Fiat 500: The Autobiography

A visual celebration of the iconic car of Italy’s fashionable ‘dolce vita’ boom years. The Fiat 500, which began production in 1957, is the iconic car of Italy’s free-spirited ‘boom years’, when Italian films, fashion, and design took the world by storm. The car remains immortalized in America’s imagination and is much sought after by collectors and anyone with a nostalgic love for la dolce vita. This book celebrates the 500 for both its groundbreaking design and its role as a pop-culture icon.
Despite its diminutive size, it proved to be enormously practical and popular. It was an instant hit with the Cinecitta movie stars as well as with American tourists absorbing Italy’s local color. The book features an array of vintage images of the 500, including film stills, paparazzi shots, and advertising, in addition to more serious chapters on design. 
The publication of this handsome tribute volume is timed with Fiat’s release in the United States of its updated version of the car for the twenty-first century, the Fiat Nuova 500.

About The Author

Fiat, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, was founded in 1899 and is among the world’s leading automobile brands. Its cars are often celebrated as icons of Italian industrial design, and the re-launched Fiat 500 was named European Car of the Year in 2008. In June 2010, Fiat announced its acquisition of a stake in Chrysler, which would also see Fiat brands sold once again in the U.S. market.

  • Publish Date: February 07, 2012
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Transportation - Automotive - Pictorial
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 8-7/8 x 9-1/4
  • Pages: 144
  • US Price: $45.00
  • CDN Price: $50.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-3720-5


"This visually rich and fascinating book explains not only the genesis and design metamorphosis of each model, but also their backgrounds, and explores the contributions of the innovative designers who have helped to develop them . . . Capturing both the car’s retro-Italian allure and bold futuristic imagination, FIAT 500: THE DESIGN BOOK is a must-read for the serious collector, car show fan, design aficionado, and proud FIAT owner."

"The Fiat 500 is one of the most easily recognized vehicles on the road. It is petite, stylish, and colorful, hallmarks of basic transportation with a distinct design flair. . . Although the original 500 may be relatively unknown to American consumers, the new model provides a lesson in all things Fiat with a contemporary twist. [Fiat 500: The Design Book] breaks down the common trim levels - Pop, Easy, and Lounge - carefully explaining what elements of Italian design (purses, dresses, and even zippers) had in forming the look. Fiat 500: The Design Book is for automotive enthusiasts and fashion designers alike." 

"There are pages of designer commentary, illustrations, and sketches of various Fiat 500 design elements . . . If one wishes to get a peek into the process that takes place before a car goes into production, [Fiat 500: The Design Book] offers it up by showing the influences that contributed to the design of today's 500, and perhaps gives us a glimpse into the future." 

Author Bookshelf: Fiat