The Fiat 500 is joining the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Celebrating its 60th birthday, the accolade takes the tiny, all conquering Fiat to a new level – from motoring icon to a transcendent work of art.
“The Fiat 500 is an icon of automotive history that fundamentally altered car design and production,” Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, said.
“Adding this unpretentious masterpiece to our collection will allow us to broaden the story of automotive design as told by the Museum.”
The model acquired by MoMA will be a 500 F series, the most popular 500 ever, made from 1965 to 1972.
Fiat’s “great little car” was an instant success worldwide and the 18 horsepower of its 500cc engine gave it a top speed of 95 km/h.
Over 4 million units were made from 1957 to 1975, from the new 500 in the late ’50s, on to the Sport and then the D, both more powerful, followed by the F, which holds the record for the number produced, through to the more comfortable L and finally the R.
The Fiat 500 is not just a symbol of mass car ownership; over time, it has become a style and design icon.
Unmistakable design has inspired the imagination of artists, who have responded with elegant, exclusive and sporty interpretations.
It has achieved the feat of maintaining its identity while remaining youthful over 60 years of history and lifestyles, fashion and society.
The Fiat 500 is a successful car, but also a cultural phenomenon on centre stage for 60 years, never going out of fashion.
The 2007 version won over 2 million motorists in just 10 years and has reaped accolade after accolade since its debut, including Car of the Year and the Compasso d’oro design award.
The Fiat 500 is the symbol of Italian creativity, which has always inspired artists and designers worldwide, becoming an icon of beauty and art.
Today, it takes another step forward, becoming a work of art in its own right next to other great icons of Italian design and yet again remaining “Forever Young.”