The 6.9 Mercedes-Benz used its JFG status as a knotted club to pound the bratwurst out of the BMW L6 in yesterday's Hell Über Alles PCH poll, winning by one of the most lopsided margins we've ever seen. Today I'm so inspired by the San Francisco daily-driven 1970 Fiat 500 that I've started shopping for potential Fiat projects. Yes, I've suppressed all those childhood memories of my mom's '73 Fiat 128, which was the source of so many "family outing derailed by car trouble" episodes that they all sort of blur together into one mental snapshot of a green boxy car being hooked up to a tow truck. But your 128s, your 124s, even your X-1/9s... they're too easy!
What do you get when you take a 45-year-old Ghia-rebodied Fiat 1500 (one of only 600 manufactured) and let it sit in a field for a decade or two? You get this 1963 Ghia 1500GT, that's what! The Ghia 1500GT is Concentrated Essence of Italian Car Hell, and the best part is that it's going to be just as difficult- if not more difficult- to fix up as a Ferrari or Maserati, only without the possibility of getting 40% of your investment back by selling the finished project. But we don't care, because... well, look at it! Problems, sure, we admit you'll have a few. There's rust. The interior is probably shot. You have to figure the engine is most likely bad, but a car this pretty deserves more than 84 horses anyway; how about a Fiat Twin-Cam with all the goodies? Don't worry about the purists... wait, do Fiat purists even exist?
Italian sports cars are cool, that's a fact. But seeing that Fiat 500 taking up less than half a standard parking space was an inspiring sight; just imagine having a tiny vintage Fiat with forward controls and lots of backseat passenger room! A miniature Italian Econoline! Well, now you can, simply by placing the winning bid on this 1958 Fiat 600 Multipla. Like the Ghia 1500GT, this one has been outstanding in its field for many years (the seller describes the setup as "LONG TIME OUTSIDE STORAGE"), so you figure the interior has been thoroughly destroyed by the California sun and all the components that ever touched fluid will need replacing. Fiat 600s aren't absolutely impossible to find in North America (just nearly impossible), so you might be able to avoid having all your parts shipped from Italy with this project. The seller uses the future tense when describing the engine's running condition, but I know what you're all thinking, so maybe the engine condition is irrelevant. The rust isn't too bad, but the windshield is broken (wonder how much it costs to get a new one shipped from Rome?) and some trim pieces are long gone. But still, imagine being able to haul yourself and three companions, plus luggage, in a car that can park anywhere!