My lovely Fiat Cinquecento

birthday 1When I turned 18 I told my parents that I wanted to get my driving license and my own car. I was a good daughter and expected they would say ‘Yes’ on the spot and pay for everything. But mom and dad were not too keen on a system of privileges for their children. Quite the contrary. I was born into an average suburban family that worked hard and saved money to invest only in basic needs: food, water, clothing, shelter, sanitation, education, and healthcare. They never spent a penny to indulge my every whim. So if my brothers or me ever wanted something, we had to earn it. Therefore, I had to start working immediately. So happy birthday to me, right?

During six months I cleaned the windows of the house on Saturdays and washed my dad’s car on Sundays. Some weekends I babysat and helped my neighbors’ kids do their homework. My brothers took turns driving me to college or letting me drive to practice. When I saved enough money, I went to driving school and passed my driving test with flying colors.

CINQUECENTO_7My first car was a green Fiat Cinquecento. It had been my uncle’s, then my aunt’s car. I got it…when it was valued around 500 € (=415 STG=680USD). My parents covered the car cost and insurance. I paid for gas.

Safety, reliability, performance, spaciousness, versatility or fuel efficiency were irrelevant. My new car was a 4-speed manual with bald tyres and had missed the back bumper. But I just cared about the cup holders and easy-to-empty ashtrays. Appearance.

– Have you seen how nicely the doors open and close, dad? Not a squeak to be heard!

It was a “great learning experience” for a college kid like me.

One of the biggest moments in anyone’s life is their very first car. No feeling is better than knowing it’s all yours, especially if you bought it all on your own without any help from mom and dad. I loved that unbelievable feeling of independence that car gave me. I could go anywhere I wanted whenever I wanted.

Sadly, six months later my lovely Fiat Cinquecento and I smashed into a tree trunk.

So darlings, tell me: Do you remember your first car? Do you keep a good memory of it? What happened there? A first kiss? Anyone?

woman driver


13 thoughts on “My lovely Fiat Cinquecento

  1. I’ve never driven (nor wanted to) in my life, but my friends have an old Fiat 500 and it’s a very pleasing car from the aesthetic point of view, even though I nearly got gassed when they took me out in it because the exhaust seems to emit the fumes inside the car, for some reason.

    • That’s probably a wise decision, Looby. Public transport in Burdishland has always had an excellent and well deserved reputation abroad, as I could confirm on my visits to your beautiful country. The risk of a car crash is nothing compared to the everyday arguments against elderly drivers I have to hear downtown, where people drive like morons.

      Those fumes inside your friends’ car make me think of Cheech & Chong’s old hippy movies (cars made of catnip that goes up in smoke!). (Don’t watch them unles you’re high: they’re abysmal) 😉

  2. My passion for vehicles predates even religion, dear lady. I have a marvellous collection of both ultra modern, as well as several retro Sunday vehicles. My first memory however, was more to do with the passenger in the opposite seat. I can still recall every individual fold and shapely line of such a magnificent example of bodywork.

    Marvellous memories indeed.

    • I knew you would be a genuine car lover, dear sir! I bet you’re a Discovery Channel’s Wheeler Dealers regular! I love these guys and their work.
      I’m pretty sure that your car collection is quite something! My second husband -the late Mr Yaya- and I had a cute Mini Cooper that we bought dead cheap. He customized it and we travelled to the beach with our 4 children. Wonderful memories of youth…
      Nice to hear you made good use of the opposite seat, dear sir. I didn’t expect less from you. 😉

    • Honey, I had to google it because i didn’t know the beautiful retro Nissan Figaro was manufactured and only sold in Japan!

      A tank might be very useful if you need to move through modern life, but I see you rather more as Penelope Pitstop at Wacky Races, sweety, oozing glamour and charm in her pink driver’s outfit. 😉

  3. Hey beautiful Northerns reading, commenting and lurking: Please stay safe and take care with the storm that’s hitting your countries these days, ok? I want you back in one piece, darlings. 😉

    • Thank you. I think Northern Germany and Norway had it quite bad. A few thousand people have been evacuated here in the UK and have spent some time in leisure centres, and all their furniture is ruined and their houses uninhabitable for a few months. Nothing serious.

  4. My first car was a second hand white Renault Clio, still manufactured in South Sandwich and one of the best sellers among youngsters. I bet you remember it, Yaya because you bought it new for yourself, LOL.

  5. That is so cool that your first car was the classic Fiat 500. After several years absence, Fiat returned to the US market with the modern 500.

    My first car was a 1956 Chevrolet. My father gave it to my grandfather who wrecked it (he was OK). I was given a 1955 Ford instead.

    • Really? I always thought that small cars wouldn’t be a success in the US! Good thing your granddad got safe and sound after the wreck, but I think it was no good deal for you, LOL.

      Your 1956 Chevrolet was a BEAUTY! My dad had an automatic Chrysler 180 (don’t know if it was known by this same name in the US). It was a hit in South Sandwich (99% cars have manual gear over here). 😉

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