The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

When Your Roadside Assistance Had Four Wheels But Just 9 Horsepower

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The year is 1956 and what you see here in front of the Colosseum in Rome is Automobile Club d'Italia's breakdown assistance fleet sponsored by Agip.

Iso built around 4,000 Autocarros in several body styles (including a fire engine). Powered by the same air-cooled 236 cc two-stroke as in the standard Isetta, this tiny trucks could carry a load of 1,100 pounds thanks to their 9.5 horsepower and traditional rear axle with leaf springs.


Compared to that, the Fiat 600 Multipla also seen in the picture was a monster with its 633 cc engine and 57.1 mph top speed.

Here's the same Agipgas fleet in Latina in 1957:


While these microcars helped motorists all around Italy, Agip kept being very busy outside the borders and had no trouble going off-road either when it came to laying the Genoa-Valle del Po- Switzerland-Germany oil pipeline in 1962.

They also had the best buses advertising their products this side of Oscar Mayer's Wienermobile.

Italy in the sixties must have been like a Ferrari 250 SWB. In case you lived there at the time and would like to disagree, please do in quiet. I want to believe the promise of this bus, whatever that might be.


Photo credit: Eni archives