1966 Fiat 500 - Reader Ride

By: Roberto Brunno

Fiat 500 1 Fiat 500 1
Fiat 500 2 Fiat 500 2
Fiat 500 wheel Fiat 500 wheel
Fiat 500 3 Fiat 500 3
Fiat 500 engine Fiat 500 engine
Fiat 500 dash Fiat 500 dash
Fiat 500 dash 2 Fiat 500 dash 2
Fiat 500 seats Fiat 500 seats
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This once humble micro car has had every extra imaginable thrown at it


Roberto Brunno's 1966 Fiat 500

This was a project I promised myself as a retirement present. I’m a panel-beater and spray-painter by trade, so it probably doesn’t look like much of a retirement! But it was something I wanted to do. I moved to Australia when I was just 23 and wanted to build something that reminded me of the Bambinos I remember from back in Italy.

It needed to be something special and I suppose there isn’t a whole lot of the original car left, other than the body shell.

Roberto -brunno

Originally this was a 500F Bambino, though I’ve taken it out to 695cc with mostly Abarth parts, much of which you could buy as a kit. I also updated a lot of the ancillaries, such as the electric fuel pump and oil cooler kit.

I added a five-speed manual gearbox and it can do 130-135km/h, which is a lot more than standard.

| Buyer's guide: 1957-77 Fiat 500

I did the conversion from left to right-hand drive, making a new dash along the way. That was quite a lot of work as it’s now running full instrumentation in a custom-built cluster.

It’s topped off by a steering wheel by Sports Line, plus a set of front seats I imported from Italy.

Fiat -500-seats

The suspension has been done, too, with premium Assetto Corsa gear, as have the front brakes, which are now discs rather than drums. That’s all sitting on 13-inch wheels which are similar to Minilites.

| Related: 1970 Fiat 500 & 2008 Fiat 500

Much of the bodywork came from Italy as well, though I did the paint. That was very time-consuming, getting it just right. It’s a Harlequin-style from DNA, and I think it was worth the effort.

It doesn’t just sit around. We get to a lot of shows with this car and we’re doing some fairly big distances along the way. I just love the car and people’s response to it.


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