Nicely Restored and Mechanically Sorted. Long-Term Ownership by Fiat Owner’s Club President. Crowd Pleaser!
1947 Fiat Topolino 500A
s/n 500-102007, Engine no. 500-104614
Charcoal Grey/Cream with Tan Interior
The Fiat 500, colloquially known as the “Topolino” (literally “small mouse” but also the Italian translation of “Mickey Mouse”), is to Italy what the Volkswagen Beetle is to Germany, and the Citroen 2CV is to France. Inexpensive, simple, economical, and robust, the cars competed not with other cars, but with tractors, horses, and two-wheeled vehicles. They sold extremely well, with large numbers built, mobilized an entire country, and established themselves as a cultural icons by laying the groundwork for an Italian national passion for the automobile that is still as vibrant as ever. As inexpensive cars that were used (and often “used up”), only a small percentage of Topolini have transcended the decades to still exist today, and almost none have been cared for and restored to the level of this wonderful example.
Benefitting from the previous long term custodianship of the President of the Fiat Topolino Register in Belgium, this charming Topolino is exceedingly solid, complete, and correctly restored. It is also exceptionally documented. Sold new in Belgium on 2 January 1947, it spent its entire life in Belgium before being exported to the United States in late 2003. The car held three Belgian registration numbers and comes with the original booklet associated with the second registration, which spanned 1954 to 1962. From 1962 to 1974, the car was off the road, at which point it was purchased with 32,486 km by Jean-Jacques Moonen, who would sell the car to a shop that stored it for ten years before selling it back to him in 1986, when he repurchased it and began a complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration.
Once the car was completed in the summer of 1987, Mr. Moonen, the president and founder of the Fiat Topolino Register in Belgium, embarked on more than 15 years of enthusiastic ownership, driving the car in rallies all over Europe, including Belgium, The Netherlands, France, and even Lucerne, Switzerland. A comprehensive binder of photographs taken across western Europe, together with service invoices, shows the passion with which he used and enjoyed the car until selling it in late 2003 to an American owner who set about freshening the car mechanically and repainting it in its entirety in the summer of 2004.
Since then, the car has enjoyed a low-stress life in California, belonging to three collectors who have used the car occasionally. In 2015, the car received a new head gasket, fuel tank service, rewiring of the generator re-wired, and overhaul of the brake hydraulics. The car starts easily and runs well and the brakes supply ample stopping power. Gear changes are very positive in nature as is the clutch. Overall, the car operates as it should, and does not appear to be in need of any major repairs at this time. This Topolino shows every indication of having lived a sheltered life, always remaining in excellent condition, and is still matching numbers.
Cosmetically speaking, this is an excellent example, with outstanding paint quality in beautiful colors, nice brightwork showing minimal aging, and crisply presented interior, particularly the seat and door panel upholstery. Other portions of the interior, such as the rear carpets, appear to be original, confirming the well kept nature of this car. The gauges are in very good condition, and appear to be unrestored. The cloth retractable top is in very good condition, and the car sits on Michelin XZ tires. The spare is also a newer Michelin XZ. Atop the luggage rack sits at charming period looking suitcase complete with travel stickers.
Included with the sale are extensive records and photographs pertaining to the previous long-term ownership period containing its original Belgian registration booklet, photos detailing the restoration process, records detailing the restoration process, the car’s Topolino Gold Register certificate, an extraordinarily detailed account of its history with many wonderful period photos, letters from previous owners, copies of previous ownership documents, photos of the car partaking in Club outings spanning decades, a copy of family Christmas cars picturing the car, as well as the California specialty “Topolino” license plates. Micro cars of this era are always welcome sights at motor car gatherings, and evoke an unparalleled joyous response to make jealous the owners late model super cars, multi-million dollar one-offs, or speed-tuned racecars. “I expect that every mile will be a joy”- the late Martin Swig, Fiat dealer.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608