Whatever happened to this Fiat 500?

Whatever happened to this Fiat 500?
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Somehow this little Fiat 500 got very bugged eyes. Did someone hit it in the face perhaps? No. It’s just the result of a commercial plan that didn’t work out the way it should.

In the 1950’s all European car manufacturers wanted to export their cars to the USA. After all, that was the biggest and richest market in the world, right.
Some European brands did really well in America, like Volkswagen. So Fiat wanted to give it a go and exported the little 500 across the Atlantic ocean.

There was just a little problem with the position of the headlights. American legislation said the headlights were too close to the road.
The crafty Italians soon fixed that problem by simply raising the headlights about 10 centimeters. That they made their pretty little car look like Micky Mouse didn’t bother them. Another adjustment that was needed, was beefy bumpers.

It seems that a little over 2.000 500’s were sent to the USA like this. That’s not a lot. Rumour has it that the last Fiat 500’s in the USA were sold to a company that wanted to convert them to electric drive.

Some of these remarkable little pop-eye Fiats have survived. There are some that have been restored and some others are still in pretty much original condition. Like this grey 1959 one. Apparently, it was registered in New York City, but somehow it made its way back to Europe.

It is now being offered for sale in the Netherlands, in the city of Rijswijk. According to the seller, the car is a good basis for restoration, though some previous owner replaced the beefy bumpers with ordinary European ones. The price of this odd little car is set at GBP 13,500 or EUR 15,422.