot of interest shown by the public for Derek’s car as you don’t see a lot of Giardinieras in Scotland, and he has won a few prizes at the events we have been to.

We have got a few events that we are attending over the next few months with the cars so hopefully we will get some good weather.

                                                                     Shona Campbell

With special thanks!

Well! What can I say to thank everyone for such a wonderful tour? A few breakdowns yes, mainly in Dino, so thank you Craig and Laura for fixing him for me and making sure I got on the ferry home!  A special thanks to Carole at Incentive and Conference for helping me to organise the hotels and some of the trips. Without you my stress levels would have been a lot higher.  You did such a great job for us and made our trip the success it was.  Thank you to Lisa Bardsley for organising everyone at the Jersey Festival of Motoring event. Line up and colour scheme certainly helped Amy’s stress levels.

We met up with some wonderful Jersey members of the club who made us feel very welcome and a big thank you to Chris Forster who made parking at St Aubin’s easy and ensured our enjoyable evening out.  A hugh thank you to Reg for showing us his fabulous fairy garden and making most of us dance to Abba, what a lovely time we had.

We stayed at the Beausite hotel, where their hospitality and service were fantastic. Thank you to all the staff and for putting up with us.

In Guernsey we were grateful, surprised and overwhelmed when we arrived in Port. Paul from Guernsey Old Car Club (GOCC) was there to greet us all and made sure we all got to our hotel safely, especially with all the road closures!  Paul and other group members from the club had organised a great car rally over the Island followed by Sunday lunch and I was presented with a fabulous Fiat 500 picture which is already up and being shown off.               

We all had a fantastic time and can’t thank you enough for arranging everything and making us feel very welcome.  After lunch one of our members, Carlo, and his wife Roslyn invited us back to their beautiful house for afternoon tea. Thank you both for your hospitality and for taking us to see some other interesting areas of Guernsey.  Hope to see you both next year at a 500 UK event.

Thank you everyone who attended, without the support of our members these trips would not be possible.

Lastly a big thank you to my parents (Rod & Sally) for all their help in organising with me and keeping me sane.

                                                                                                             Zoe Scanes

August 2019 Newsletter

The Fiat 500 Club UK magazine for August 2019 is now available to members.

Contents: Company Limited by Guarantee article; Channel Island Chuckle; Special thanks – Jersey & Guernsey Tour; The car is the star 7 in 11 European Tour; Out & About in Scotland.

Members can access this issue in the ‘members only’ Magazine section HERE but only if you are registered. If you are a member, but can’t get access you can register for your access code when you are asked for your username (at the bottom of the screen) – please have your valid Membership Number ready. Please note, we do check this before accepting registrations and it could take up to a week to get access approved.

NEC 8-10 November 2019

Don’t forget to book your tickets, it’s not long to go now! Come along and see the selection of 500’s on display, the club shop will be there for all your 500 shopping needs and lots of members will be there to chat all things 500!

There is also the option of booking your car parking at the NCP Car Park 5 at Birmingham Airport at a special rate of £9, please click here, using the code Classic19.

Our exclusive discount available for members on adult and family tickets on Saturday and Sunday. Find the club code on the show advert in the August and October issues of Fiat 500 News club magazine and also if you are registered for this website as a member and logged in you can see that online in the PDF version of the August magazine and when published, the October magazine.

You must book in advance to save. Please go to: www.necclassicmotorshow.com/club-tickets or phone 0871 230 1088

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, is the event not to be missed for any classic car owner, collector, enthusiast, car club member or anyone with a passion for classic cars. The show brings together the world’s largest gathering of 300 car and motorcycle clubs with over 3,000 iconic classic and vintage cars and motorbikes on display across seven halls at Birmingham’s NEC.

NORFOLK NOMAD TOUR – 3RD TO 6TH MAY

29 cars, including 4 moderns, from far and wide converged on Blakeney on Friday afternoon, most with trouble free journeys but there were a couple of tales of derring-do.

