Fiat 500C Topolino

Fiat 500C Topolino

Specs Mentioned:

Make/ Model – Fiat 500C Topolino (1953)

Engine – 569cc, in-line 4-cylinder, Overhead valve

Power – 13bhp 

Top speed – 53mph


Fiat was founded in Turin in 1888, being the acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino. 

Designed by Dante Giacosa, the original Topolino (Italian for little mouse) was introduced in 1936, putting the motor car in reach of many Italians for the first time. Giacosa’s 500 was a clever small car, full of character and proved immensely popular in the years leading up to the war. 

The car was a success for Fiat, with over 500,000 units sold during its nearly 20 year production run and it was the first real Italian example of mass motorization. Weighing just 535 kg and with independent wheels all around with transversal spring, the 3,21-meters-long Topolino offered the same comfort and performance of a higher-class car.

The car was famously raced by Ceylon racing legend, Edward ‘Bugs’ Mason in the 1940’s and 1950s, and perhaps for that reason, the car is locally recognized as the ‘Bug’ Fiat. The featured car was imported to Ceylon brand new in 1953 by first owner, Noel Wijenayake, Attorney at law, retired Bribery Commissioner and Honorary General Secretary of the Young Men’s Buddhist Association. It was bought in 2004 from Mr.Mohideen who lived in the Galle Fort and had maintained the car in very good condition.