: The Fiat 500 has arrived in Richmond, VA!



orconn
06-21-11, 05:07 PM
The Fiat 500 has arrived in Richmond, and word has it that they are selling pretty well! the Fiat showroom dubber the "Fiat Gallery" in local advertising is apparently getting a lot of traffic and sales have been ahead of previous estimates.

Two of my wife's friends have bought 500's and are very enthusiastic about them. I have to say I am surprised, given all the "Fix It Again Tony" jokes, and the generally bad reputation for reliability that the make had before leaving the US market. From what one fellow mentioned to me, he went to see the new 500 because he remember how much fun his old Fiat 124 spider was a couple of decades ago (it was a very fun car, but one American mechanics found it hard to cope with).

I haven't had a chance to get into the "Gallery" yet to look much less to drive, but I will make it a point to pat a visit, although any buying will have to wait till Alfa makes its' appearance on these shores!

Anyone else on the forums drive one yet?

Submariner409
06-21-11, 05:34 PM
Damn !! The ol' Fiat CinqueCento. When I was stationed in Naples it was a common sight on every Saturday morning to have a slew of them all lined up along a local sidewalk with the owners "tinkering" and removing cylinder head carbon: Italian gasoline is probably the worst on earth.

orconn
06-21-11, 07:31 PM
Yeah, when I was posted to the old Italian colonial capital of Eritrea many of the Italian guys would soup up their CinqueCentos to be raced on Sundays on the winding roads that went from Asmara to surrounding towns.
They ran sort of "open" classes and would permit just about any small displacement car to compete. About five years before I got there, HIM Haille Selaisse's favorite son was competing in one of these Sunday race days when his Porsche flew backward off one of the turns on the Massaua road. The drop from the road to canyon bottom was about 3000 feet, pretty much straight down. Needless to say the young prince didn't survive.

By the time I got there Americans were no longer allowed to compete after a one of our guys wiped out an Ethiopian policeman when the misjudged a corner in his Jag. Cost the U.S. government many camels paying off the policeman's widow. However, I got the command to allow us to perform "safety" duty on the race course, which was a good thing because we were the only ones in the province , other than the airport, that had foam fire extinguishers. Fortunately, while I was there, our safety crew's services were never needed.

It was during my time there that I negotiated the deal to buy my Lamborghini. The friends I made in the Italian auto club were very helpful in these negotiations. But that's a whole another story!

Stingroo
06-21-11, 09:39 PM
I've seen one on the road, and seen a dealership full of them in Jacksonville.

I think they look hideous.

Submariner409
06-21-11, 10:13 PM
If you were forced to pay a skrillion dollars a liter for crummy gas you wouldn't think they were hideous............

Stingroo
06-21-11, 10:18 PM
But I'm not, so I do.

Submariner409
06-21-11, 10:37 PM
Hah !!! With that attitude, you probably hate a Prius and several other econoboxes, too. Europeans have been on the fuel economy bandwagon a LOT longer than us snot-nosed spoiled Americans, and their testing and discoveries have benefited US right here at home .........or who do you think rammed fuel injection down our throats ?? (Quick: How about the first mechanically injected Corvette [327 ???].....a 50's Mercedes 300SL ???).

Stingroo
06-21-11, 10:38 PM
They're unattractive cars. Gas prices don't suddenly make small cars look better. :lol:

Submariner409
06-21-11, 10:40 PM
The present (urban/suburban) market proves you quite wrong.......................

Stingroo
06-21-11, 10:44 PM
They sell better, that doesn't make them aesthetically pleasing.

Remember, taste is subjective. ;)

gary88
06-21-11, 10:46 PM
No Abarth, no care.

Now if Alfa Romeo does in fact come back to the US, you will definitely find me at one of their dealers.

Playdrv4me
06-21-11, 10:51 PM
Personally I think they're cool looking for a small car, and the Abarth helps the appearance even more. Unfortunately they suffer from the same problem those horrible Smart cars did, they're just too damned expensive.

Stingroo
06-21-11, 11:19 PM
Hah !!! With that attitude, you probably hate a Prius and several other econoboxes, too. Europeans have been on the fuel economy bandwagon a LOT longer than us snot-nosed spoiled Americans, and their testing and discoveries have benefited US right here at home .........or who do you think rammed fuel injection down our throats ?? (Quick: How about the first mechanically injected Corvette [327 ???].....a 50's Mercedes 300SL ???).

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_xoosGkBROvM/TFl5WqvwipI/AAAAAAAAAJE/anDE3XRmwZY/s1600/not+sure+if+serious.jpg

thebigjimsho
06-21-11, 11:28 PM
I saw at least 8 Cinquecentos today...

Submariner409
06-21-11, 11:37 PM
Remember, taste is subjective. ;)

Never said it wasn't - personally I think they're fugly. BUT the vehicle satisfies the "green" side, and that is a factor that sells - currently........and neither you nor I can do one friggin' thing about that............the car is here, it will be marketed aggressively, it will sell its limit, then fade away - as all cars eventually do.

Ever driven one, 'Roo ??? I have - back in '68 - and it was, as now, a mechanized roller skate.

orconn
06-21-11, 11:41 PM
Roo, with your extreme attachment to dark ages family transportation, I can fully understand your ambivalence toward small urban cars which only make sense when equipped with manual transmissions ... and would hardly haul your laundry home much less carry your entire life style in its cargo space.

But it will be interesting to see if cars like the Fiat 500 bring a rebirth of the SoHo chique days when the original Mini was the "in" car to drive and be seen in!

ga_etc
06-22-11, 12:58 AM
Ahhhhh, Mini. I still love those cars, though I've yet to get to drive one. I'm sure I don't need to either, I want one bad enough as it is. I saw a fire engine red JCW sitting in the grocery store parking lot the other day. I had to wipe my chin.

Aron9000
06-22-11, 07:27 PM
I'm also in the Mini camp, I'd much rather have one of those than the ugly Fiat. Although for a miser car, I really would want something bigger like a Mazda 3 hatch, Jetta Sport wagon, Focus wagon, 5 door Golf. A turbodiesel/stick shift Jetta, Golf, or Passat would be my ideal choice though, but those can be kind of pricey.