Gill and Graham Watkin lost a wheel assembly – never to be seen again – on the M11 in the early hours and arrived with their car on top of the remains of their trailer on top of the recovery truck! The trailer now resides in a Norfolk scrapyard. Tom and Lis made it to Kings Lynn after breaking down three times but were eventually recovered back to Derby getting in bed at midnight only to be up at 4:00 am to have another go in their Abarth and reached Blakeney for breakfast on Saturday!

The programme proper started on Saturday with showers and strong winds forecast and we headed south down the coast for the short trip to the Muckleburgh Collection. This was the first time we could line all the cars up in one place – what a sight!  Muckleburgh is the largest private military collection in the country. The site has a long history dating back to the Spanish Armada in 1588 but it was acquired in the early 80’s and the collection established in 1988. Today there are over 150 tanks, guns and vehicles together with a vast assortment of other memorabilia.       

From here we made the short trip to the charming little town of Holt, where, since my early recces, Holt Town Council had enthusiastically publicised our visit throughout the town with many of the shops adopting an Italian theme. Indeed, the owner of an art gallery next to our allotted parking space had contacted the local Fiat dealer to get them to display a new Collezione outside his shop, put fiat 500 posters in his window and even dressed as an Italian character – what a star! The cars attracted great interest throughout our stay and in the words of the town clerk quoted in the local paper we created a “great vibe”! 

The wind was still storm force, and to our great relief, the skipper of the seal boat trip, which was next on the itinerary, called to say that he thought it would be too dangerous to venture out at Blakeney Point to see the seals. Instead, we took a drive down to Cromer and back along the coast road taking in some dramatic views of the North Sea rollers coming ashore.

Sunday dawned with a calmer and sunnier forecast and this time we headed north up the coast road passing through some delightful villages such as Stiffkey, Holkam and Burnham before turning inland at Brancaster and setting out across country to our coffee stop at the Royal Station at Wolferton.   

A whole article could be written about the Royal Station but suffice it to say that, for many of us, this was the highlight of the weekend. For over one hundred years, Wolferton was probably the most famous rural station in England.  This is where the Royals arrived when they travelled to Sandringham so Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses and the high society of the day passed through the station, from Queen Victoria, the Royal families of Europe to Queen Elizabeth the 2nd.  The last train ran in 1969 but Richard Brown, a very generous-hearted Yorkshireman, bought the station in 2001 and has since restored it to its former glory so it now looks as it would have done in the 19th century. This is a fantastic example of the vision and generosity of one man saving a slice of history for future generations.

Our fascinating visit was topped off by our very own pop up tea-room brilliantly provided by Lianna, Richard, Rob, Naomi and Sophia with both an Italian theme and “Brief Encounter” soundtrack. Many thanks to them. 

After a parade lap of Wolferton village for the benefit of the video photographer, it was time to make the short trip to Sandringham. At the very last moment, we were given permission to enter the estate by the Scenic Drive – known locally as the “Duke of Edinburgh’s garden”. This is a lovely one and half mile single track meander through the woods taking us to a specially allocated parking area. By this time the wind had dropped and the sun was shining so lots of people could drool at our cars and we could enjoy looking around the house, gardens, church and museum.

At mid-afternoon we left Sandringham along the magnificent Kings Drive, a two mile tree-lined avenue which took us through Anmer, where William and Kate have their country home. From there we trundled through Burnham Market – a honey pot for tourists – the sight of 30 500s getting everyone waving!

After a brief ice cream stop and look around the harbour at Wells-next-the-sea, we arrived at Morston Quay to board our chartered boat for the re-arranged trip out to Blakeney point to see the seals. Blakeney Point has the largest seal colony in England with over 2,700 pups born in 2017. We certainly saw a few but not that many! The water was relatively calm and the even the “waverers” with no sea legs enjoyed the trip.                      

Our final morning dawned with 32 of us heading through the sunshine to Holt to catch the North Norfolk steam train for the short trip to Sheringham and back. Being bank holiday, it was a Thomas the Tank Engine Special so the Fat Controller, Thomas and Percy were entertaining the youngsters. If I had thought about it before we could have made it a “Murder on the Sheringham Express” outing with Gino as Hercule Poirot.

