We’ve had a good laugh at many of Eastern Europe’s Fiat knock-offs here in the past – ok, all of them – but this one is a bit different. Before the ubiquitous Fiat 124 was reproduced by every dictatorship behind the iron curtain Austrian manufacturer Steyr-Puch manufactured Fiat’s lovely little 500 under license.
Puch’s effort succeeded where every other reproduction before or since failed because it was arguably better than the original car being produced by the thousand in Italy. Puch replaced Fiat’s inline two-cylinder motor with a flat boxer engine of their own design, giving their version of the 500 a more refined drive than Fiat’s.
Around 60,000 units were produced in a manufacturing run that lasted almost two decades, before the Steyr-Puch company was split up and sold off to a variety of different buyers in the 1980s. Brickshelf’s cubo remembers the Austrian success story with his charming Lego recreation. See more at the link.