The styling of Fiat’s original 500 earned it the nickname Topolino which was also the name Italians gave Disney’s iconic mascot, Mickey Mouse. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 500 Abarth is that car’s modern successor but does this hot drop-top have a price that will prove just as Mickey Mouse?
Things are dour in this country right now. I can make that statement and not specifically call out the specific country to which I am referring since it’s pretty much shitsville all over the place. What with a global pandemic, an economic collapse of gargantuan proportions, and, worst of all, short attention span theatre baloney like Tik Tok and Quibi, we’re all facing some dark times.
With all that negativity going on, what we really need something fun and frivolous to lift our spirits. That something could very well have been the zany 1993 Geo Metro Dually pickup we looked at on Friday. I say “could have been” since even with a modestly low $2,500 asking price it failed to find favor with the vast majority of you, falling in a 69 percent Crack Pipe loss. See people, this is why we can’t have nice things.
Okay, so wacky isn’t on the menu these days. What about something a little less zany but completely Italian? Everybody likes Italian, right? This 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio does start out with a bit of whimsy. That’s owed to the seller’s mad Photoshop skillz and some intellectual property rights appropriation that may get us all in trouble. Strip away the threat of corporate litigation, however, and what we’re left with is one pretty interesting hot hatch that, by the agency of its retractable roof section, isn’t a hatch at all.
That roof is one of the ways this generation of 500 pays homage to the original Topolino 500 of the 1930s. Much like Germany’s Volkswagen Type 1, the first 500 came to be in fulfillment of a national edict to create a “People’s Car.”
Instead of Hitler, however, the order came from Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. The Topolino would survive much longer than Mussolini would hang around (pun intended), and sired a series of cars that provided an automotive alternative to scooters and hoofing it across Italy well into the 1970s.
The model was revived as the Cinquecento in the ‘90s, and again as the 500 in 2007. That leads us to this Abarth edition, which, with its 160 horsepower turbocharge MultiAir four has a leg up over the 15-horse original. This one has the desirable if overly long-throw five-speed manual as the 1.4-litre’s accompanist.
The seller claims the Bianco over Nero car has a modest 59,500 miles on the clock and says the past 25K was added in the gentlest of fashions. An accident-free history and the claim of no mechanical issues during the present owner’s time with the car are plusses.
Filling the wheel arches are the Abarth’s optional 17-inch alloys, which are wrapped in rubber-bands of undisclosed age and wear. The convertible top section is touted as being in fine shape and when down can really let the aggressive exhaust note be your driving soundtrack.
The ad claims the car to be in “excellent condition” inside and out, and to come with a clear title. There’s no word as to whether it also comes with the Dragon Ball Z referencing Virginia vanity plates but those are on fleek, as the kids are wont to say.
A business start-up and the desire for “Billionaire Doors” is given as the reason for the sale. However, given the other tongue-in-cheek aspects of the seller’s ad, that’s obvious hyperbole if not outright fiction.
Hopefully less so is the price, which comes in at a “firm” $9,900. The seller claims that, since new 500s are no longer available in the U.S., these cars are becoming rarer owing to attrition and hence should you want to get on the Abarth bandwagon, now’s the time to do so.
Okay, now that we’ve looked at the car and had a few chuckles over its ad, let’s get serious about that asking price. What do you say, is this low-mileage and appreciably tidy 500 worth that $9,900 asking? Or, for that much, would you give this Abarth a wide berth?
H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!
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