A photo collection of Italy would not be complete without vintage Fiats!
When in Italy, if one drives by or is parked on the street, I can’t help but take a picture of it. And it seems others have this same magical affliction because every day a great vintage Fiat shot turns up on my Instagram feed.
What is it about these cars? Well, it IS an iconic symbol of Italy, made so tiny that they can zoom through the narrow ancient streets. They are often beautifully restored, transporting romantics like me back to another time. And since many are smaller than their modern counterpart, there is that “cute” factor.
So it’s no surprise that I would eventually turn these mini car inspirations into a new series of miniature ink and watercolour paintings.
I snapped the photo inspiration for this piece in Gubbio, Umbria. And I snapped several more vintage Fiats in this town, making me wonder if there wasn’t a collectors club here. Oh, that colour!
I actually got taken for a ride in this convertible vintage Fiat around the Umbrian countryside near Narni! Such a thrill! Since I couldn’t remember what the owner said about the car – other than there were very few of them left in the world – I did a bit of Google research. This forest green Fiat is a Cabriolet 1400 series, likely from the early 1950’s. This car gleamed – all the chrome sparkled, the engine purred! I’m not a big car lover, but this beauty turned me into one for a few hours!
I came across this vintage blue Fiat parked on a lonely backstreet in Rome. It wasn’t sparkling or sexy like others I’d seen – in fact, it looked a little forlorn and cast aside. It had definitely seen better days and was filled with scratches. I didn’t take a photo, but continued on with my wandering. Somehow I ended up back on this street and in front of this Fiat again. This time I took the photo, and in painting it, I’ve given it a bit of a restoration with some shiny hardware and no more scratches. I hope this car’s owner someday is able to give it a real restoration!
I enjoyed painting these vintage Fiats so much that I think there may be more photo-taking and painting of these lovelies in my future!
(Originals now available at my Etsy Shop; a Limited Edition 3-print coming soon)