Somehow we don’t think of Italians cars when four wheel drive vehicles are the subject. But the Italians have produced several Jeep-like vehicles. You thought the Alfa Romeo Stelvio was new? No way, in the fifties Alfa Romeo already had a 4WD in production, the Matta. It was even used by the Italian army for a few years, but in 1954 the military switched to the Fiat Campagnola that was mechanically simpler. The first Campagnola appeared in 1951, it had a 1.901 cc petrol engine, later a diesel was available. In 1973 the second generation was launched, a rather square, boxy sort of car that resembled the Land Rovers of the day. This Nuova Campagnola was used by the army, and also by several governmental services. It was even the official parade car of Pope John Paul II when he was shot in 1981 in Rome.
Campagnolas were available in civvies in several body types, and they were also produced by Zastava in Yugoslavia. Fiat did try to sell the Campagnola in other Western European countries, but Jeep and Land Rover had already set up shop there and Fiat didn’t stand a chance. Production of the Nuova Campagnola ceased in 1987.
It seems that the Nuova Campagnola did better in Eastern parts of Europe than in the West. That would explain how we found three of the in Bulgaria. All three are of the second generation, the yellow one and the bright red one are from 1979, the dark red is one of the last ones, dating from 1986. Prices seem fair at BGN 4.900 to 6.900, which comes down to about EUR 2.450 to 3.450.