Monday, September 19, 2011


Are you looking to buy a car? Well, there’s the FIAT 500, newly introduced to the States. FIAT had been absent from these shores for almost forty years (quality control, anybody?); indeed, Italian cars in general have been conspicuous by their absence—except for a handful of Ferraris for a few megabuck people and a Maserati for Johnny Sack on The Sopranos (forget about Alfas and Lancias).
But back to the FIAT 500: it’s a car so small that you could park it in your linen closet, with enough spare room for a few sheets and a bed sham. (And that sham probably has more horsepower.) Nevertheless, assuming you do want a 500, don’t go running down to your local car dealer begging for one--because, according to the FIAT ads in the New Yorker (where one would have expected instead to see glossy layouts for the latest Mercedes and BMWs), the little Tinker Toy car is “available at a FIAT Studio.”
Looking for further information about the car, I clicked onto the website for Autoweek magazine. Members of the staff had driven around in the 500 and the one thing they all seemed to agree on is that it’s “cute.”
Pretentiousness is bad enough—but pretentiousness and cuteness? That’s barfable.