Real Italian Cars takes a Singer-like approach to Cinquecentos

Real Italian Cars

London and Lucca based Real Italian Cars is a startup with big ideas for Italy’s littlest cars.

Founded by three friends in Tuscany the company is dedicated to sourcing and restoring the best Fiat 500s, and even offers bespoke builds, not unlike a smaller-scale 911 modified by Singer.

Artist and property developer Amadeo Provenzali oversees the cars’ design, while rally driver Mattia Vita and Anthony Peacock, whose day job is in public relations for Pirelli, concentrate on making the tiny cars fun to drive.

Real Italian Cars is dedicated to the Cinquecento and will take on any car built from 1957 to 1975 including the Spiaggina beach car. “We know exactly where to find the best ones, and how to put them into a condition that was better than when they left the factory. Once we find a car, we take it to our dedicated workshop in Lucca and restore it to the desired specification.”

One of the most popular themes for customers is birth year cars, designed to the buyer’s specification, then built in the firm’s Lucca workshop complete with a hand-crafted dashboard plaque, a matching paperweight and a birth certificate to highlight the year of production.

Customers can try before they buy by hiring a 500 from the company’s collection, and, for the full Italian experience, there is even a riverside apartment in Lucca available to rent.

Real Italian Cars can deliver its finished 500s anywhere in the world and, as for prices, the company says restoration costs “as much or as little as you would like it to.”

Real Italian Cars Fiat 500 beach car
Real Italian Cars
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    When I lived in Pisa from 1978-1982, I had 2 500s: a 1968 dark blue 500L ( a real gem – I wish I still had it) with LU targa and a 1963 (with sportella doors and holes to watch the road go by!) with PI targa. I gave the ’63 one to a student in Pisa free in a raffle drawing when I left Italia. It ran wonderfully after I changed out the engine. She was so happy. I traveled everywhere in southern Europe with the 500s, of course avoiding Germany. Since 2000, I have a 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 and it has traveled with me from Napa to San Jose, California, to St. Augustine, Florida. If the opportunity exists, I’d love to get another 500 (or a Topolino!). Great chance to visit my friends in Pisa, Nodica (we had a small house along the Serchio). I send my greetings.

    500’s are cute but someone on my wife’s side nearly died in an accident in one of those things.

    Huh! Although Nuova 500s are cute, “real” Cinquecentos are Topolini–the 500/500B/500C designed by Dante Giacosa in the early 1930s and built between 1936 and 1955. Independent front suspension, hydraulic brakes and an engine mounted ahead of the front wheel centers were very advanced in 1936–especially for small European cars. Few were imported to the US–although Fiat was the leading import here–in 1938 and 39. Most that did make it here were turned into drag racers in the 50s and 60s. But in Italy, the Topolino is revered as Italy’s Model A (or Model T–take your pick). And even with only 13 (flathead) or 16.5 (OHV) horsepower, they’re fun to drive–from experience. I have two.

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