Based in Minster Lovell, Solo Italia has built its reputation as a Fiat 500 specialist for the Abingdon area. We like to think we show more understanding and passion for the classic Italian car than many other garages in the Oxfordshire area. Dedicated Fiat servicing and Fiat repairs are both important parts of our affordable garage services.
We also specialise in Alfa Romeo servicing and Alfa Romeo repairs for Abingdon motorists. With our love for Italian vehicles, it’ll come as no surprise that we take a real interest in the history of these perennially-popular marques. Firstly, we look into how the Fiat 500 and Alfa Romeo started, and where they stand in today’s global automotive market.
Alfa Romeo was started by a French automobile company backed by the money of Italian businessmen in 1906, before the Milanese aristocrat Cavaliere Ugo Stella became chairman of the board. Originally used for racing cars, Alfa Romeo swiftly moved into position as one of the leading marques in the European motorsport scene.
The use of the Alfa Romeo as a racing car continued until the 1950’s, where the emphasis shifted towards production cars that were not only visually stunning, but which also came with a high specification. The first Alfa Romeo Guilietta and Alfasud models might have been seen in Abingdon back in the 60’s and 70’s as the marque headed into a new era.
The new models were everyday cars which turned heads wherever they went. Alfa Romeo vehicles weren’t as unreliable as supposed experts suggested either. The Alfasud could be susceptible to rust but, as with any other marque of vehicle, regular Alfa Romeo servicing and Alfa Romeo repairs undertaken by trained mechanics would have helped them run for as long as most other cars from the era.
The Guiletta is now into its third generation, in the form of a stunning five-door hatchback. If you have this particular model, or any other Alfa Romeo, call Solo Italia for regular Alfa Romeo servicing or Alfa Romeo repairs. We’re based 30 minutes from Abingdon in the town of Minster Lovell. Call us now on 01993 701010.
Being a Fiat 500 specialist, the history of this vehicle has long fascinated us at Solo Italia. We thought we’d share that history here. Originally, the Fiat 500 was designed by Dante Giacosa and was marketed as ‘the people’s car’. The Fiat 500 was first produced in 1957 to meet demand for a cheap, functional and economical family automobile in post-war Italy.
With a tiny 479cc engine placed in the rear, its quirky but practical shape fast became a popular style with men and women alike. As you’d imagine, Fiat servicing wasn’t what it is today and Fiat repairs were a more-than-regular occurrence. The Fiat 500 was modified and improved through the years, and the original suicide doors were changed for safer motoring.
Many Fiat 500’s were seen in the streets and country lanes of Abingdon through the 60’s but by the 70’s, the more popular saloon had taken over. The constant need for Fiat repairs and Fiat servicing on the 500 model had put many drivers off using them. I’m sure in our capacity as a Fiat 500 specialist, we’d have welcomed the work back then!
By 1975, the original Fiat 500 had run its course and was put out to pasture. However, the shape and style still appealed to owners in and around the Abingdon area and Fiat 500 Driver Clubs were set up across the globe. In 2007, fifty years after the first model rolled off the production line, the newer Fiat 500 managed to combine two things; a very attractive price and a chassis with a bit more room.
They soon became a best seller and, like they were in the 60’s, are now a common sight in and around the Abingdon area. If you own a Fiat 500, bring your vehicle to Soto Italia for Fiat repairs and Fiat servicing. We will provide the best care possible at the most competitive prices available in the Abingdon and Oxfordshire area.