It’s been said a number of ways before: the Fiat 500 is to Italy what the Volkswagen Beetle is to Germany—“the people’s car”. Both earned their place as the go-to cheap transport for the masses.
Much like the Bug, the 500 was reliable (enough), affordable, cheap to maintain, and easy to drive. But in the mid 1950s, if you were a wealthier citizen of The Boot and wanted something of a higher tier than the pedestrian Fiat, you bought something like this 1958 Autobianchi Bianchina Transformabile Series I.
Bicycle and motorcycle maker Bianchi was founded in 1855 and by the early 1920s began producing its very own automobiles. Though successful, the brand couldn’t keep up with the more prominent Fiat and Lancia. In 1955, Bianchi merged with Fiat to keep the marque alive. The first car produced under the new name Autobianchi was the compact Bianchina.