The Gamine was possibly the smallest and friendliest-looking car that Hexagon Classics has ever offered for sale. Its wonderful period colour scheme and low mileage, made this example very attractive.
Vignale’s Gamine is a small rear-engined car produced by Carrozzeria Vignale from 1967 to 1971, based on the Fiat 500, also known as Nuova 500. Unlike the 500, however, the Gamine had an open-top Roadster structure and only two seats. Styling was by Alfredo Vignale. The Gamine is sometimes related in design to the Fiat 508 Balila.
It was powered by a 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine of 499.5 cc from the Fiat 500 sport, the sporty version of the 500, and an engine later to be offered on the 500F. There was only one engine version producing 21.5 PS (15.8 kW; 21.2 bhp). A top speed of 97 km/h (60 mph) was claimed. Wheelbase is 1,840 mm (72 in), Length 3,020 mm (119 in), Width1,300 mm (51 in), Height1,190 mm (47 in), Kerb weight 450 kg (990 lb).
Frixos Demetriou was a successful casino owner in Cyprus and the owner of the Olympic gaming club in London. While in Milan by chance, his flight to Athens was diverted, he spotted an unusual looking car by the airport and on inquiry discovered that it was a Fiat Gamine Vignale. Demetriou was looking to diversify his business interests and sensing an opportunity he returned via Turin, securing the rights to sell Vignale’s products in the UK. He bought 200 cars up front paying with cash and committed to buy the next 6 months production if Vignale manufactured the car in right hand drive form. The Gamine two-seater was well received, becoming trendy with the Chelsea set.
Immaculately restored throughout and completely retrimmed by well-known experts, this was possibly the best example of a Gamine ever offered for sale. Historic MOT certificates dating back from 1977 are in the history file, substantiating the ultra-low mileage. Very few of these special Vignale cars survive.