Image: Fiat via Oldcarmanualproject
Image: Fiat via Oldcarmanualproject

Before the little rear-engine, air-cooled runabout that came to define Italy’s car culture for decades—the Fiat 500 “Nuova”—came onto the scene in the late 1950s, there was the Fiat 500 Topolino. This ~1951 Fiat 500C had a liquid-cooled 569cc inline-four mounted ahead of the front axle, and made only about 16 horsepower (like some other cars at the time, the radiator is actually aft of the engine!).

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Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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