Fans of the old Fiat 500 will like this new Fiat 500

Designer Ron Arad etched the outline of the classic car on a special edition of the current model.

Ron Arad Fiat 500Ron Arad Fiat 500Ron Arad poses with the Fiat 500 special edition he designed at the model's introduction during Paris Fashion Week. (Photo: Courtesy of Fiat)

Certain cars evoke certain passions in people. The Fiat 500, the classic tiny rear-engine car that the Italian auto manufacturer created in 1957, has a special place in the hearts of fans of post-World War II small, dual-cylinder cars like the 500, the Volkswagen Beetle and others. Jerry Seinfeld owned (and crashed) one, and on "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," he and Louis C.K. drove around in a Jolly, a 500 that had a so-not-safe cloth cabana top in place of the hard top, making it the equivalent of a road-ready golf cart.

The current model of the 500, a modern front-engine model that evokes the shape of the original car, introduced in 2007 by Fiat Chrysler in time to celebrate the 500's 50th anniversary, has been a hit with enthusiasts and fans of fun cars alike.

Designer and architect Ron Arad – he designed the Holon Museum in Israel – has been fascinated with the original 500 for years; in one of his most famous art installations, called "In Reverse," Arad displayed a number of old 500s that had been crushed at junkyards, even hanging some of them on gallery walls. He also displayed an intact 500 chassis for reference. The folks at Fiat recognized this and collaborated with the Israeli-born and U.K.-based Arad to design a special edition of the current 500.

The most distinctive feature is the drawing of the original model's outline – which really gives a shocking contrast in size between the original model and its 21st-century counterpart. It also includes a glass roof and fine leather interiors. It was introduced at Paris Fashion Week in November and made available for sale a few weeks ago. According to Carwow, people who buy the Arad 500 will get a 1/18th scale model of the very car they just purchased. Though from the looks of the outline, that might just be the same as getting a full-size vintage 500, doesn't it?

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