The Fiat 1500 is essentially a lawnmower with more seating area and a better- looking dash. With its thin metal body and 1485cc aluminum engine, no safety features to speak of (seat belts were optional in 1966), and four-inch hollow doors, the Fiat 1500 urges its driver to be the best that he (or she) can be. It has more buttons and switches on it than a 747, operating in a combination of ways. Controlling a number of obscure functions takes a while to get the hang of, in addition to a manual choke and throttle control. It is a true motor-car, inspiring respect from all who drive it, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
Around 80,000 of these cars were made, and about half of those made it to the U.S. In my travels and searches, I have only found about 35 or 40 in the U.S. and Europe. Of that number, only around 10 to 15 were what I would call driveable. All the rest were too rusted out to do anything with. As one of my friends said, "The Italians invented rust; then they sold it to the Japanese, who sold it to the Germans..."
Unfortunately, rust IS the biggest enemy these cars have. If you have a 1500 or are thinking about getting one, be SURE to check the rocker panels, both inner and outer, along with the floor pans. Which brings me to the car itself...
When I was looking for a sports car to buy, a friend had a good point: "Do you just want a sports car, or do you want a 1500"? I thought it was a very good question. I'll tell you straight up, If you're thinking about getting a Fiat, the 124 is easier to obtain parts for. Everybody has one; everybody loves 'em. They're a cookie-cutter sports car, which is why I didn't want to get one in the first place.
Don't get me wrong, I love the 124; I just wanted something different. I think the 1500 has a bit more styling than the 124, plus I get more of a sense of history from mine when I drive it, in addition to a lot of looks from other drivers. (And besides, on a beautiful Fall day, Frank Sinatra would NOT sound the same in a 124...:)
I decided to create this page after trying to find ANY resources on the Fiat 1500, specifically the 1964 to 1966 model, tipo 118k or S, and coming up with nothing...nada...zip...zilch...
Question: Which is easier to find, a fifty year old virgin or parts for a Fiat 1500?
Answer: The virgin; at least you know they MUST exist ... somewhere ... maybe...
"what are yew lookin' fer agin...an MG?"
You get the idea.
So anyway; what I'm going to do here is shamelessly borrow from a whole bunch of different sources and post 'em here so you'll have a handy reference if you happen to have this rare jewel of a car. This site features links which you might find useful without having to spend the rest of your life in front of the computer.