Mario is described as a ‘stretched’ Fiat 600 and that was literarily what they did when designing it by moving the wheels apart and adding a bit in the middle.
However it would appear that people have been busy making stretched versions of the original and new style Fiat 500’s.
Italian coach builders Castagna Milano who have already made several interesting beach cars based on the new 500 (see earlier blog) and have gone into the American and Middle Eastern markets by developing three versions of a 500 limousine stretched in length to 5.32m, almost two metres longer than the original.
The LimoSun is based on the Fiat 500 convertible. Targeted to beach resorts and the Middle East, the LimoSun passenger area has four seats facing each other. The large openings in the sides and roof can be closed with transparent panels.
The LimoCity is a closed version and features a circular sofa couch, mini-bar, electric sliding doors.
The LimoCity President starts with a Fiat 500 version made for the U.S. market and is powered by two electric motors capable of reaching 100 mph (160 km/h) with a range of 155 miles.
But it would appear that individuals are also getting in on the act and original Fiat 500 Limo conversions are in demand for weddings and hen nights!The Limo above appears to be a more professional conversion while some others seem to be two vehicles ‘cut and shut’ together.This one was built by Augustine Gizzi, 35, a coachbuilder of San Salvo in 11 months is just over 4 meters long and the result of a successful assembly of a Fiat 500′ Giardiniera and a Fiat 500 F.
Not all the conversions have been done recently. This very scruffy and in need of restoration example was converted over thirty years ago in San Diego. It is believed that it was used/owned by Herve Villechaize who played Nick Nack in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun, it was auctioned off either by the studio or by the estate of Mr Villechaize many years ago, after he commited suicide with a rather large hand gun. At one point it was resplendent with gold plated hub caps as can just be seen in the last picture, and also had a rather hideous Rolls Royce Grill fitted. It was last seen on ebay. Finally here is a rather cool stretched Fiat Giardiniera seen around Europe with a Fiat 500 trailer and believed to be owned by a Dutchman.
Many of these stretched vehicles are much longer than Mario but most do not seem to have a significant number of extra seats. James has been saying for years that he would love to go one stretch further and add another set of doors and seats to create a even more ‘stretched’ Mario – maybe one day.