After a delightful return trip through the Norfolk countryside we returned to Holt to say our goodbyes and wend our way home.

I need to say a few thanks you’s – to Rod and Sally who twice helped us on our recce visits, to Sir Michael Savory, the owner of Muckleburgh for letting us display our fleet, to Richard Neech and Elaine Oliver of Holt Town Council for all they did to welcome us and make our visit a great event for the town, and particular thanks also to Richard Brown who opened up his very special Royal Station for us and to the staff at the Blakeney Manor Hotel who couldn’t have really done any more for us and dealt with such a large and sometimes noisy group with aplomb.

But the biggest thanks must go to all who came from far and wide to take part.  Mandy and I really enjoyed planning the weekend for what is a very special group.  Even when there is a navigational glitch and we all seem to be heading in different directions, it all seems to be part of the experience!  It was especially nice to see not just regular faces but new faces and young faces, which must bode well for the future of the club.

On reflection, I think we really had too many cars but I just couldn’t say no, even to those who contacted me just a few days before – the sight in the rear-view mirror on the mile-long straights of a line of 500s as far as you could see was very special and unforgettable.

                                                                     Steve & Mandy Edmonds

Electric Fiat 500

Editor’s note: Following my request in the previous magazine I was pleased to hear from member Andre Abadie who owns an electric 500, here is his article.

I had been in the market for a classic Fiat 500 for several years but couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger as I was concerned about the upkeep and reliability. Additionally, my job is focused on environmental and climate issues and it was challenging for me to justify buying a car with a petrol engine, despite how frugal it may be. I had instead thought about a new electric car but, as I don’t need a car for commuting, it didn’t make sense to invest in that much hardware (and software) for the purposes of running around London at weekends and the odd evening out.

But then, on a whim, I thought I’d see if there was anyone in the market converting classic Fiat 500s into electric vehicles, figuring that someone had to have come up with the very same idea. And sure enough, I found an article on the work that Richard Morgan was doing at Electric Classic Cars in Wales. I contacted Richard and he steered me to his colleagues at Classic Chrome in London who had two demonstration cars on site that I could test drive. Fast forward a few weeks and I was the proud owner of the first of Richard’s electric Fiat 500 conversions, a light blue 1965 Fiat 500F.

There were a few teething problems with the suspension given that I had upgraded to a larger motor and additional 4th Tesla battery which added a fair amount of weight to such a slight frame! But the replacement of the leaf spring with one from a Fiat 126 did the trick. The car has been an absolute pleasure to use for zipping around London (and further afield to parts of Kent and Surrey), and is not shy about outpacing most vehicles from traffic light to traffic light given the added oomph from the upgraded AC 20 96v 65HP motor.

I’m loving the car and being electric has made all the difference for me as it’s easy to maintain and has no regard for the ULEZ in London. Parking in London is a cinch as I just find the nearest available charging station (which are always available) and top up when I’m about town. I’ve entered my Fiat 500F in the London to Brighton Classic Car Rally on June 2nd which will be the only electric vehicle on show. The range of the vehicle is around 100 miles (so I’ll need to recharge in Brighton). I highly recommend anyone to look into the cars that Richard is converting. Kits are available too for those who are more technically savvy.

                                                                                                       Andre Abadie

June 2019 Newsletter

The Fiat 500 Club UK magazine for June 2019 is now available to members.

Contents: The Final Chapter – National Car Club Awards at NEC; Norfolk Nomad Tour 3rd to 6th May; Norfolk Dissertation; Electric Fiat 500 report

Members can access this issue in the ‘members only’ Magazine section HERE but only if you are registered. If you are a member, but can’t get access you can register for your access code when you are asked for your username (at the bottom of the screen) – please have your valid Membership Number ready. Please note, we do check this before accepting registrations and it could take up to a week to get access approved.

