By on July 13, 2020

2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition in Denver junkyard, RH rear view - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe junkyard tells me that the Fiat 500 depreciates nearly as quickly as the New Mini and Mitsubishi Mirage, though the current generation of 500 remains sufficiently recent that most examples I see are crash victims.

This car, though crashed, is still special: a genuine, numbers-matching Gucci Edition Fiat 500, found in a Denver car graveyard.

2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition in Denver junkyard, Gucci emblem - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsI’m always on the lookout for designer-edition cars in the junkyard, be they Mark Cross New Yorkers, Bill Blass Continentals, Cartier Town Cars, Oleg Cassini Matadors, Orvis Grand Cherokees, or even Etienne Agnier Golfs. Naturally, the first junkyard employee who saw the GUCCI badges pried them off this car.

The Gucci 500 got special badging, body stripes, seat fabric, and wheels.

2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition in Denver junkyard, stripes - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe stripes are still on this car, but junkyard shoppers grabbed the seats immediately. I suspect that the Gucci wheels never even reached the junkyard.

Why is it in this place? Here’s why.

2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition in Denver junkyard, claim check - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe key is in the ignition and there’s a claim check from what I presume was the repair shop that got the car after the crash. A quick call to the insurance company no doubt resulted in an instant verdict: Morta!

2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition in Denver junkyard, dash - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsI reviewed the (non-Gucci) 500 Sport, back in 2011, and I thought it was reasonably fun for the price. A few years later, I drove the 500e and enjoyed the electric-motor torque and easy San Francisco parking, not to mention the hilariously festive white-and-orange interior. Usually, there’s more of a delay between a new-car review and a Junkyard Find, of course.

2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition in Denver junkyard, Colorado emission exemption sticker - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsNew vehicles in Colorado are emissions-test-exempt for the first eight years after the sale, so this car never had to endure a Denver County smog check (which is a walk in the park next to the stringent tests my cars had to endure when I lived in California).

2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition in Denver junkyard, HVAC controls - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe automatic would have added enough to this car’s value to make it worth fixing after a little fender-bender, but this one hit something hard at a greater-than-parking-lot-speed clip.

Just the car to drive when you’re stuck behind some retired Mob enforcer in an Imperial!

You’ll find links to 2000+ additional Junkyard Finds at the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.

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21 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition...”

  • avatar

    “This car, though crashed, is still special: a genuine, numbers-matching Gucci Edition Fiat 500”

    Wow, that’s right up there with the rare collectable Gremlin Levi Edition

    I’m surprised this made it 8 years. My guess is the total wreck was a blessing to the owner

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      I don’t know…where I live, the modern 500 has sold fairly well (for what really is a niche car), and I know a few of those owners and they seem to love their cinquecentos. Also, all the ones I see appear to be very well cared for, and usually a tell-tale sign of lemons is that they look beat up before their time.

      About five years ago one of my friends lent me a black Fiat 500 Gucci convertible to use while my car was at the body shop, and I found it to be quite fun. It also gave me the impression of being a solid, well-built car. I wouldn’t mind owning one as a weekend vehicle.

  • avatar

    Heavy front end damage yet the airbags did not deploy.

    • 0 avatar

      Some guy in a crosswalk kicked it

    • 0 avatar

      I totalled 2000 Taurus that way. Front airbags did not deploy because it was slightly offset.

    • 0 avatar

      The way both rails are bent toward the driver’s side tells me that something raked across the front from right to left. It could have been as simple as the driver cutting across rows in a parking lot and getting nailed by someone driving down a row, coming from their right.

      • 0 avatar
        schmitt trigger

        My same thought duke.

        This poor little Fiat pulled up her nose a wee-bit too much at a cross way at the local Walmart, while at the same time a Ford Super Duty was barreling down.

