The Fiat 500 Club Italia

The Fiat 500 Club Italia was created in 1984 in Garlenda, in the province of Savona, as the Amici della 500 (Friends of the 500) by a group of enthusiasts. Today the Fiat 500 Club Italia has more than 20,000 members, and an efficient network of over 120 trustees in Italy and abroad, who organise and sponsor over 100 rallies every year.

The first rally was held on 15 July, 1984 with about 30 participants, including Dante Giacosa, the ‘father’ of the 500, who was very amused by it all and praised the “unusual and commendable initiative of giving a new breath of life and prestige to the Fiat 500”.

In 1989 the magazine 4piccoleruote was launched. It now appears every two months with 64 pages in colour, and an annual circulation of 150,000 copies, representing an excellent link with the world of Fiat 500 fans.

The Fiat 500 Club Italia was officially founded on 13 March, 1990 and 10 years later it became part of ASI (Automotoclub Storico Italiano). The following year, in 2001, a new website was launched (www.500clubitalia.it) which aroused great interest and registered thousands of hits per week (total contacts have now reached approximately 2 million).

In 2004, the Club created the Historical Register of the Fiat Nuova 500 model, with its offices in Via Vanchiglia 21/E, in Turin, which carried out studies and research to guarantee the correct restoration and conservation of Fiat 500s and derived versions. The passion for this icon of our times has never waned: for example, in 2006, during the International Meeting in Garlenda, the Club recorded the highest number of participants (754 teams) and entered the Guinness Book of Records for the largest parade of same make cars.

A Person of the Year award is presented periodically, to the individual in the world of industry or entertainment - from Dante Giacosa to Renzo Arbore – who has done the most to maintain and spread the ‘legend’ of the 500.

And finally, on 6/7/8 July, 2007, to mark the 50th anniversary, Garlenda will be ready to welcome over 1000 teams from all over the world. The new Multimedia museum of the 500 and road behaviour documentation centre will also be inaugurated. To mark the 50th anniversary, a book and a DVD entitled Fiat 500 Club Italia: the history of a passion will also be published, telling the story of the Club from 1983 to the present day.

Published 22 March 2007 Melanie Carter

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