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5-8 June 2020
Archivissima
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5-9 February 2020
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The Paris classic car show.
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We describe a century of technology, style, competition and performance. We tell our story, and yours.
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Fiat 127
The revolution that led from the front.
Lancia Flavia
Antonio Fessia’s “everything at the front” revolution
The Raid of the Two Capes
Half a century ago, three Fiat 124 Specials crossed the world
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January 29, 2021
Alfa Romeo Museum
The activities are back on track – virtually, for now – with a calendar of monthly appointments.
November 20, 2020
Happy Birthday FCA Heritage!
5 years of activities and successes.
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The history of four world-leading Italian motoring brands
From the most emblematic models to the most successful, revolutionary people, and the most significant events, this section illustrates and celebrates the cornerstones of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth.
From now on, you and your passion can count on a team of experts
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FIAT PANDA TURNS 40

The story of a great little car

It is forty years young and has never looked better. Since 1980, Panda has shared the Italian small car scene with the 500 accompanying young people and families in their lives. It features in many great memories but still the steady leader in its category, with over 7.5 million units produced to date.


On February 29, 1980, Giovanni Agnelli officially presented the Panda to the former President of the Italian Republic Sandro Pertini, who was astonished by the shape and proportions of the car that offered unprecedented space and comfort for a vehicle of its size. The car was officially presented to the international press at the Geneva Motor Show a few days later, on March 5. 

Evolution and blend of the glorious Fiat 126 and 127, whose engines it inherits, the Panda was designed in record time by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who created a compact two-box hatchback, with two doors, tailgate and front-wheel drive. Simple in its technical layout but styled to be practical and surprisingly roomy, the Panda makes optimal use of space being compact on the outside but big on the inside.

The Fiat Panda's looks were functional and unfussy, with big wrap-around bumpers, a broad protective strip on the sides and large windows. The flat windows (including even the windscreen) provided plenty of light in the basic but very practical interior, built with simple but hard-wearing materials, all of them completely washable.

The two-cylinder 30 HP air-cooled engine, an evolution of the historic unit introduced on the 500 in 1957 and also used on the 126, was fitted on the Panda 30, intended for the Italian market. It was distinguished from the Panda 45, fitted with the 4 cylinder 903 cc engine of the 127, by the different, asymmetrical position of the metal grid on the radiator grille: on the 30, the slots were on the right to supply air to the two cylinder engine's fan, while on the 45 the slots and coolant radiator were both on the left.

FIAT PANDA 30
FIAT PANDA 30
ENGINE
Inline-2, anterior longitudinal, air cooling, overhead valves, 1 double body carb., 652 cm³
POWER
30 HP @ 5.500 rpm
SPEED
115 km/h
WEIGHT
650 kg
DESIGN
Giugiaro
TYPE OF BODY
Hatchback

In just 3.38 metres, the Panda provided room for five people and immense versatility in the use of the space inside; for example, the rear bench, with seven different position settings, could become a delightful hammock, a cot or a large bed.


Both the two and the four-cylinder engine were combined with a four-speed manual transmission, independent, MacPherson strut suspensions and disc brakes. The beam rear axle was mounted on double leaf springs with hydraulic dampers and had drum brakes. Fuel consumption was impressively low: at 90 km/hour the Panda 30 did 19 km to a litre and the Panda 45 more than 17. The top speeds were over 115 km/hour and about 140 km/hour, respectively.

Within the space of three years the Panda models had acquired richer trim levels with the “Super” versions, and the 45 acquired a 5th gear, but additional great success came with the advent of the 4x4 version, built in association with Austrian firm Steyr-Puch, which transformed the versatile utility car from Turin into an unstoppable small, light off-road vehicle, soon to become an absolute favourite with sports enthusiasts and lovers of the outdoor life. An inseparable companion, and not only for mountain dwellers.

The growing success of the very long-lived first series lasted more than twenty years. 2003 saw the launch of the second, to be followed by today's third series, introduced in 2012.

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