We spotted this miniature woody, a Fiat 500 C Giardiniera Belvedere, while passing through Charlevoix, Michigan. Ironically, it's still not the coolest car in town, as this place is also home to the awesome V8-powered Citroen 2CV off-roader we found at Autorama. The lakeside town is popular destination for Michiganders engaging in the summer tradition of vacationing "up north." As such, the ice cream-licking tourists were all over this little Fiat. It's hard (for me at least) to tell exactly what year this one is, but I'd say an early '50s model, as '55 was the last year for the original 500. These 'C' models were the final iterations of what many people know simply as the "Topolino," which started production in 1936. Of course, the iconic Fiat 500 that most people know was the rear-engined bubble that later came along in place of these originals. But the Topolino was no ass-engined VW-wannabe.
These cars had water-cooled, side-valve, inline-four engines displacing a mighty 569 cubic centimeters. Of course, it was mounted in the front of the car, driving the rear wheels, like a proper car, which left the rear open for Fiat to make a wagon version like this, for hauling whatever you could manage to squeeze in the back. It's somewhat hard to really comprehend just how small the car is from these photos, as the Fiat has all the proportions of a much larger vehicle, but it's safe to say that its dimensions are about half that of a modern mid-size SUV. It makes you wonder how well a car like this might sell if it were on the market today.