Drive it day: Bicester Scramble 28th April 2019

Perfect place for a perfect day: Drive it at the Bicester Scramble

For those of you who are Club Members, please note you can only book tickets to the Bicester Scramble ‘Drive It Day’ event online, and this needs to be done by 21st April. It promises to be a great event, with plenty to see and other classic and vintage car enthusiasts to meet.

For more information, please go to the Events Page on our website here.

Please note, there will be no tickets available on the day.

Information from the organisers follows:

“The former RAF Technical Site springs to life with a unique mix of vehicles brought by enthusiasts from all over the UK to visit this beautiful location. The specialist businesses of Bicester Heritage throw open the doors to their workshops, showrooms and offices, revealing an ever-changing display of magnificent vehicles from every decade.”

Bicester Heritage, Buckingham Road, Bicester, OX26 5HA

From 0900 hrs to 1600 hrs Sunday 28th April 2019.

London Classic Car Show ExCel 14-17th February 2019

The Club was invited to return for a second consecutive year by the event organiser, the Fiat 500 Club had a stand in Car Club Corner at this prestigious indoor show held at London’s ExCel arena. This year the layout was improved, and it was busier than ever with over 20,000 visitors across the weekend.

Four days came and went quickly at the show. From Thursday night’s Preview Evening featuring an array of special presentations from classic car celebrities and movie stars, through to final Grand Avenue parades and live panel discussions. Grand Avenue this year featured Bentley, Citroen, Mini and Ford Capri where 100- and 50-year anniversaries were celebrated. Car clubs were represented by Jensen, Bristol, Marcos, Corvette, Aston Martin among other marques all of whom curated fabulous stands with beautiful examples from their respective members.

On Thursday morning the weather was dry, mild and sunny for our load- in slot at 10am, perfect for driving a classic Fiat into East London. Our allocated floor space only allowed for 4 cars which when manoeuvred into position looked great. This year the cars on display consisted of a 500D, 500F ,500L and 500 Abarth which was a fine array spanning many years of the car and all owned by club members.

Twin brother’s Will and Anthony had their Positano Yellow 500L on display and this was their first experience of showing at an event. Eighteen months ago, they spotted the car in Marche, Italy made a deal with the previous owner and had it transported to the UK. This is a 1971 model with only 54,000km on the clock, it is completely original and unmodified with immaculate paintwork and black vinyl seats. The car had been loving preserved over the years and kept garaged in Italy resulting in a beautiful example. Sad to report after a weekend of being admired the car decided to breakdown in Esher on the journey home during Sunday evening. Guys, welcome to the world of Fiat 500 ownership!

Vikki was the super sub, able to get her baby blue 1965 500F RHD to the show with only 48 hours’ notice after another owner was unable to exhibit due to a last-minute work commitment. With the original engine currently in need of some fettling she decided it was safer to trailer it to the show rather than driving it from Buckinghamshire. Vikki is a long-standing car enthusiast and no stranger to showing her previous modern classics around the country. Since hankering for a classic Fiat 500 from the age of 14, she found one after a long search for a right-hand drive model. She is now the proud owner of ‘Botty’. Since purchasing it in 2016, she and her husband have undertaken a serious overhaul, including a re-spray and new seats. This was her first show with the club and certainly won’t be her last.

Self-confessed Fiat 500 addict and car hoarder James displayed his 1959 RHD 500D which, for the purists is on the cusp of a 500N. Finished in gloss black paint with suicide doors along with wicker picnic basket attached at the back, at 60 years old this was a wonderful example of a 500D. This is a favourite from his collection and is regularly driven around South London.  James has around 16, yes 16, Fiat 500s and derivatives, just when we thought Roger had an extensive collection, it’s now been usurped. James keeps vowing to reduce his hoard and stop adding to it but admits it’s a hard habit to break. He has promised to attend more club events and display other cars from his extensive collection.

