Fiat’s first commercials you remember–outside of those awful ones with Jennifer Lopez–were probably the ones when it showed the Fiat 500 hatchback crossing through water to make it to the U.S. “The Italians are Coming” stuck out as the message Fiat was trying to project.
At the U.S. Open of Surfing this past weekend in Huntington Beach, California, Fiat brought its commercial to life, literally. It showed off three Fiat 500s built on the mechanicals of watercrafts: an orange hatchback, a white convertible, and a red Fiat 500 Abarth. The three cars entertained audiences during the first day of competition.
Fiat says that it built a few extras, one of which was made to look like the new Fiat 500L. It won’t be long before we see one of those. But where?
While clever, this idea isn’t wholly original. Mini created a Mini Cooper convertible boat as a promotional tool for the Head of Charles Regatta in the Boston area and has since taken it to other boat races as a support vehicle. The boat has a six-horsepower outboard motor, which isn’t that big of a deal since its powering a fiberglass car meant to look like a Mini. We assume the Fiat 500s are built similarly.
And, of course, none of the above are real cars that can drive on land, although some amphibious cars have been produced over the years. The most notable of which are the the German-built Amphicar from the 1960s and the DUKW, famous for Boston’s “Duck” tours.