The 13th edition of the Triennale Design Museum has begun. Entitled Storie. Design italiano (Stories. Italian design), it will be open to visitors until 20 January 2019.
The stars of this new event will be two icons of automotive design, Fiat 500 N (1958) and Fiat Panda 30 (1980). Both vehicles belong to the precious collection of FCA Heritage, the Group’s department responsible for protecting and promoting the historical heritage of the Italian brands of FCA.
Some cars go down in history for their innovations in the fields of technology or design. Others deserve to be remembered for what they meant to the daily lives of a whole generation or a whole country. Few vehicles succeed in combining both these characteristics, advanced technology techniques and deep emotions, and so in leaving an indelible mark, becoming a sort of icon of their age.
But when this does occur, essential masterpieces of industrial history are born. And these rare triumphs have included Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda, two iconic cars spawned by Italian creativity which soon joined and became a permanent fixture in the collective memory of the international market.
The evergreen Fiat 500 is no stranger to the rooms of a museum. Indeed, just last year a vehicle from the F series, the most popular 500 of all time, became part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. And today it is the turn of a splendid 500 N from 1958. As it crosses the threshold of the Triennale Design Museum, it confirms the importance of this model, which was responsible for “motorising” Italians, and at the same time became a true work of design, renowned worldwide.
Produced in August 1958, and characterised by its light blue livery, the Fiat 500 N on show in Milan belongs to the model’s first series and features the upgrades Fiat presented at the Turin Motor Show in November 1957, which improved the car’s trim level – headlights with aluminium surrounds, sunblinds, aluminium trims on the bonnet and mouldings on the sides, polished aluminium hubcaps, wind-down front windows, wing windows with catches to hold them open, padded rear bench, direction indicator and light stalks on the steering column, and rubber-clad brake and clutch pedals. The car featured in the event has a 15hp 2-cylinder 479cc engine, giving it a top speed of 90km/h.
The 500 N will be joined by another vehicle that is just as famous, the Panda 30, another Italian icon which has provided an unmistakeable way of experiencing our daily relationship with the car since 1980 – more immediate, more relaxed and definitely easier to manage.
The story behind the second Fiat icon on display at the Triennale Design Museum is just as fascinating – the vehicle in question is a Panda 30 produced in 1980. With its distinctive red livery, the vehicle on show belongs to the first series of this model, of which a total of more than 7.5 million units has been manufactured to date.
Check out the Italian coin that commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Fiat 500.