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Fiat 500D (no, it’s not a diesel)

Fiat 500D (no, it’s not a diesel)


In October 1960, shortly after the launch of the Giardiniera, an updated version of the 500 was revealed. The Nuova 500D replaced all previous Fiat models in a bid to rationalise the line-up. The upheaval was significant, with the sunroof and convertible roof variants a thing of the past; everything became unified with the new D version which (along with the Giardiniera estate car) made up the 1960 range of the Fiat Nuova 500.



The early days of the 500D (October 1960 to November 1961) featured a number of differences to previous models in the range, notably lower trim levels and fewer mod-cons such as washer nozzles and ashtrays – but it did include plastic sun visors. Stowing luggage, so often an issue with smaller saloons of this period, was made easier with foldable rear seats, while the fuel tank became more efficient, changing from a flat to a cube shape. Over the next four years, the 500D underwent further improvements with different door moulds and various other small modifications. We would say that no expense was spared – but that wouldn’t be true.



Number and type of cylinders: two cylinder vertical in-line (rear mounted)

Bore and stroke: 67.4mm × 70mm

Total displacement: 499.5cm3

Power and RPM: 17.5hp at 4000rpm

Compression ratio: 7.1:1

Distribution: overhead valves, chain driven side camshaft

Ignition: battery and distributor

Electrical system: 12 volts with 32Ah battery

Power supply: inverted Weber 26 IMB 4 carburettor

Lubrication: pressure with gear pump, centrifugal oil filter

Cooling: forced circulation air


Transmission and brakes

Clutch: single dry disc

Gearbox: four-speed plus reverse

Bevel gear ratio: 8/41

Transmission: rear-driven wheels

Rear axle: with independent wheels

Wheels: disc without slots

Tyres: 125R12

Shock absorbers: front and rear telescopic

Suspension: front, deformable wishbones, transversal leaf spring lower arms; rear, oblique triangulated wishbones, coil springs

Brakes: hydraulic drum on four wheels



Chassis type: integral with metal body

Fully-laden weight: 820kg

Wheelbase: 1840mm

Tracks: front 1121mm; rear 1135mm

Height: 1325mm

Length: 2970mm

Width: 1320mm

Steering: screw and sector


‘Performance’ (if you can call it that)

Maximum speed: 95kph (59mph)

Fuel consumption: 5.5l/100km

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