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Fiat 500 Turns 60, Joins the Museum of Modern Art's Car Collection

Original 500 exhibited

Ed Tahaney
Jul 6, 2017

New York's Museum of Modern Art added a 1968 Fiat 500F "Berlina" in original condition to its permanent collection. It will share precious gallery space with the museum's 1959 Volkswagen, 1961 Jaguar E-Type, and 2002 Smart.

The 500 recently celebrated its 60th birthday with a special event at MoMA that honored its history, style, and design.

"While the Fiat 500 has unquestionably left its mark on automotive history, it is equally true that it has never been just a car," said Olivier Franois, Fiat head and chief marketing officer, in a statement.

"In its 60 years of history, the 500 has transcended its material manifestation to enter the collective imagination and become an icon, which has now the honor of being certified by being acquired by MoMA in a tribute to its artistic and cultural value."

Fiat 500F MoMA Photo 2/22   |   Fiat 500 Turns 60, Joins the Museum of Modern Art's Car Collection

Over 4 million 500s were made from 1957 to 1975, and Fiat claims that the F series holds the record for the number produced.

"The Fiat 500 is an icon of automotive history that fundamentally altered car design and production," said Martino Stierli, architecture and design curator at MoMA, in a release.

"Adding this unpretentious masterpiece to our collection will allow us to broaden the story of automotive design as told by the Museum."

Fiat 500F MoMA Road Photo 3/22   |   Fiat 500 Turns 60, Joins the Museum of Modern Art's Car Collection

The iconic and inexpensive two-door is affectionately referred to as the Cinquecento by dedicated fans. The relatively reliable F series was in production from 1965 through 1972.

The model acquired by MoMA packs a 500-cc engine that offers only 18 horsepower and has a top speed of 59 mph.

Fiat launched the new 500 in 2007, and today's coupe and cabrio models share a 1.4-liter, 101-horsepower four-cylinder engine with 97 lb-ft of torque.

The 500 is also available as a high-performance Abarth model and a fully electric 500e version. If you need more space, there is also a larger and not as cute four-door 500X crossover and a 500L micro-van.

Buon anniversario Fiat!

Fiat 500F MoMA Tourists Photo 22/22   |   Fiat 500 Turns 60, Joins the Museum of Modern Art's Car Collection
By Ed Tahaney
94 Articles

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