Marcelo Paolillo with his Fiat 147 Fiorino

​40 years of vocation for work

A synonym of robustness and a reference in the segment of light commercial vehicles, Fiat Fiorino completes 40 years of history in tip top shape. If you own one, trading it in is not even on your mind.

September 23, 2020 - 40 years of history, 29 years of leadership in sales. This incredible achievement already defines the Fiat Fiorino, a vehicle designed to help overcome challenges in the work routine. But it carries an even greater legacy, of the only model in production with the direct DNA of two of the Italian brand's main successful products in Brazil.

Launched in September 1980 as the Fiat 147 Fiorino, the van had the same essential features as the compact, but with a capacity to carry 420 kilos in its large cargo compartment. Coupled with the 1.3 engine and reinforced suspension, the car’s objective was to solve the problems of door-to-door deliveries, especially in large urban centers.

The second generation came in 1988, preserving the virtues of robustness of its predecessor, however, this time using the base of another icon of Fiat: the Uno. The current generation is the third, which came to life in 2014, derived from the then new Uno. The Fiorino continues to dominate the segment and recently even made a factory-prepared ambulance version to help combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Fiorino is synonymous with reliability, a project so good that even after four decades it can still be used for light loads, always respecting the limits of the vehicle and its age," says travel agent Marcelo Paolillo, 38, a resident of Itu (SP).

Marcelo Paolillo with his Fiat Fiorino Pick Up LX 1991Fiorino Pick Up is Marcelo’s pride and joy.

Passionate about Fiat, the collector of old cars has two Fiorinos in his garage: a 147 Fiorino Baú 1985 and a Fiorino Pick Up LX 1991. "I still use the Fiorino 147 for deliveries in small quantities, but for fun. It gets customers' attention and it's fun. Fiorino Pick Up, on the other hand, I always wanted one because it was a sporty-looking utility, but without leaving aside its vocation for work."

With many 147s, Unos, Tipos, Tempras and Mareas, Marcelo still wants to have another 147 Fiorino in his collection, but stresses that it’s not easy. "I would like to find a Fiorino Pick Up from the 1980s, but they are getting harder and harder to find. You rarely see a 147 Fiorino on the streets these days. They served their owners for many years and fulfilled their role," he says.

Inês Barbosa next to her Fiat FiorinoInês on her most recent trip to Minas Gerais with the Fiorino.

A technologist in logistics, Inês Barbosa lives in Campinas (SP) and is another admirer of the Fiat 147 Fiorino, although she never got the chance to own a first-generation model. But as a real fanatic for the Italian brand, she currently owns two copies of the eponymous successor to the classic van. "In 2013, I gave Nilton, my then boyfriend and now husband, a Fiorino Van Fire 1.3 zero-kilometer as a gift, to begin our journey in the transport business. We still have the model to this day and we praise it for the huge savings it brings us in terms of consumption and maintenance", she reveals.

Owner of a Fiat Siena and dreams of having a Fiat Toro in the coming years, Inês admits that her real passion is the Fiorino. "It's my pride and joy for several reasons: for its robustness, versatility, size (a lot can fit in the bucket) and beauty! I find the Fiorino to be very beautiful and I really like the fact that it is a partner vehicle for work and that makes me earn money".

And even on leisure days, guess which car she chooses to travel in? "On the September 7 holiday, I made a very good trip to Alterosa (MG) with my Fiorino. Owners of Fiorinos really use it and don't even think about trading it in. Actually, only if it's really for another Fiorino", she says.

Fiat 147 FiorinoLaunched in 1980, the Fiat 147 Fiorino is synonymous with robustness and still runs to this day.

For Marcelo Paolillo, these 40 years of the 147 Fiorino have a strong weight for the entire line of fiat light commercial vehicles. "I've always admired Fiat for its innovation, and Fiorino is nothing more than a great innovation. I think the 147 line has an amazing design. It revolutionized Brazil's industry in the second half of the 1970s and left a legacy for the products that emerged later, such as the New Fiat Strada, which is already a tremendous success." It’s quite the warrior this quadragenerian!

Words: Leandro Alvares

Pictures: Marketing / Personal Archives

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