By far the most common old car that you see around these parts of Tuscany is the Italian manufactured Fiat Panda. I don’t give a fuck about cars, I don’t even have a driver’s license, but the Panda has captured my attention for a few reasons. I was curious as to why they have remained in use while the efficiency standards implemented in Europe has led to the disappearance of so many others.

The Panda was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro to be utilitarian, both small enough to fit in the narrow streets of the old city and spacious enough to transport larger objects. The seats fold down in multiple ways while the roof is quite high and the body is very boxy.

It’s also spacious enough for two adults to lie down next to each other.

I did some research and it seems they were made with generic parts, so the components are easy and cheap to replace. It was produced in 1980 and from 1986 to 2003 it was produced with ‘very minor changes’.  I have encountered quite a few variations of the Panda design and at the risk of this post turning into a car ad I’ll list them here:

Panda Jolly
Panda 1000 fire
Panda Café
Panda Hobby
Panda Young
Panda Van
Panda 4WD
Panda Trekking

It was considered a budget car, 'designed for the poor and especially those who llived in rural area. It was cheap to buy and to maintain.' Perhaps this is why the Panda has endured while others have not. And who knows, maybe people feel fondly for them too.