Fun fact 1: the Fiat Panda isn’t named after the adorably clumsy endangered species, but rather in honour of Empanda, the Roman goddess and patroness of travellers.
Fun fact 2: Giorgetto Giugiaro designed the original Fiat Panda launched way back in 1980.
Which of course, means the humble little Panda is 40 years old. Unpretentious and hardy, the Panda remains an icon of small car-ness. Fiat tells us some 284,000 Pandas have been shifted in the UK alone over the past four decades.
You know about the good ones. But did you know about these ones?
STORY Vijay Pattni
Fiat Panda ‘Italia 90’
No prizes for guessing where this little Fiat takes its inspiration from. Sadly, despite a promising campaign, there were also no prizes for England in that tournament either (yay, a correct footballing reference!)…
In any case, this Panda celebrated Italy’s hosting of the 1990 World Cup Of Footballists with a redecorated Panda 750L.
Which meant: all-white paintwork, body-coloured grille and bumpers, blue seat upholstery (Italy’s team colours) and the definitely-not-cringeworthy wheel trims fashioned into footballs. Love may have got the world in motion, but football wheel trims played their part too.
Fiat Panda ‘Terramare’
A one-off built by former Iso Rivolta engineer Maurizio Zanisi, this was a Panda 4x4 fashioned with an inflatable flotation belt, and a waterjet propulsion system on the rear axle.
The result, if you haven’t quite got it yet, was an amphibious Panda. Look! It can swim! Back in 2006, this made the journey across the English Channel, travelling from Folkestone to Cap Griz Nez on the French coast in a mere six hours.
Fiat Panda ‘Alessi’
Simple one, this. Italian Design house Alessi – coffee machines, can openers, fantastically cute egg cups, that sort of thing – teamed up with Fiat to launch the Panda at the Ideal Home Show in London with a two-tone special edition. Lots of cream, lots of sugar, please.
Fiat Panda ‘Mamy’
This one was apparently for the mums. Hence the name. The purple Panda got a 50/50 split and sliding rear seat with Isofix attachments, a height adjustable driver seat, a second rear-view mirror – to better check your children aren’t eating the washable seat upholstery – as well as a high-grip boot mat and special floor mats. Other gender stereotypes were presumably available as options, one suspects.
Fiat Panda ‘Hawaii’
If you know, you know. But if you don’t know, this one was actually not a special edition at all, more an in-joke for fans of The Inbetweeners, launched as an April Fool’s gag. The bantz!
Alongside the promises of the ‘Hawaii’ appealing to “members of the opposite sex”, its “anti-squirrel collision system” and “mild amphibious qualities”, it even totally did not come with a pre-dented red passenger door.
After all, who wants to be a bus wa… ah, maybe not.