The Fiat Panda is now 40 years young…

In iconic black, the original Panda is still very modern…

Your servant remembers it vividly. Back in 1980, photographing a brick stone red Panda in the Galerie de la Reine in Brussels, on an early Saturday morning. Those were the times when you could pull this off, without asking anybody. Of course we had to be quick. To make our presence a bit more official, I asked also some garcons of the nearby restaurant Aux Armes de Bruxelles – who were just putting out the tables in the early morning – to pose for me, putting some of their ornamental flower trays in the opened hatch of our Panda.

My test car’ had the zesty four cylinder 903 cc engine in the front, borrowed from the Fiat 127. It was fast with it. Top speed not less than 140 km/h.

The original Panda had soon also a4WD version…

I just loved the design of this Panda, both inside and out. Its elegant, simple, rectangular shapes, its perfectly balanced proportions still inspire. Just drive it now in chique black with beige interior through our cities.

It still is a beautiful, modern car. The car is also up to this day brimming with practicality and genial storage solutions. Fast, zesty, compact.

The future car within this same lineage of geniality is the Centoventi. We stood eye to eye with the prototype in the Centro Stile last year. More about this car later.

The Centoventi breathes the same practical spirit as the original Panda…

The present day Panda is eminently capable. We recently drove the hybrid version, just read our report… This Panda lives in the heart of many, and is since 2003 the most sold city car in Europe. And has a bright future for many years to come…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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