The head turner on the stand came courtesy of Carlo’s Fiat 500 Evocation Abarth.  It is the current holder of Car of The Day award bestowed upon it at Festival Italia during August at Brand’s Hatch. Long standing club member Carlo has owned it for 10 years and over the time transformed it into undoubtably the best Fiat Abarth in the UK. Finished in blue /black paint with an Alfa boxer 1.7 engine making 150 bhp and roll cage the car illustrated to visitors how a Fiat 500 could be modified to such a high sports spec. Carlo is very keen to have the car selected and be able to drive in the LCCS Grand Parade next year. The request has been made to the organiser.

Across the weekend the stand was visited by many club members several of whom kindly spent time helping out for a few hours. Displaying at an event such as this is a big undertaking and thanks must go to the team who played a part in making it happen. At this point Paul is award Star Baker for his magnificent carrot and walnut cake, which helped keep up the sugar levels topped up.

Along with showcasing the beauty and charm of Fiat 500s to the visiting car enthusiasts it was a fantastic opportunity to promote the club, sign up new members and sell club items.

It is highly likely the organiser will ask the club to return next year so make a note of 13 – 16th February 2020.

Further details from  www.thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk.

Lisa Bardsley, London & South East event organiser

National Car Club Awards

We won!

The Fiat 500 Club has won the ‘Outstanding Car Club Run, Rally or Tour’ category in the National Car Club Awards 2019 for the ‘Poppy Returns Home Tour 2018’.

The National Car Club Awards celebrate, recognise and honour the achievements of the nation’s car clubs, the enthusiastic people who run them and the remarkable cars they preserve and cherish. Presented in association with Tourism Ireland, supported by Classic Car Weekly and endorsed by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs.

Poppy Returns Home!

The club was chosen from the shortlist of 7 and presented with the trophy at the awards dinner held at the NEC, Birmingham on March 23rd. More details and photos will be in the next magazine. Congratulations to all involved in the Poppy Returns Home Tour 2018.

My New Year Break(down)

I’ve owned my 1970 Fiat 500L ‘Rizzle’ for 3 years and after never having the experience of a piggy-back ride home I was beginning to think that she was a very unique vehicle indeed. Despite occasional problems with poor running and brake master cylinder failure (causing the brakes to bind), I’d never broken down completely.

I installed an electronic ignition eight months ago (with much amusement from some other members of the club, with quotes such as, ‘let’s see how long it lasts’ and ‘I would stick to points and condenser if I were you’).

I was joining the club on a drive out to ‘Stony Stratford’s New Year’s Day Meet’ and luckily, I decided to have a quick blast a few days before. All started well until three miles in (on the bustling A14) I suddenly lost all power. After a few seconds of disbelief and that ‘please, not here’ feeling I rolled to a stop.

I drive for a living and encounter this kind of thing quite often but it felt much more scary in my own pride and joy, being stranded on the side of a hectic dual carriageway.

After a quick look I couldn’t see anything obvious and decided to call for recovery. I have to say it was just a tad hairy watching big trucks thunder by my car, with just inches to spare. Causing quite a commotion (with the police called to close the lane, whilst recovery took place).

Although I was lucky really, back, tinkering in the garage within an hour, I learnt a few valuable lessons on the day. These include…

• Stand well behind the carriageway barrier.
• I may install hazard warning lights.
• Have a Hi-Viz jacket in the vehicle.

I’m sure there are other safety items to carry such as a warning triangle etc…

Back at base, after a calming cuppa I started to investigate. After discovering I had no spark, I put the points and condenser back and I was back on the road. Revved up and ready for an 80-mile round trip. The ‘Stony Stratford Meet’ was a fantastic start to 2019. Great to see everyone who attended, with much chat about how I’d managed to stay off of the recovery truck for so long and whether I should go back to using electronic ignition or not? The jury’s out on that one!

Richard Simister

April 2019 Newsletter

The Fiat 500 Club UK magazine for April 2019 is now available to members.

