On Tuesday (30 March), an extraordinary and unique collection of classic small Fiats were unveiled in Buckinghamshire by the famed pesto and pasta sauce producer Sacla’ (Societa’ Anonima Commercio Lavorazione Alimentari).
Organised in conjunction with Italian car manufacturer Fiat Auto, the collection comprised nine immaculately restored Fiat 500s and the procession was led by Fiat Auto’s new mini-MPV, the Idea, which has just gone on sale here. The classic cars, which have individually painted bonnets, were driven by a selection of celebrities including internationally renowned chefs, Antony Worral Thompson and Phil Vickery. Former racing driver and TV presenter Tiff Needell, Massimo Toso (Fiat Auto (UK) managing director), and Giuseppe Ercole (Sacla’ UK chairman) were also amongst the nine drivers to take the wheel of a copper coloured Fiat 500.
The Fiat 500s, which are all in excess of 30 years old, have been fully restored and resprayed copper to tie in with Sacla’s recently revised corporate identity. Additionally each vehicle features a specially themed bonnet never previously seen in either the UK or Italy.
Family remains a key aspect to the reputation and success of Sacla’ and likewise the Fiat brand which made for a perfect Italian match.
Fiat Auto (UK), managing director, Massimo Toso, who was behind the wheel of one of the Cinquecentos, says: "We are two Italian companies that are united in a determination to expand operations in the UK. There is a wide appreciation of Italian products, culture and style here, and both our companies will be striving to provide these attributes to our customers. In the Fiat 500 there is a profound tradition of the values of the Fiat marque. It was my first car, my first love when I was 18. I still remember the evening it was stolen from me. It was one of the saddest moments of my life. To drive this car again in the English countryside has been a dream come true."
Tomorrow, 1 April, the Fiat 500s start their tour of the UK and will be seen at county shows and selected supermarkets across all regions. Thereafter in October the copper icons will drive from the UK to their original home town of Turin and finish at the Fiat headquarters for a grand celebration.Published 3 April 2004