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Hagerty Employee

9 wild automotive “what ifs” from Fiat’s Heritage Collection

Located on the outskirts of Turin, Italy, Fiat’s heritage collection is full of what ifs.


What if the carmaker known for peddling pocket-sized city cars had made a Hummer? What if it had brought a ForTwo-like two-seater to the market over two decades before the Smart brand appeared? Or, what if Lancia had been given the opportunity to continue racing prototypes in the World Rally Championship?


The fascinating answers to these questions are housed in a 161,000-square foot warehouse that’s part of Fiat’s Mirafiori engineering complex. Some of the 300-plus cars displayed are regular-production models—like the last 126 ever made—but it’s the prototypes, the one-offs, and the concepts that caught my eye during a recent visit. Here are some of the stand-out vehicles in the firm’s Heritage Hub.


Read the full list on



Here is the what if! 

What if Fiat had used metal that did not crumble in 4 years? What if they  built engines that did not require timing belts at 25,000 miles? What if they had used some of the designers Ferrari used to style more of their cars? 

Fiat to me hold a different meaning to me than to most others. I unlike most have a lot of miles in a Fiat. 

We had two Fiats one 128 sedan and one 128 wagon. The wagon was from TX with a bad engine the sedan was from OH and was rotted away. We merged both into a running functioning car. 

We beat the crap out of that car. We learned the skill of shifting with no clutch, we ran it up motorcycle trails where Jeep’s could not fit between trees. We learned the art of reverse donuts in the snow. We drove it to Cleveland to Browns games and could leave it unlocked because no one would steal it. What more could you ask for?


On the highway we would just pull the Throttle nob out and ride along at near 70 mph. Corner on three wheels and had a blast till the timing belt broke. We had enough parts to fix it but the end was near.

My buddies brother took ownership and and while crashing into snow piles he found one that had refrozen and broke the Uni body. The car gained a flex at the firewall. It was soon retired.


All this made me wonder if the car was just a little better in a few areas how well it could have done in the 70’s and 80’s vs just being another car that is struggling in the American market. 

I treasure my time in the car but still ponder what could have been.