FIAT To Auction Off Special 500e Vehicles To Benefit Non-Profit

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The esteemed poet Christopher Brian Bridges once said, “That car don’t come out until next year. Where the F^#< did you get it?” And, given the context in which these two sentences were uttered (one of his most famous poems, entitled “Rollout”), he has a point. There’s a certain allure to being the first or among the first to get a new vehicle. But, with a run-of-the-mill factory car, the allure and exclusivity can quickly fade once other people get one.

By the first or second model year, you may even see several of them at the local Starbucks. If you don’t want to look like a self-indulgent wiener with too much bloody money, you have to find something nobody else has. Now, if you could drive a one-of-a-kind vehicle, designed by, say, a famous Italian designer, you can be a connoisseur instead of a wiener. Champagne would fall from the heavens. Doors would open. Velvet ropes would part!

But, you don’t have to pretend to have the same name as the sales guy and ask what’s available in the warehouse to do this. Fiat is about to offer some very special 500e electric vehicles that nobody else would have. I can’t guarantee that a little electric Fiat would make Saturday night less lonely, but you can rest assured that nobody else will have a car like yours!

On December 7, the Fiat 500e will take center stage at Art Basel Miami Beach 2023, and according to the company, the first of the new 500e vehicles out the door will be playing a crucial role in helping the planet. During this event, three custom-designed vehicles, created in collaboration with renowned Italian brands Armani, Bvlgari, and Kartell, will be up for auction at a secret location. The proceeds from the auction will go towards benefiting a nonprofit organization.

Sadly, the organization will not be named until after the auction. But, it probably isn’t H.O.O.P. from Arrested Development, so you’re probably not going to be embarrassed later.

“It is rare for an automaker to combine efforts with the most iconic Italian brands of three different sectors, fashion design, furniture design and luxury, to create something truly unique that combines art with an earth-friendly message, making the cars available through auction is even more unusual,” said Olivier Francois, CEO of FIAT and global chief marketing officer of Stellantis. “These three special builds set the stage for FIAT’s sustainable mission and create momentum as we approach the arrival of the all-electric Fiat 500e in North America.”

Simon de Pury will conduct the auction. On November 28, an online catalog was published on his de PURY platform, and you can find them there. This offers a unique opportunity for those unable to attend the event to participate in pre and absentee bidding. By registering, they gain access to online and telephonic bidding ahead of the auction, ensuring they don’t miss out on the chance to participate.

“I am very excited to conduct the auction of the three unique Fiat 500 cars. They are stunning and beautiful works of art on wheels. It is wonderful that the proceeds of the auction will entirely go to environmental work,” said Simon de Pury.

Looking at all three of the cars in the press photos, it’s hard to tell all that has been customized. The Armani 500e has the logo on the roof and the same logo built into the wheels. The other two seem to have been given custom wheels and colors, but not much else can be seen. But, this might be one of those cases where if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.

Of course, the whole point of doing this auction of three special one-of-a-kind 500e vehicles is to get attention for the launch of the stock factory vehicles. The normal 500e is what the rest of us weiners who don’t know who Simon de Pury, Armani, Bvlgari, and Kartell even are. Even if we know them, most of us can’t afford their work anyway.

But, that doesn’t mean a normal 500e won’t be at least a little special. The company says that unlike other expensive EVs, the Fiat 500e democratizes electric mobility, changes how we buy them, and also helps the company achieve its climate and EV goals, like Dare Forward 2030. Stellantis also says the company is on track to become a carbon net zero corporation by 2038, and with only a single-digit percentage of emissions requiring offsets. Hey, who knows? These facts could be enough to impress someone and get a date on Saturday (but I doubt it).

Personally, I’m more of the kind of person who would customize a vehicle and make it one-of-a-kind my own way. But, I’ve also never been interested in designer handbags and I’m not afraid to break a nail, so I’m probably not the target audience here. But, if you’re into $1,000 purses that are too small for a smartphone to fit in them, or if you just really like buying expensive things, this could be an opportunity to let the world know that you have a lot of cash (or, that you HAD a lot of cash).

But, all fun-poking of the indulgent wives of rich men aside, doing something to help a charity is never a bad idea. It would be nice to know what the charity is, and it would be nice to have an idea what the charity does. Absent that information, it may be difficult to get the philanthropic crowd to bid on these cars. So, I think Stellantis should at least make that known.

Another thing I’d like to see Stellantis do is more custom vehicles that aren’t aimed at the exclusive market. Many people would probably like a 500e that’s geared toward adventurers, or one that’s set up to better mimic the classic looks of the original 500. But, it’s harder to get attention for those kinds of vehicles.

Featured image: The Armani version of the Fiat 500e. All images in this article provided by Stellantis.

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