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- Description of production histories
- The relevance to the car buying public
- Practical ownership information
- Restoration Advice
- Top quality photography
Fiat have built millions of vehicles since 1899 but the company is perhaps best known for its ability to produce small, economical, characterful cars. 'Great Small Fiats' traces this concept from the birth of the 500A 'Topolino' in the 1930s up the current Panda and a hint of the proposed Nuova 500. Each of the selected models are described in detail from their conception through to current ownership in the hands of collectors and enthusiasts. The chapters include practical information on buying and running a small Fiat and restoration advice for the older cars. Also included are Fiats built under licence outside of Italy and the Fiat-derived 'etceterini' coachbuilt and competition cars.
In deciding which models to choose for inclusion in this book selected from Fiat's huge inventory, the author concentrated on three criteria - greatness, size and emotion. Where size is an easy parameter to qualify, greatness is more complicated because it is a combination of of both the manufacturer's and the public's opinion. A car that is highly regarded by the public may not have been a commercial success and vice verse. A truly great car is one that works well for both parties. Emotion may be considered to be an element of greatness in that the public's 'love' for a car is a fantastic benefit for a manufacturer and must be treasured. Fiat have made the mistake of 'improving' an icon on several occasions only to find that public opinion went against them. Fortunately Fiat has been magnanimous enough to respond by giving the car buying public more of what it wants. As long as they continue to do so then Fiat's reputation as the world's greatest small car manufacturer is set to continue.
The author chose the Topolino as the starting point as the car fulfils all the criteria and it was the first Fiat built in the late 1930s to satisfy the Italian public's new-found desire for mobilisation. The old conventions of car production were turned upside down with the arrival of the 600 which revolutionised car production techniques and maximised on passenger space and performance at minimal cost. These principals continued via a succession of models which include the 500, 850, 126, 127 through to more recent models like the Cinquecento and Seicento.
Running in parallel with these 'cheeky' Fiats, this book covers a range of slightly larger cars that were built in huge numbers. Though rather staid in appearance, the 1950s Millecento was family transport for millions of Italians covering three decades, four when the Indian-built cars are included. Similarly the 128, Panda and Uno were 'the' Italian small cars of the '70s, '80s and '90s. Nuova Panda carries the banner to the present day.
"The photography is very good and this book is totally absorbing and would make an ideal present for any Fiat petrolhead that you know (or you could even treat yourself to a copy). I think it is worth every penny. Roll on Christmas is what I say!" – Fiat Motor Club
"This cracking book, from ace publishers Veloce, tracks this winning concept from the first of the breed, the 500A 'Topolino' in the thirties, right up to the brand new 'Nuevo' 500. Each of the carefully selected models is described in infinite detail from conception as a Fiat model, to current ownership in the hands of collectors and enthusiasts. A charming and recommended book." – totalkitcar.com
"Reviewing more or less every Fiat model with at least one of the range being a litre or less, this starts with the Topolino and ends with the impending introduction of this year's second generation Nuova 500. There is a useful set of specifications of each model at the end." – The Automobile magazine
"'Great Small Fiats' is a delightful 176 page paperback chronicles all the small Fiats and other small cars based on Fiats. The chapters include practical information on buying and running a small Fiat and restoration advice for the older cars." – Fleet Transport magazine
"If you love small Fiats, but can't get to Rome, perhaps this book is for you. The book looks closely at the Nueva 500 and recalls those Fiat-based marques Autobianchi, Siata and Moretti. There is also a chapter on the myriad tuners and coachbuilders that have used Fiat components in their vehicles. Very useful for European car enthusiasts." – Australian Classic Car
"The book is a good compendium and a perfect introduction and appetite-whetter for anyone wanting to understand just why Fiat holds the upper hand in this field, where most others are just pretenders." – Auto Italia
"... any person with even a vague interest in the smaller Fiats over the last 70 years or so, will be well advised to drop liberal hints to all and sundry likely donors to help fill their Christmas stocking. Well worthwhile." – Fiat Club Africa
"With 176 information- and image-filled pages, this soft cover is a great resource for lovers of the brand." - Hemmings Sports & Exotic