Contents: Love at first sight; MoMA New York displays a classic Fiat 500 at it’s Good Design Exhibition; Electric Fiat 500; Mayor of Sandwich’s Italian Evening 13/2/2019; My New Year Break (Down)!; National Car Club Awards – Fiat 500 Club winners of ‘Outstanding Car Club Run, Rally or Tour’

Members can access this issue in the ‘members only’ Magazine section HERE but only if you are registered. If you are a member, but can’t get access you can register for your access code when you are asked for your username (at the bottom of the screen) – please have your valid Membership Number ready. Please note, we do check this before accepting registrations and it could take up to a week to get access approved.

Stony Stratford Car Show

A bright and sunny January 1st saw seven Fiat 500’s attend the Stony Stratford New Year’s Day classic car show, with one possible new member joining us with a very smart white 500L.

It was a very popular show with the whole town filled to the brim with an amazing array of classic cars.

It turned into a very cold day so after spending time looking around all the cars we managed to find a very welcoming and cosy pub that served delicious bacon butties for lunch.

It was the first time that some of us had ventured out on a New Year’s day but worth looking at doing again another year, weather permitting.

Sally Scanes

A 50 Year Wait

When at college many years ago I was forced to visit the library to research some educational philosophy (yawn). I never considered myself an academic and after about five minutes I became distracted and went over to the Technology section where I spotted a book on Italian Car Marques. So, I quickly settled down to thumbing through the pages. If I had given my official studies this level of attention it would have benefited my formal education considerably.

It was in that book that I first saw a photo of half a dozen Fiat 500s, all with lowered suspension, fat tyres, taped up headlamps and boots propped open to cool the engines while flying round a racing circuit. They were called Abarths. I was intrigued, as at the time I was the owner of a rather slow 500D complete with leaky windscreen, which had cost me the princely sum of £92.50. Attending an all-male college made my car the butt of many jokes but it got me from Birmingham to Windsor numerous times and I can still tell you all the places it broke down on the A34 during those three years.

Ever since discovering that black and white image I have had a lingering ambition to drive or even own an Abarth.

Last winter while driving my trusty old Punto we decided to go for a pirouette on some black ice. Sadly, the front got remodelled by a bank and hedgerow. Ah, the wonders of cable ties and Gaffer tape, but it was never going to be a good repair. After driving for a while with one headlamp squirrel spotting and the other wobbling about a bit too much I decided that I had to find a replacement, but I wasn’t really looking very hard.

By chance I went with my son to his friend’s lockup. All the cars were covered with sheets and I was drawn to a small lump of a car. We pulled back the covers to reveal a 695 Turismo, two tone grey with red leather seats. I was invited to start the engine which rumbled into life. How much do these fetch? I asked, and it only took me a few minutes to make the decision – well I needed a car, didn’t I? and after all I had waited nearly fifty years for this opportunity. My son was very encouraging and thought it was a great deal (mainly because he wanted to get behind the wheel). So the deal was done.

A 500 Abarth is probably not the best choice for an everyday car for someone of my mature years. Especially on country roads with adverse camber, potholes, raised white lines and cats eyes. All of which can prove a bit of a challenge, however it is perfectly good on flat road surfaces and motorways. The seats are really comfortable, but the rest is a bit like a go kart. It is of course far too fast for me, but it is great fun at traffic lights. In spite of my occasional lapses into childhood while enjoying the spits and pops from the exhaust, it’s returning 45 mpg. It also looks rather good on the front drive.

So, for anyone out there thinking, shall I? Shan’t I?  –  go for it, because you owe it to yourself.

                                                                                            Ade Long

February 2019 Newsletter

The Fiat 500 Club UK magazine for February 2019 is now available to members.

Contents: Stony Stratford Car Show report, GIU GIU – The 595 Abarth Elaborazione, A 50 year wait  (New 595 Turismo), Fiat 500 Club UK and Instagram

Members can access this issue in the ‘members only’ Magazine section HERE but only if you are registered. If you are a member, but can’t get access you can register for your access code when you are asked for your username (at the bottom of the screen) – please have your valid Membership Number ready. Please note, we do check this before accepting registrations and it could take up to a week to get access approved.