Fiat 500 in Fontana di Trevi

​Fiat 500: A Classic Love Affair

A typical example of love at first sight, Fiat 500 amasses hearts in its 10 years in Brazil

Rafael Poci DeaRafael's love for the 500 is such that he even had a tattoo done of the classic car

November 11, 2019 - Ten years ago in Brazil, Fiat began commercializing one of the most charismatic and iconic models in automotive history. Imported from Poland and later from Mexico, the Fiat 500 was immediately on every Brazilian’s wish list, enchanted by the compact's captivating and timeless design, its high level of technology and its beautiful history. "It was born in a post-World War II context and resurfaced in the 2000s with the same essence and charm as the 1957 classic. No wonder I fell in love with it", says Rafael Poci Dea (pictured below) journalist for Motor Show magazine.

Rafael's love for the Cinquecento dates back to his childhood. However, it was precisely in 2009, when the 500 arrived in Brazil, that the reporter found himself head over heels for the small car. “I liked it as much as other classics, but I went nuts when I saw it up close at the press release. Two years later, I was lucky enough to cover the debut of the Mexican model. On that occasion, I determined: 'this is going to be my next car'. I was so hell bent on getting that car that I put mine up for sale, and on March 4, 2012, right on my birthday, my Fiat 500 arrived”, recalls Rafael, who still has it to this day, not only in his garage but in his veins too. “I went to Italy in 2013 and decided to memorialize the trip with a tattoo on my calf. In one stroke, I honored my family, the adventure and one of the most exciting cars for me”, he explains.

Tatiana Carvalho also has a love at first sight story to tell. The FCA communications advisor in Brazil also attended the Fiat 500 launching events in the country, but had to wait a bit longer to get hers. “My family had bought one and my father kept it for himself, but promised to sell it only to me. One year later he kept his promise and, since 2013, I have not parted from my 500”, says the journalist, who uses the car every day and in all kinds of situations. “We have already traveled with four people in the car, with bags and all, and, I even moved into my new home with my Cinquecento. And people still say it's small”, she says.

Tatiana CarvalhoTatiana drives her Fiat 500 every day and doesn't even think in buying another car

In addition to the charm and charisma of the model, Tatiana (photo) chose practicality and technology as reasons for falling in love with the car. “It fits anywhere, it’s very comfortable, economical and its engine is quite advanced for that time”, she points out, in reference to the MultiAir technology thruster, which innovated with solutions to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, increase power and torque as well as improve its dynamic response.

Another love affair with the Fiat 500 was lived by youtuber Camila Camanzi of the Cars with Camanzi channel. She got one as a present from her parents before she was even eighteen. “Even before getting mine I thought the 500 was very beautiful and when I found out I was getting one, and red just the way I wanted it, I went crazy! At home all the cars have names and mine became the 'Baby', the most beautiful thing in the world”, she says.

It was with the “Baby” that Camila learned how to drive, which made her relationship with the car even more special. “My dad taught me how to drive with the 500 and my connection with the car became even more significant. I had a lot of special moments with it: I went to college, to my internship, I even went on a road trip once, and it did very well, by the way. People saw me in it and found it to be rather curious because I'm six feet tall”, she laughs. “It was a very exciting and fun seven years with my Baby,” she adds.

Camila CamanziCamila Camanzi learned how to drive in her red Fiat 500, which she named Baby

Like Rafael and Tatiana, Camila (pictured right) had no plans let go of her Fiat 500, but an accident changed the direction of this story. “My dad was driving it and was hit in the rear so badly that the car was totaled. Fortunately, nothing happened to my father, but the Baby was completely destroyed. I was devastated and cried a lot, especially when I went to the shop to say goodbye to it. I didn't want to leave it. It was my first car. Just talking about it makes me want to cry”, she says.

How to explain this huge love for the 500? For Rafael Dea, it has to do with the charm of the car. “It’s impossible to look at it without feeling a rapport. It's not just a car, there is an entire history behind it, like the Lambreta scooters. I look at the 500 and feel an inner peace, charisma, it's a special car”, according to him. “It's iconic, it blends the classic with the modern in a way no other car can”, adds Tatiana. “When you look at other vehicles, none of them have the charm of the Fiat 500. It's unique, with no substitute”, Camila adds.

The end of its importation left many Fiat 500 fans very sad. “I was upset, although that made my car even more exclusive. I hope Fiat brings the 500X to Brazil, because I'm also crazy about this version”, says Rafael, referring to the compact SUV derived from the 500 that Fiat is looking into importing. “The brand was able to make a small car, a versatile model without losing its essence and that delights me. I would only change my current 500 for a 500X”, he reinforces.

Camila also dreams of the return of the classic car. “I really want to have another red one, just like Baby. Now what remains are the memories. Every time I see one out on the street it reminds me of the good times with my Fiat 500, which I loved.”

Words: Leandro Alvares

Pictures: Marketing / Personal Archives

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