Our vehicular mascot 1967 Fiat 500K Giardiniera baby station wagon is now serving as the centerpiece at Alchemy Works. It’s the hippest boutique in LA’s burgeoning Arts District and we’ve loaned them our little friend to serve as FeralCars.com’s goodwill ambassador. Our particular Italian ex-pat replaces a delightful ’66 Alfa Romeo Duetto whose owner reclaimed it after a lengthy stay. Love, love, love those headlights bubbles!
The 6.6 mile drive to Alchemy Works (826 E. 3rd Street) was uneventful, if somewhat noisy. We avoided the freeway in favor of surface streets in deference to the little car’s somewhat limited performance characteristics. With only 17.5 horsepower on tap — the motor, mounted on its side under the cargo bed is just two cylinders, 499.5 cc discplacment — this routing strategy seemed only prudent.
Just before we drove it up the sidewalk and into the store something seemed amiss.. the brakes had frozen or the rear axle decided to become uncooperative, it’s unclear what the hang up was but it didn’t seem entirely feasible to turn it around in the store under its own “power” to face incoming customers. That’s when we recruited the crew of guys you see here to pick it up and turn it around. The car weighs just 1200 lbs so that works out to 240 pounds per man but you can halve that since they picked it up from one end and then the other. The car will be in the store for the next month or two so please stop by and keep it company if you find yourself in the oh-so-groovy nabe.
One this is certain: When it’s time to come home, we’ll do the flatbed thing rather than compound whatever the heck the problem might be. Hey, do us a favor and spare us the “Fix It Again Tony” jokes. Our mechanic is named Joe.
Check out this promo film heralding the introduction of the original Fiat 500 back in 1957. Che bella la piccola macchina!