FIAT® 500 – where artistry and the automobile collide to become an icon

From 1965 to 1972, FIAT® manufactured the FIAT 500F series. The vehicle boasted 18 horsepower and a top speed of 59 miles per hour. The F series became a near-instant success and, to this day, holds the FIAT record for the highest number produced in the 500 lineup.

But is it art?

Some would argue that yes, it is. Which is why, as we celebrate 60 years of the FIAT 500, a 500F series has become part of the permanent collection on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

“The FIAT 500 is an icon of automotive history that fundamentally altered car design and production,” said Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA. “Adding this unpretentious masterpiece to our collection will allow us to broaden the story of automotive design as told by the Museum.”

But it’s more than just the story of a car.

The FIAT 500 has been the source of inspiration for many. Like a few years ago when body artist Craig Tracy literally brought a FIAT 500 Abarth to life when he “built” one using performance artists. Or when commissioned artist Nicola Verlati turned the roof of a FIAT 500L into a tribute to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.

“While the FIAT 500 has unquestionably left its mark on automotive history, it is equally true that it has never been just a car,” said Olivier François, Head of FIAT Brand and Chief Marketing Officer, FCA – Global. “In its 60 years of history, the 500 has transcended its material manifestation to enter the collective imagination and become an icon, which has now the honor of being certified by being acquired by MoMA in a tribute to its artistic and cultural value.”

To learn more about the history of the unique little “city” car, visit FiatUSA.com.