        Never had a chance

        • 0 avatar

          or… the little FIAT was parked and unoccupied when a hooligan on a bicycle came barreling around a corner and bounced off it’s bug-eyed snout

          • 0 avatar

            It would have to be one of those heavy-duty Huffy bikes to do that much damage. The hit-while-parked theory might be the correct one. With the engine off and nobody in the seats, that might be why the airbags didn’t deploy.

  • avatar

    High-class junk is still junk.

    What was in the three holes in the dash, between the radio and the HVAC controls? Three tiny, useless, a/c vents?

    • 0 avatar

      Buttons. (×563.jpg)

      These cars seem kind of fun to me, in a minimalist way. The small size is the main downside in my eyes, though it is also a strength in other ways.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s definitely at home as a city car, but I was driving a rented Sentra on a freeway and was passed by a 500 doing about 75. It’s not often driving a Sentra makes you feel safer at speed.

  • avatar

    I have an acquaintance who is a tech at the local dealer and he told me a surprising number of these go past 100,000 miles, provided you do oil changes on time to keep the Multi-Air valvetrain working properly.

  • avatar

    I really, really, REALLY wanted to like these cars when they came out. Body-color dash, stick shift in an Alfa location, and the promise of a fun little car to zip around back roads with. I had a Fiat X1/9 when I was young and it was an awesome car. Raced in SCCA solo events and routinely beat out 944s for time around tight courses. But then the 500 came out and I saw the price was insane for a car you couldn’t even fit groceries in. Then I had to work on several after they started breaking and I was astounded by the poor build quality and types of failures they had. The line of cars waiting for transmissions at the local dealer (who dumped the brand before two years were out) reminded me of the line of minivans at the Chrysler dealer in the 80s waiting for transmissions. Exterior door handles that have pot metal hinges that break so often there is a repair kit for them. Interior switches that break in your hand or the finish rubs off so you have to remember what the switch used to say. Messages on the display indicating a right front bulb out when it’s the left front. The check engine light that is on often enough to make a VW owner feel right at home. Fiat makes some awesome cars overseas. Unfortunately, they did not send us their best. Using a lot of off-the-shelf Chrysler components didn’t help either. Just sad no matter how you look at it. Small doesn’t have to mean cheaply built, but I wish automakers would quit reinforcing that stereotype.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The above commercial is much better than the car.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I see plenty of these 500’s in the NYC metro area. Maybe its the ease of parking, a good commuter car, the size for many people is just enough for grocery getting, the occasional big box store trip or a jaunt out of town.
    I once sat in one just to check it out for my 6″2′ self and it fit well. Personally I wouldn’t mind a sunroof or droptop one as a weekend cruiser.

  • avatar

    I understand the later year models (‘15 thru’17) have many of the major kinks worked out. Yet, it is still a FIAT. Better get cozy with your Chraftman’s tool set, but you’ll feel the fun of owning your first car again. Always needing some attention, but rewarding when you fix it your self.

    • 0 avatar

      Fond memories.

      A year old 128 was the first car I ever “owned” (wedding gift from the inlaws). I still have the 40 year old Craftsman sockets and flex handle that in a year and a half saw me through three clutch cables, a master cylinder, rear brake cylinder and front caliper rebuilds, new rear brake shoes, a carburetor rebuild, a CV joint, a filler nozzle connector to the fuel tank, random water leaks, etc.

      Got some payback for my own father, though, who was a constant kvetch when I was a kid learning to drive. He never figured out how to shift through the dead 2-3 synchro in the Fiat without a graunch, which was some compensation.

      At least I avoided the transmission rebuild.

      • 0 avatar

        Broken clutch cables on a 128 generally were caused by a broken ground strap that connected (electrically) the engine to the chassis. If the ground strap broke or was heavily corroeded, the current from the starter motor would ground through the clutch cable, causing it to arc within its housing and ultimately break.

  • avatar

    Sick! The owner looked very stylish right up until the moment they plowed into whatever object they plowed into. Looks like a direct frontal, so I will guess the use of an electronic device of some kind was the cause.

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