One-off creation fetches huge bid in auction to benefit AIDS research

The fashion and automotive worlds have crossed paths many times in the past, often in the form of special edition creations such as this Fiat 500C. The ventures have not always yielded good results, but all of them are magnets for attention, for better or worse. The latest in a long line of these special editions come by way of Garage Italia Customs, which created this bedazzling 500C in the name of fashion designer Angela Missoni, the creative director of the Italian brand that wears the same name.

Those who are familiar with the Missoni fashion brand will know that it prides itself on colorful design palettes, something that we see in all its glory on the 500C. Garage Italia Customs’ treatment is also what you’d expect from an automotive custom shop whose past design works include the Fiat 500 Paco Rabanne Edition, another glistening collaboration with the fashion and automotive industries. The Missoni-inspired 500C is colorful to a hilt, and whether you like it or not, it received enough attention to gather what Garage Italia Customs called a “generous” bid when it was auctioned off at the ninth annual charity event organized by amfAR in Milan, Italy last September 21. The proceeds of the car’s auction are earmarked for AIDS research, so whoever ended up paying the “generous” amount to take home this one-off 500C should be happy that his money is going to the right place. Even better, he gets to take home arguably one of the most colorful Fiat 500Cs to come out in recent memory.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs

What makes the Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs special

2017 Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs
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One of the things that make collaborations between the fashion and auto worlds unique is how much inspiration is taken from the fashion brands and how those inspirations are used in designing a specific car. The aforementioned 500 Paco Rabanne Edition made use of a Metallic Sun Gold body finish because the French designer had a thing for the color. It wasn’t meant for the conservative fashionistas, but it definitely made an impression when it was unveiled last December.

One of the things that make collaborations between the fashion and auto worlds unique is how much inspiration is taken from the fashion brands and how those inspirations are used in designing a specific car

There are other examples of this that I’ll talk about in a bit, but for now, the focus, rightfully so, is on the 500C Missoni. If anything, it’s the complete opposite of the 500 Paco Rabanne Edition in its use of color. The car’s body actually features a rainbow-like palette, distributed as horizontal stripes that run across the entire body of the small convertible. It’s a fitting nod to the visual style that the Missoni brand has used over the years to great success.

2017 Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs
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2017 Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs
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Likewise, the interior of the car is dripping with Missoni-styled elements, right down to the custom upholstery on the seats, floor mats, and interior trim. Seems fitting then that Missoni itself provided the materials for the exterior and interior of the car, ensuring that the colors used are exactly the ones the fashion label uses on its products.

It still carries 100 ponies, which isn’t powerful by any means but should be enough to go around the urban landscape with everyone’s attention focused squarely on the car

Like it or not, the 500C Missoni isn’t going to be confused for a boring car. It’s far from one from a visual standpoint, even though its engine - a 1.4-liter four-cylinder - received no engine upgrades. It still carries 100 ponies, which isn’t powerful by any means but should be enough to go around the urban landscape with everyone’s attention focused squarely on the car.

More examples of fashion-inspired Fiat 500s

One of the Fiat 500’s greatest claims to fame is its versatility. No, I’m not talking about “versatility” in terms of performance and handling, but “versatility” in the sense that it’s easily customized from an aesthetic point of view. We’ve seen so many examples of this in the past, with some examples being better than others.

One such creation that falls on the “nay” side is the 500 “I Defend Gala 2015” Edition. Designed by no less than craftsman Stefano Canticelli, the 500 “I Defend Gala 2015” actually used calfskin and mahogany wood on the exterior of the car. The treatment worked in the cabin, but on the body of the 500? Seems like a waste of material to me.

2015 Fiat 500 "I Defend Gala 2015" One-Off Edition High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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On the “yay” side of my preference sits the 500 Ron Arad Edition. It may be conservative in terms of its design compared to others we’ve seen of its kind, but the all-black body and the special white outlines drawn on the sides of the car are nice and classy touches. Look closer, and you’ll notice that the white lines actually create a silhouette of the 1957 Fiat 500. The interior also gets a similar treatment, and it works in emphasizing the unique design that Arad was going for.

2015 Fiat 500 Ron Arad Edition High Resolution Exterior
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All that said, my favorite 500 that was given a fashion brand collaboration remains the 2014 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition. Made available for both the 500 and 500 C variants a few years ago, the 500 Gucci Edition came with an all-black interior that was only interrupted by Gucci’s iconic green-red-green design stripes running down the four seats and the seat belts. That one stood out because it played well with Gucci’s own colors without going overboard with its use of them.

2013 Fiat 500 and 500C by Gucci High Resolution Exterior
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