Every time I visit Europe I am charmed by the tiny cars everywhere. Then when I get back home, even my Toyota Corolla seems too big, and I lament the fact that the US can’t seem to get behind the small car. In 1999, I think I might have squealed when I saw my first Smart Car in Paris, and I’m pleased to say that the Smart has finally arrived here in Oregon – there’s a dealership not far from my house, and every time I see the little cars they make me smile.
One famous and tiny Italian car that probably makes more than just me burst into giggles is the Fiat 500. The old 500 (pictured above left) is something of legend, and has become a bit of a movie star, too – it’s usually used to comic effect, as you can imagine. Well, Fiat has come out with a new 500 – the first since Fiat stopped making them in 1977 – which it’s calling a “city car.” It just looks adorable to me (that’s it to the right), but doesn’t have that same comic charm of the old 500s. Still, the new cars are selling like hotcakes, even though they are only just officially on sale today. I wonder if the new 500 will ever make it to the US?