Fiat Celebrates the Eightieth Anniversary of the 500 Topolino :
A great international event will be staged in Turin from June 16 to 19, to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of the Fiat 500 "Topolino" organised by the "Ling80" Committee. The iconic car was the symbol of motorisation not only in Italy and the benchmark in the years around World War II. It was Fiat's first economical car to be launched before the war and represented a revolution in how cars were made and perceived by the public: with the Topolino, motor cars were to become personal mobility instruments and expressions of unprecedented freedom.
Celebrations will kick off in the former Lingotto plant, where on the day after tomorrow over two hundred Topolinos will climb up the famous elliptical ramp and stand on the test track on the roof of the historical building where production of the model started in 1936. With this ambitious project, engineer Dante Giacosa wanted to make motor cars accessible to as many people as possible. Made until 1955, the Topolino was the undisputed star of the reconstruction of Italy after the war.
Again on Thursday, the cars will be parade from the Lingotto to the Pralormo Castle. The procession will be opened by the car owned by Dante Giacosa, which is now on show at the Fiat Heritage Centre. The parade will touch various key locations in and around the city during the various days of the event, including the royal hunting residence of Stupinigi, Racconigi Castle, Moncalieri, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the Juventus Stadium, the Mirafiori Motor Village and the National Automobile Museum. Precisely the latter location will be the stage for a conference focusing on the classic car history entitled "Back to the future", with Roberto Giolito, Head of Heritage FCA Italy on Thursday at 6.30 p.m. Starting from the concept of how the Topolino was the expression of all-encompassing automotive ingenuity, with its innovative engine, chassis, suspension and interior layout concept, Roberto Giolito will illustrate the invaluable legacy of this revolutionary motor car and how its concept and engineering was to influence many later models.
The city of Turin and the Lingotto building will be the natural locations for this commemorative event. Opened in 1923, the Fiat factory is still admired today for its modernity and elegant vertical development. At the time, the solution of building a test track on the roof gained the admiration of architect Le Corbusier. Even before having been completed, the building which had been designed as a place of work had become the symbol of the burgeoning Italian industry and soon gained a footing in the nation's collective imaginary.
The cars which like the Topolino rolled off the lines here have travelled through the decades and contributed to motorising Italy until production was transferred to more modern plants. After having been decommissioned, the Lingotto was renovated to suit the needs of a changing urban fabric: from fine example of industrial archaeology, the factory underwent a long interior refurbishment while maintaining its characteristic exterior appearance unaltered. It is an iconic location where the car which has rightfully gained its place in history was made.